Everything for the No. 2-ranked, 4-0 Utah gymnastics team was just peachy before Monday's practice.
By Tuesday's practice, Utah was missing four athletes, including top all-arounder Ashley Postell due to injury and illnesses, with another gymnast feeling poorly but sticking it out in the gym.
"We'll see how deep we are," said coach Greg Marsden, whose team, coming off the nation's highest score of 197.75 last Friday, has a meet at rival BYU in the Marriott Center Friday at 7 p.m.
Postell, who hit a career-high 39.80 in the all-around and got a perfect 10 on vault and 9.975 on floor last Friday, was sent home from Monday's practice and again from Tuesday's with a respiratory disorder, likely a head/chest cold.
Nina Kim, who had her career-high in all-around with 39.55 Friday, also missed Tuesday's practice with the same type of illness, one that had hit sophomores Jamie Deetscreek and Stephanie Neff last week, said Marsden. Freshman Gael Mackie was feeling as though she was coming down with something as well but stayed in the gym Tuesday.
Senior Jessica Duke practiced Monday but spent Monday night throwing up and was still ill Tuesday.
While the illnesses may subside, there is only one more practice this week.The biggest problem is with Neff, who dismounted from a practice bars routine Monday, feeling what Marsden called a "sharp burn" in an attachment to her left Achilles tendon. She was to visit a doctor, but Marsden guessed that could take some time to heal. "That is disappointing because she's been doing a great job for us," said Marsden. "Even in a best-case scenario, she's going to be out for a while."