Kailah was limited to vault for most of her freshman season due to knee problems and then she missed all of last year after surgery. It’s been a long time since she has competed and to see her do so well tonight, not just on vault but everywhere, was exciting. —Greg Marsden, Utah co-head coach
SALT LAKE CITY— The Utah gymnastics team's annual Red Rocks preview was a little bit for the gymnasts, a little bit for the fans, and a little bit for the coaches. All in all, it was a fun atmosphere with no scoring that helped the gymnasts get the kinks out while showcasing what they’ll bring before the Huntsman Center faithful during their 2014 campaign.
Utah co-head coach Greg Marsden said his team had some bright spots Friday, along with spots that need improvement. But overall the coach was especially happy with his team’s floor and beam performances.
“Beam was much improved tonight, and with Corrie (Lothrop) and Kailah (Delaney) back it helps a lot,” said Marsden.
Lothrop missed most of last season after tearing her Achilles, while Delaney didn’t compete in 2013 because of a knee injury. Having both All-Americans back for 2014, along with the addition of freshman Baely Rowe, who was the 2013 Junior Olympic all-around champion, should bolster an already talented Utah team’s depth.
Floor included big tumbling passes from Tory Wilson and Becky Tutka. But the biggest cheers on the event came for Lothrop, who didn’t even tumble. Limited because of the recovery, Lothrop performed her routine without the tumbling passes to roars from the crowd.
“I had some nerves tonight, and almost felt like a freshman again,” said the senior Lothrop.
Lothrop also competed on bars and beam, but fell in her bar routine, along with three of her teammates.
Marsden and Lothrop said they weren’t too worried about bars because Friday night’s falls weren’t reflective of preseason practices on the event, but stressed they’d address the falls in practice.
Eight gymnasts went all-around on the night, including Delaney.
“Kailah was limited to vault for most of her freshman season due to knee problems and then she missed all of last year after surgery. It’s been a long time since she has competed and to see her do so well tonight, not just on vault but everywhere, was exciting,” said Marsden.
Ranked No. 6 nationally in the preseason poll, Utah opens its regular season Jan. 11 at the Huntsman Center, hosting a quad meet with BYU, Southern Utah and Boise State.