Second-best score equals No. 1 ranking

Published: Tuesday, March 8 2005 12:00 a.m. MST

When does 197.425 beat 197.85?
When 197.425 is your second-best score of the season and is thus the highest score you can count in the Regional Qualifying Score.
The 197.425 that the University of Utah scored on Friday night in beating Florida (196.45), Stanford (196.025) and Cal (191.50) at the Huntsman Center was enough to boost the Utes back to No. 1 in the NCAA women's gymnastics rankings this week.
UCLA, which scored a national-high of 197.85 Sunday in beating visiting Florida (196.65), actually dropped from fourth to fifth this week despite the high score, which it is unable to count.
The RQS is an average of a team's top six scores of the season — at least three of which must be road meets — with the high score tossed out. Utah has been tossing out its season-opening 197.65 ever since the rankings went from raw average to RQS on Feb. 21, but last Friday's score replaces a 196.65 against BYU as their third-best home score and raised them to a national-best 196.80 RQS and No. 1 status.
Nebraska dropped from No. 1 to No. 2, while Alabama moved from seventh to third. BYU fell from 14th to 16th, Southern Utah from 18th to 20th, and Utah State moved back into the top 25 after being 31st last week.
The Utes also reclaimed No. 1 status on the balance beam, up from third last week but lost a place to third on bars.
The Cougars are ninth in vaulting, behind Utah's sixth, for their best event ranking. Best for SUU is a tie for 16th on floor, and the Aggies' best is 18th on beam. Utah hosts Washington on Friday at 7 p.m. Individually, Ute Ashley Postell remains third (39.485) in all-around while teammate Nicolle Ford (39.365) moved into fifth once she had enough meets to qualify for an RQS. Ute Annabeth Eberle (39.330) is eighth, Rachel Tidd (39.255) is 18th and BYU's Jaime Mabray (39.225) stands 19th. Tidd (9.910) ranks third on bars.
BYU hosts Oklahoma and Utah State on Thursday at 7 p.m., and SUU is at Eastern Michigan on Saturday at 5 and at USU on Monday at 6:45.


                March 7 by RQS
                Rank Team	RQS	Average	High
                1. Utah		196.800	196.586	197.675
                2. Nebraska	196.720	195.933	196.800
                3. Alabama	196.670	196.050	197.175
                4. LSU		196.660	196.167	197.250
                5. UCLA		196.610	195.795	197.850
                6. Florida	196.605	196.222	196.950
                7. Michigan	196.540	196.500	197.800
                8. Georgia	196.355	196.011	197.275
                9. Oklahoma	196.070 195.550	196.700
                10. Iowa State	195.840	195.544	196.925
                16. BYU		195.055	194.864	196.125
                20. So. Utah	194.570	194.178	196.175
                25. Utah State	194.280	193.719	195.900

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