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Utah Utes gymnastics: U.'s Postell comes through when team needs her most

Published: Friday, Sept. 4 2015 3:39 p.m. MDT

Utah's Ashley Postell performs on the beam during Friday's NCAA women's gymnastics championships. Utah finished in second place. (John Amis, Associated Press) Utah's Ashley Postell performs on the beam during Friday's NCAA women's gymnastics championships. Utah finished in second place. (John Amis, Associated Press)
ATHENS, Ga. — A meet like this on Thursday night would have won University of Utah senior Ashley Postell that NCAA all-around championship.
But when her team needed it most, Postell was at her best.
On Super Six night at the NCAA women's gymnastics team championships Friday night at the University of Georgia, Postell rebounded from a second-place finish in the NCAA all-around Thursday night to post the finest all-around score in the team championships — 39.75.
That's three 9.95s and a 9.90, and it beat the No. 2 all-arounder, LSU's Ashleigh Clare-Kearney, by 1.25 points.
It also bought Utah its third straight second-place team finish. Georgia won its fourth straight national team title at 197.45 to Utah's 197.125.
"I think it's just easier to compete when we have a competition like this for tonight because I know it counts more, and I just try to do the best I can to contribute and help the team out, and I know the team feels the same way," said the most decorated gymnast in Utah history.
"I really just think it's the hype that comes with tonight and knowing that it's a team thing and it's Super Six," Postell said.
"I feel good. You know me, I always try to do my best, and when I'm not, I'm always disappointed I don't meet my standards, but I think nights like this help me be a better competitor and be able to contribute a lot better."
Postell had the night's highest scores in vault, bars and floor and was second on beam Friday night. The event victories and all-around victory gave her a school-record 120 career wins with a possibility of three more tonight in the NCAA individual event finals at 4 p.m. MDT at Georgia's Stegeman Coliseum.
Friday's all-around win also gives Postell a tie for the Ute single-season record of 11, originally set by Suzanne Metz in 1995.
Postell now holds or is tied for all five of Utah's major school records — for career all-around wins (30), all-arounds in a season (11), event wins in a season (47), career event wins (120) and All-American awards (20).
"I'm happy, and I'm happy everyone else did good, too, so it wasn't just me tonight who did what they were supposed to," she said. "It was everyone, so it was nice to join in with the team and be really excited.
"We're owning that second place," Postell added a little sarcastically but with some pride as well.


E-mail: lham@desnews.com

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