Utah gymnastics: Utes headed to Seattle

Published March 23, 2009 4:47 pm
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The Utes have won their last two regional competitions and have qualified for every NCAA Championship.

That streak shouldn't be broken this season, with the Utes suffering just one loss, to top-ranked Georgia. They're coming off a season-high 197.8 at BYU Friday.

Utah won't have to face another Top 10 team in the competition, which could make for an easy night for the Utes (12-1).

"At this point you can argue one region is a little harder than another, but the reality is if we go do our job we will be fine," Marsden said.

By going to the west, the Utes are saving an estimated $20,000 in travel sites that the other two options would have required, according to Marsden, and made senior Kristina Baskett one happy gymnast. She is from Normandy Park, Wash.

Getting an unexpected trip home is great, but going to the regional and winning convincingly would make things even better, she said.

"This is another chance for us to get everything ready and prepared for nationals," Baskett said. "It will be great to compete against six teams, going through byes and a meet that is longer and get used to that."

Marsden said his challenge as the coach would be to make certain his team doesn't get over-confident as they head into the post-season.

Senior Nina Kim said there wasn't a chance of that happening, even when Utah is competing in what is perceived to be a weak region.

"I like how Greg worries about that," she said. "But we're not going to get too big-headed. We're going to keep working hard."

One of the most interesting regions to follow will be the Southeast, where Nebraska is the third seed. The Huskers, who normally are a Top 10 team, have struggled this season to match its own standards and won't get a chance to compete on its home floor at nationals if it doesn't come up with an upset.

Marsden said he was pulling for the Huskers to make the field, knowing the pressure that comes with hosting nationals.

"I'd hate to be running a championship and not have my team there," he said. "It would be a really bitter pill to swallow."


SUU finished the season at No. 27 with a 195.095 RQS, Utah State was No. 47 (192.825) and BYU was No. 50 (192.375).

Individually, Baskett finished the season ranked second in the all-around (39.62) and Kim finished No. 6 (39.485).

Baskett is also ranked No. 2 on the vault (9.94), second on the bars (9.93). Kim is No. 10 on the vault (9.91) and fifth on the balance beam (9.91) and Daria Bijak is No. 7 on the bars (9.9). Gael Mackie is 10th on the bars (9.89).

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NCAA Championship regional meets

West Region -- Seattle

No. 2 Utah

No. 11 Auburn

No. 14 Illinois-Champaign

No. 19 Boise State


San Jose State

North Central Region -- Iowa City, Iowa

No. 6 Florida

No. 7 UCLA

No. 18 Minnesota

No. 20 Denver

No. 23 Iowa State


Central Region -- Columbus, Ohio

No. 5 LSU

No. 8 Oregon State

No. 17 Ohio State

No. 22 Kent State

No. 25 Kentucky

Michigan State

Northeast Region -- Tuscaloosa, Ala.

No. 3 Alabama

No. 9 Oklahoma

No. 15 Missouri

Central Michigan

New Hampshire


Southeast Region -- Raleigh, N.C.

No. 1 Georgia

No. 12 Penn State

No. 13 Nebraska

No. 21 West Virginia

North Carolina State

North Carolina

Top 25

1. Georgia 197.255

2. Utah 197.19

3. Alabama 196.925

4. Stanford 196.825

5. LSU 196.76

6. Florida 196.715

7. UCLA 196.58

8. Oregon State 196.52

9. Oklahoma 196.465

10. Arkansas 196.44

11. Auburn 196.41

12. Penn State 196.24

13. Nebraska 196.095

14. Illinois-Champaign 196.015

15. Missouri 196.005

16. Michigan 195.985

17. Ohio State 195.735

18. Minnesota 195.71

19. Boise State 195.59

20. Denver 195.43

21. West Virginia 195.39

22. Kent State 195.335

23. Iowa State 195.315

24. Kentucky 195.295

25. Arizona 195.28

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