Coming off a victory at home in what Coach Greg Marsden calls "such a manic-depressive meet" Monday against Cal-Fullerton, the No. 1-ranked University of Utah gymnasts need to pull things back together in a hurry as they travel to fourth-ranked Oregon State for a dual meet Friday night in Gill Coliseum, site of their 1990 NCAA championship.
Utah downed Oregon State 193.35-189.75 in its season opener Jan. 14 in the Huntsman Center. The Beavers, now 7-1, looked like anything but a No. 4 team then, but that's no barometer for this meet."They'll be a much better team for three reasons," says Marsden. "One, they're much more experienced. Two, Joy Selig (1990 NCAA beam and floor exercise champion) is healthy and back in the all-around. And, three, they're at home. Oregon state is definitely one of the top four teams in the country."
This starts a stretch that sees the Utes on the road for three straight meets and four of the last five of the regular season.
Utah holds the NCAA team (195.6) and individual all-around (39.5 by Missy Marlowe) records. Marlowe tied the NCAA bars record with a perfect 10.0 Monday in the "manic-depressive" meet. Marsden termed it that because, despite Marlowe's best-ever vault (9.9) and bars, a school-record 49.1 team score on bars and other individual highlights (Jessica Smith's career-high 9.85 on floor, Jenny Donaldson's career-high 9.8 on bars), the Utes were inconsistent.
Oregon State has scored above 190 four times and hit its season road high, 191.8, in the last meet - at San Jose. The Beavers' best is 192.45 at home against Washington.Meanwhile, last week's home meet against Boise State provided the highest score of the season (190.4) and the second-highest in school history for the eighth-ranked BYU women's gymnastics team, and now the Cougars head up to Boise in hopes of duplicating that feat. They meet again Friday night.
"I'd like to have a meet where we stick all our routines," says BYU Coach Brad Cattermole.
Top all-arounder for BYU this season, senior Marianne Squires, has recorded three scores of 38 or better and has a season high of 38.15. In last week's meet, Cougar freshman Christy McAdams grabbed her first 38.0 all-around score and junior BYU record-holder Korie Jackman proved she has recovered from preseason ankle injuries by scoring 37.55 in her first all-around appearance this season.
Sophomore Jane Greenwood underwent minor surgery earlier this week and will be out of the lineup for at least two weeks. Replacing her will be freshman Carrie Burk on vault and sophomore Marnie Hammon on floor.