Lucky thing warmups don't count. After what coach Greg Marsden called a "horrible warmup", the Utes proceeded to rack up their best road score of the year to defeat the hard-charging Washington Huskies 196.225-195.225.
"Our gymnasts looked like they didn't want to be here in warmups," admitted Marsden, after his No. 2 ranked Utes improved their record to 5-1 against the No. 17 Huskies (7-3). "We had to learn the lesson that warmups don't count in the final score. This is a big win for us because Washington is a very good team and was really up and ready for us."Utah not only overcame a bad warmup and a school-record 49.35 floor score by Washington in the last rotation, it shrugged off a one-event performance by freshman all-around sensation Shannon Bowles, who performed only on bars due to a foot injury. The Utes were also without vault and bar competitor Sarah Northrop, who was sick.
Marsden was particularly impressed with his team's meet-clinching beam effort. Led by senior Traci Sommer's season-high 9.95, Utah knocked a big monkey off its back by pulling off a 49.05.
BOISE STATE BEATS USU: Utah State's gymnastics team started out on a strong note, but it was not an indication of things to come as Boise State put together four solid rotations to defeat the Aggies 194.450-193.425 in front of 1,868 fans at the Spectrum in Logan. It was the first-ever win for the Broncos in Logan.
Utah State had a solid start on vault, tying or setting season-highs on four of its six vaults, winding up with a score of 48.300. It was the Aggies best vault score of the year. Utah State was led by Kristin O'Dell's 9.750. Boise State was up to the challenge, however, scoring a 49.025 to take the early lead. The Broncos posted three scores above the 9.8 mark, led by Johnna Evans' 9.900.
In the second rotation, the Aggies made a run back at the Broncos on the bars. Led by Christy Denson's 9.775 and Emily Swank's 9.800, Utah State posted a strong 48.650, its second-best score of the season. The Aggies couldn't put much of a dent in the Boise State lead as the Broncos wound up with a 48.500 on vault, led once again by Evans.
Utah State lost its chance to catch up in the third rotation. Normally a solid beam team, the Aggies were not sharp, having to count a pair of falls. Krissy Richards led the Aggies with a 9.850 and Kerry Griggers posted a 9.800, leading the team to a score of 47.725. Meanwhile on the floor Boise State was posting scores consistently above the 9.6 mark. Led by Heather Werners' 9.800, Boise State increased its lead with a 48.550.
BYU MEN DEFEAT AFA: With Air Force in town and several gymnasts suffering from nagging injuries, BYU coach Mako Sakamoto elected to rest several of his top gymnasts on selected events. The changes in lineup resulted in some lower scores than usual, but BYU still came away with an easy 222.6-208.65 win over the Cadets Friday night in Provo.
Even with some less than scintillating performances on the first five events, the Cougars had a respectable 187.65 score going into the high bar event.
After Ernie Higbee started out the event with a solid 9.3, it looked like the Cougars might score in the 125 range, but the next four athletes all had falls, some of them more than one, and Rob Rimpini's 9.45 to end the set could only pull BYU's score up to a 34.95 on high bar and a 222.6 overall.