Utah moves up to 3rd in revised rankings

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 18 2006 12:00 a.m. MST

Somebody forgot to tell the guy whose computer-consulting firm does the national coaches' association women's gymnastics rankings about a change in procedure that was accepted last spring.
The result is that this week's rankings changed dramatically from Monday to Tuesday, and the University of Utah jumped from sixth to third on the team poll.
"A little bit of disorganization and lack of follow-through — but it's a volunteer organization," is the way Ute coach Greg Marsden described the problem that was quickly corrected.
The coaches' association chose last spring, with just one "no" vote, to have the first seven weeks of the 2006 rankings go by season average, but no one told Steve Troester, who does the computerized rankings through inputs from the coaches and posts them on his Web site each Monday during the season.
As in years past, his rankings for the first two weeks of 2006 were posted this week by high score. Once informed about the change, Troester re-ranked everything by average, though some teams have had only one meet and others haven't yet competed.
In a Tuesday e-mail to member coaches, the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches for Women president, Mike Lorenzen of Stanford, accepted responsibility.
The result is that Georgia, with a season average of 195.762, is now No. 1 with Michigan (195.675) second and Utah (195.25) third. When done by high score Monday, Alabama was first with 196.15, but its average (195.20) now has it fourth. Utah's high of 195.675 had it ranked sixth Monday. Utah State (190.40) is 32nd.
Teams with only one meet so far are ranked according to that single score. BYU is not ranked, as its one score (190.075) was apparently not officially reported. It would be 34th.
The Utes lost their No. 1 vault ranking and dropped to second behind Alabama. Utah's high vault was 49.325, best in the country for the first two weeks, but its average is 49.10 to Alabama's 49.125. Utah State is 25th, 48.325. Utah now ranks third on beam (48.662), fifth on floor (48.887) and 15th on bars (48.60).
Marsden said if he'd had a choice, he would just have left the rankings this week by high score once they were posted that way. "It just proves once again how meaningless the rankings are," he said with a chuckle.
Lorenzen said he thought it appropriate to make the correction immediately.
Nebraska's Emily Parsons (39.425 average) retained her No. 1 all-around ranking and visits Utah Friday at 7 p.m. with her now-sixth-ranked team that had been fourth.
Utah State's Jessica Parenti, seventh by high score, dropped out of the top 25. Utah's Nicolle Ford (39.20) moved up from eighth to sixth. USU's Katie Omann (38.975) is tied for 15th. Ford now ranks fourth on both bars and beam.
As always, the rankings criteria will change in the eighth week, when most teams will have enough meets to have a Regional Qualifying Score, an average of six meets with at least half of the scores on the road.

Revised NCAA women's gymnastics poll

Jan. 16, by season average

                   Rank              Average	High
                   1  Georgia        195.762	195.825
                   2  Michigan       195.675	195.675
                   3  Utah           195.250	195.625
                   4  Alabama        195.200	196.150
                   5  Stanford       194.950	194.950
                   6  Nebraska       194.887	195.675
                   7  Penn State     194.875	194.875
                   8  Florida        194.737	195.900
                   9  Auburn         194.487	195.300
                   10 Iowa State     194.075	194.100

E-mail: lham@desnews.com

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