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U. gym team to celebrate 30 years

More than 50 alums will attend Friday's 'Senior Night' meet

Published: Tuesday, March 15 2005 12:18 a.m. MST

The early pajama-like warm-up suits. The six consecutive national championships. The sprained ankle. The billboard.
A lot of memories will come flooding back Friday evening for University of Utah gymnastics fans as the team celebrates 30 years together by bringing back a good portion of its alumnae for a celebration weekend.
More than 50 of Utah's 91 alums — 52 as of Monday afternoon, with some late decisions expected — will be back in the Huntsman Center, where they will be introduced to the crowd assembled for Friday's Arizona State-at-Utah Senior Night regular-season home finale.
For fans wishing for a look at the past, the alums will be introduced at 6:45 p.m., followed by Senior Night festivities for Annabeth Eberle and Gritt Hofmann and their parents, with the meet scheduled to start about 7:05 p.m.
Those pre-meet 15 minutes or so with Utah's legends, including at least one member of coach Greg Marsden's very first team, have taken Ute associate head coach Megan Marsden, herself a two-time Ute NCAA all-around champion, two to three years to plan.
When Utah held its 20th reunion, she said, it was pieced together quickly but still worked out well. She picked the dates for this 30th reunion two years ago, partly because Shelly Schaerrer is an assistant coach with Arizona State.
Schaerrer provided one of the most riveting moments in Ute history in 1992 at the NCAA Championships in Minnesota when she was able to stick her dismount from uneven bars despite a badly sprained ankle. That landing helped the U. win the national title.
Schaerrer's teammate, Missy Marlowe, who also should be in attendance Friday, provided one of the more dominant personal performances in Ute history that year, winning the NCAA all-around, bars, beam and floor championships and taking fifth in vaulting.
School all-around record-holder Suzanne Metz and poster girl Aimee Trepanier — whose elegant, reclining, floor routine-ending pose with her held tilted back became a surprisingly controversial but popular billboard a few years later — were just beginning their Ute careers in '92. Both have said they'll be there Friday night.
Among other popular figures who RSVP'd are Lisa Mitzel, Elaine Alfano, Traci Sommer, Shannon Bowles and Angie Leonard.
Some 15 sets of alumnae parents plus many family members of the former gymnasts will also be there. The alums will get together at a party at Rice-Eccles Stadium after the meet, and on Saturday, they'll be able to bring their kids to the Dumke training facility to play on the apparatus. The weekend will conclude with a dinner Saturday night.


E-mail: lham@desnews.com

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