Ute gymnasts fall to No. 6

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 17 2006 12:00 a.m. MST

With NCAA gymnastics rankings still done this week by high score, the University of Utah's vault team rates No. 1 in the country while Utah State University senior Jessica Parenti stands No. 7 in the all-around and Utah's home-opening opponent Nebraska has the No. 1 all-arounder.
But the Ute team dropped two more poll spots to sixth place, even though it is 2-0 for the season.
Parenti, who missed much of last season with illness, has opened 2006 with back-to-back all-around victories in multi-team meets, including Sunday's meet with Louisiana State and Centenary at Texas Woman's University in Denton with 39.25, the seventh-best total nationwide in this young season.
Utah's high score is 195.625 and was accomplished Saturday night at University of Washington. That leaves Utah sixth, following Alabama (196.15); last week's No. 1 Florida (195.90); No. 3 Georgia (195.825) and Michigan and Nebraska (195.675).
Nebraska is at Utah this Friday as the Utes make their 2006 home debut, and the Cornhuskers will bring the No. 1-ranked all-arounder, Emily Parsons (39.625).
Utah also scored 194.875 in winning at UCLA in the season opener Jan. 7, and it could move up in polls next week when the criteria shifts to season average (195.25, the NCAA's third-highest average this week).
USU's top score of 192.875 has it ranked 22nd this week.
The Ute vault team is atop the rankings in that event at 49.325 scored at UW. That is .125 point higher than No. 2 Alabama, which has a 49.125 average, .025 high than Utah's. Ute vaulters Ashley Postell and Kristina Baskett are tied for fourth nationally in the event with highs of 9.90. Nebraska's Parsons is tied for first at 9.95.
Some teams, like Southern Utah, have not had a meet yet. The Thunderbirds open Friday night at Oklahoma. Others, like BYU, have had just one meet, and the Cougars were third in a quadrangular at Oregon State Friday at 190.075, which should rank 37th but apparently went unreported to the national coaches' association Web site that publishes the ratings. BYU is at Utah State Friday at 6:30 p.m.
In other individual rankings, Utah junior Nicolle Ford is tied for eighth all-around at 39.20 and did not go all-around last week due to a wrist injury. She ranks fifth on bars at 9.90.
USU's Parenti (9.875) is tied for ninth on floor with teammate Liesel Kohler (9.85) tied for 17th with, among others, Utah's Jessica Duke. Postell (9.875), still getting into competitive shape from a preseason elbow injury, is tied for eighth on balance beam, while Ford, Gritt Hofmann and freshman Nina Kim are tied for 10th at 9.85.

NCAA women's gymnastics ranking

                Rank Team		High
                1. Alabama		196.150 
                2. Florida		195.900
                3. Georgia		195.825
                4. (tie) Michigan	195.675
                4. Nebraska		195.675 
                6. Utah			195.625
                7. Auburn		195.300 
                8. Missouri		195.100
                9. Stanford		194.950
                10. Penn State		194.875 
                11. Arizona		194.350
                12. Kentucky		194.150
                13. Iowa State		194.350
                14. LSU			193.900 
                15. (tie) Denver	193.850
                15. UCLA		193.850 
                17. Michigan State 	193.550 
                18 (tie) Oklahoma	193.325 
                18. Washington		193.325 
                20. Arizona State	193.150
                21. Minnesota		192.900 
                22. Utah State		192.875
                23. North Carolina	192.475
                24. Arkansas		192.225 
                25. Oregon State 	192.200

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