When does 197.425 beat 197.85?

When 197.425 is your second-best score of the season and is thus the highest score you can count in the Regional Qualifying Score.

The 197.425 that the University of Utah scored on Friday night in beating Florida (196.45), Stanford (196.025) and Cal (191.50) at the Huntsman Center was enough to boost the Utes back to No. 1 in the NCAA women's gymnastics rankings this week.

UCLA, which scored a national-high of 197.85 Sunday in beating visiting Florida (196.65), actually dropped from fourth to fifth this week despite the high score, which it is unable to count.

The RQS is an average of a team's top six scores of the season — at least three of which must be road meets — with the high score tossed out. Utah has been tossing out its season-opening 197.65 ever since the rankings went from raw average to RQS on Feb. 21, but last Friday's score replaces a 196.65 against BYU as their third-best home score and raised them to a national-best 196.80 RQS and No. 1 status.

Nebraska dropped from No. 1 to No. 2, while Alabama moved from seventh to third. BYU fell from 14th to 16th, Southern Utah from 18th to 20th, and Utah State moved back into the top 25 after being 31st last week.

The Utes also reclaimed No. 1 status on the balance beam, up from third last week but lost a place to third on bars.

The Cougars are ninth in vaulting, behind Utah's sixth, for their best event ranking. Best for SUU is a tie for 16th on floor, and the Aggies' best is 18th on beam. Utah hosts Washington on Friday at 7 p.m. Individually, Ute Ashley Postell remains third (39.485) in all-around while teammate Nicolle Ford (39.365) moved into fifth once she had enough meets to qualify for an RQS. Ute Annabeth Eberle (39.330) is eighth, Rachel Tidd (39.255) is 18th and BYU's Jaime Mabray (39.225) stands 19th. Tidd (9.910) ranks third on bars.

BYU hosts Oklahoma and Utah State on Thursday at 7 p.m., and SUU is at Eastern Michigan on Saturday at 5 and at USU on Monday at 6:45.

NCAA WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS RANKINGS

            

March 7 by RQS

Rank Team RQS Average High

1. Utah 196.800 196.586 197.675

2. Nebraska 196.720 195.933 196.800

3. Alabama 196.670 196.050 197.175

4. LSU 196.660 196.167 197.250

5. UCLA 196.610 195.795 197.850

6. Florida 196.605 196.222 196.950

7. Michigan 196.540 196.500 197.800

8. Georgia 196.355 196.011 197.275

9. Oklahoma 196.070 195.550 196.700

10. Iowa State 195.840 195.544 196.925

16. BYU 195.055 194.864 196.125

20. So. Utah 194.570 194.178 196.175

25. Utah State 194.280 193.719 195.900