Utah Utes gymnastics: Utes looking to overcome No. 2 status

Published: Monday, Oct. 5 2015 3:12 a.m. MDT

After finishing second to Georgia the last three years at the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships, the Utes have spent the last 11 months saying how tired they are of being second and that it's time to upwardly change that.

But when the final regular-season NCAA rankings came out Monday, the Utes had eight more No. 2s under their belts.

They go into the April 4 NCAA Regional at Washington as the country's second-ranked team behind Georgia.

And as a team, they rank second in each of the four events — vault, bars, beam and floor.

Also, senior Kristina Baskett finished the regular season ranked second in the all-around (39.62), tied for second in vaulting with Georgia's Courtney Kupets (9.94) and second to Kupets on bars (9.93).

"We're like second on every event," said Baskett. "I usually never look at the rankings, but we needed the rankings to change a little bit in order to be sent to Washington (for the regional), so I was looking at the rankings. And everything I clicked on, I was like second. And I just said, "Eh-yeh.

"Really, we just want to be first in April (at the NCAA Championships)."

"I think we have to look at in a positive way," said senior Nina Kim. "Yeah, it sucks to be second, but I think we're great at competing and working at that underdog position, so I think it will keep us a little bit hungrier."

RANKINGS VARIETY: For a little variety, the 39.575 Kim scored Friday at BYU help rocket Kim from 11th place in the all-around rankings to sixth (39.485).

"I don't even pay attention to that. Don't even tell me," said Kim, laughing. "It is neat, but it is just results and rankings, so hopefully I can be up there when the real thing (nationals) comes. But the first thing is team."

She also moved from 19th to 10th in vaulting (9.91) after a 9.95 Friday and went from sixth to fifth on beam (9.91). Junior Daria Bijak moved from eighth to seventh on bars (9.90).

BIG JUMP: Junior Annie DiLuzio also made a major move in the rankings, thanks to the career-high 9.975 she scored on floor at BYU. She went from 20th to a tie for 12th.

What was big for her, though, was seeing that "10.0" come up from one of the judges. "I've never seen that before," she said. "It didn't even seem real. I had only seen the 9.95, and somebody had to hit me: 'Annie, oh my gosh, you got a 10 from one of them.'"

She did that big routine without her biggest trick, the double Arabian. She did the triple twist instead.

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