Utah gymnastics: No. 6 Red Rocks face No. 7 Michigan and No. 8 UCLA on the road

By Melissa Yack

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, March 6 2014 7:00 p.m. MST

Utah gymnasts celebrate a routine in Salt Lake City Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. The Red Rocks competed against Washington.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Utah’s gymnastics team is back on the road after two home meets. It competes Friday at Michigan in a meet featuring the country's No. 6, 7 and 8 teams in Utah, Michigan and UCLA, respectively.

“This comes at a good time for us after two good home meets,” said Utah co-head coach Megan Marsden. “It’s time for us to be tested on the road again.”

Utah’s last bout on the road resulted in the team’s only loss of the season after a meltdown on beam at Stanford.

“The gymnasts had a bad taste in their mouth after Stanford, and wanted to remedy that. We did that at home, but for us to truly remedy that we need to do well on the road,” Marsden said.

Including Stanford, the Red Rocks have really only been tested in one other meet this season and that was also on the road at Cal. Friday, Utah will start on bars, as the road team traditionally does, and follow suit with beam, floor and vault. The Olympic format is being used since there are three teams competing.

“I like the order,” said Marsden. “We will start with bars, and then hopefully see if we can continue to build a little bit on beam. Then hopefully we will blow it out of the water on floor and vault where we execute our best.”

Utah’s depth will be tested again as Georgia Dabritz is out for a second straight week on beam, and Nansy Damianova will likely miss the meet. Dabritz is still nursing an injured glute/hip that is most bothered by her leaps on beam. She is expected to still go in the other three events. Damianova, who competes on vault, bars and floor, is battling a stomach bug and didn’t fly with the team.

Michigan holds a 6-3 advantage over Utah in Ann Arbor, Mich., but Utah won the last regular-season meeting between the two in 2012 at Crisler Arena. The Red Rocks and UCLA sit atop the Pac-12 standings at 6-1, with Utah handing the Bruins their lone loss.

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