Well, that's a new way to slow down the second-ranked, 12-1 University of Utah gymnastics team.

The Utes were to leave Salt Lake City Thursday afternoon for Minneapolis and Saturday's NCAA North Central Regional at the University of Minnesota. They boarded their plane at Salt Lake International, but then the flight was canceled due to high winds and other bad weather in the Twin Cities.

Coach Greg Marsden said Thursday night he was first told that seats were so scarce they might not even be able to get into Minnesota by Saturday, but then a way was found to send the Utes through Billings, Mont., today and onto a Northwest flight from Billings to Minneapolis that's supposed to arrive about 5 p.m. However, Marsden said 8 inches of snow is predicted for the Twin Cities today, so air travel may still be iffy.

The Utes will miss today's scheduled workouts in the Sports Pavilion. They have competed at Minnesota this season so are familiar with the arena, and Marsden said he hopes the change won't throw everything off. "It's not ideal, but we'll have to make the best of it," he said.

Teams that finish in the top two at each of the nation's six, six-team regionals advance to the 2008 NCAA Championships at Georgia April 24-26.

E-mail: lham@desnews.com