U. gymnasts to hold 'Sneak Peek'

Published: Friday, Dec. 3 2004 12:00 a.m. MST

The season opener is a month away, and many of the athletes don't have full routines completely ready.
But University of Utah gymnastics fans can get a first look at the 2005 edition of the team—including the Utes' first world champion, freshman Ashley Postell—tonight at 7 in the Huntsman Center in the second annual "Sneak Peek." Admission is free.
Just Thursday, the national coaches' preseason rankings were released, and Utah stands No. 5 with two first-place votes and 530 points, one less than No. 4 Alabama (531). Two-time defending champion UCLA is No. 1, followed by Georgia and Stanford with Florida No. 6. BYU is ranked 18th, Utah State 30th and Southern Utah 31st.
The team will be introduced to fans—some 3,000 attended last year—and will go through demonstration routines. The athletes will also sign autographs.
Postell was 2002 world balance beam champion and was a favorite to make the 2004 U.S. Olympic team, but illness and recovery from shoulder surgery left her one place shy of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials. She actually could have gone anyway as the first alternate because injury forced another athlete out, but she chose instead to spend the summer preparing to go to Utah.
Other members of the 2005 Ute team who should be on hand tonight include senior NCAA all-around hopeful and 2004 NCAA vault runner-up Annabeth Eberle; two-time first-team all-American Nicolle Ford; regional vault champion Rachel Tidd; veterans Dominique D'Oliveira, regional floor co-champion Gritt Hofmann, Stephanie Lim, Natalie Nicoloff, Gabi Onodi and Kristen Riffanacht and freshmen Jessica Duke of Sandy and Katie Kivisto of Boca Raton, Fla.
Utah opens its season hosting UCLA on Jan. 7.

2005 Women's pre-season coaches' poll

                   	Rank	Team         Points    1st place votes
                	1	UCLA           608	15
                	2	Georgia        565	3
                	3	Stanford       554	4
                	4	Alabama        531	1
                	5	Utah           530	2
                	6	Florida        510	1
                	7	Michigan       479	
                	8	LSU            444 	
                	9	Arizona State  387	
                	10	Nebraska       386 	
                	11	Oklahoma       352 	
                	12	Oregon State   280	
                	13	Arizona        264	
                	14	Iowa State     256	
                	15	No. Carolina   240	
                	16	Auburn         221	
                	17	Iowa           196	
                	18	BYU            178 	
                	19	Penn State     173	
                	20	Denver         160	
                	21	Washington     117	
                	22	Missouri       105 	
                	23	West Virginia   92	
                	24	Arkansas        90	
                	25	California      86	
Other teams receiving votes:
Minnesota, Michigan State, Illinois, Boise State, Utah State, Southern Utah, NC State, Ohio State, New Hampshire, Kent State, Maryland, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Illinois-Chicago, Kentucky, San Jose State, Fullerton.

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