The season opener is a month away, and many of the athletes don't have full routines completely ready.

But University of Utah gymnastics fans can get a first look at the 2005 edition of the team—including the Utes' first world champion, freshman Ashley Postell—tonight at 7 in the Huntsman Center in the second annual "Sneak Peek." Admission is free.

Just Thursday, the national coaches' preseason rankings were released, and Utah stands No. 5 with two first-place votes and 530 points, one less than No. 4 Alabama (531). Two-time defending champion UCLA is No. 1, followed by Georgia and Stanford with Florida No. 6. BYU is ranked 18th, Utah State 30th and Southern Utah 31st.

The team will be introduced to fans—some 3,000 attended last year—and will go through demonstration routines. The athletes will also sign autographs.

Postell was 2002 world balance beam champion and was a favorite to make the 2004 U.S. Olympic team, but illness and recovery from shoulder surgery left her one place shy of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials. She actually could have gone anyway as the first alternate because injury forced another athlete out, but she chose instead to spend the summer preparing to go to Utah.

Other members of the 2005 Ute team who should be on hand tonight include senior NCAA all-around hopeful and 2004 NCAA vault runner-up Annabeth Eberle; two-time first-team all-American Nicolle Ford; regional vault champion Rachel Tidd; veterans Dominique D'Oliveira, regional floor co-champion Gritt Hofmann, Stephanie Lim, Natalie Nicoloff, Gabi Onodi and Kristen Riffanacht and freshmen Jessica Duke of Sandy and Katie Kivisto of Boca Raton, Fla.

Utah opens its season hosting UCLA on Jan. 7.


2005 Women's pre-season coaches' poll

            

Rank Team Points 1st place votes

1 UCLA 608 15

2 Georgia 565 3

3 Stanford 554 4

4 Alabama 531 1

5 Utah 530 2

6 Florida 510 1

7 Michigan 479

8 LSU 444

9 Arizona State 387

10 Nebraska 386

11 Oklahoma 352

12 Oregon State 280

13 Arizona 264

14 Iowa State 256

15 No. Carolina 240

16 Auburn 221

17 Iowa 196

18 BYU 178

19 Penn State 173

20 Denver 160

21 Washington 117

22 Missouri 105

23 West Virginia 92

24 Arkansas 90

25 California 86

Other teams receiving votes:

Minnesota, Michigan State, Illinois, Boise State, Utah State, Southern Utah, NC State, Ohio State, New Hampshire, Kent State, Maryland, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Illinois-Chicago, Kentucky, San Jose State, Fullerton.