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Utah gymnastics: Coach can't explain loss

Published March 18, 2008 2:54 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah gymnastics coach Greg Marsden went back and looked at film of Utah's 197.7-196.875 loss to Florida Friday.

There were little breaks here and there, but his team hit 24 of 24 routines and stuck most of its dismounts. Overall, there wasn't much he could complain about as the Utes gathered for practice Monday.

"It comes down to this," he said. "You do your best to prepare and be as ready as you can be, but part of it is if it is your night or not."

It was Florida's night Friday, just as it could be Michigan's on Saturday and who knows whose night it will be at the NCAA championships.

That is the realization the Utes are coming to as the season winds down - as good as their season has been, others are having just as great seasons and a little bit of luck is involved when the top teams face each other.

"It has to be your night," Marsden said. "It's like that at the championships. You have to get through regionals first and that is always a scary meet and the first night you have to be good enough to get to the Super Six, then it has to be your night."

Florida was buoyed by the energy of senior night and going up against the higher-ranked Utes, a situation the Utes will find themselves in again Saturday at Michigan. The Wolverines (18-0) and Oklahoma (17-0) are the only undefeated teams left.

"I'd like us to do better and keep taking steps forward, but it's going to be another tough situation for us," Marsden said. "Hopefully that will be good enough for us to win. If it's not, then it's not."

Road trip

Freshman Jacquelyn Johnson will travel with the team to Michigan since it is close to her hometown of West Chester, Ohio.

Johnson, sidelined with a broken metatarsal, hasn't made a trip with the team since their first road meet Jan. 25 at Arizona State.

It got a little lonely while her teammates were at Florida and the rest of the school was out on spring break, she said.

"I watched a lot of movies and did a lot of cleaning, stuff I don't normally do," she said.

Johnson's foot is healing, but Marsden said it is doubtful she'll be able to compete this year.

"She's still not tumbling or vaulting, I just don't know with five weeks left what she can do," he said.

Injury update

Junior Kristina Baskett's foot is feeling better after two days rest. She took some elements out of her floor routine Friday in hopes she can get it healed before the postseason.

"It's better, but once the ligaments get stretched out and bruised over and over again it bothers me," she said. "I'm trying to stay away from hard landings and taping it to keep it getting better."

In the rankings

Utah switched places with Florida, slipping to third. The Utes are ranked ahead of Michigan by .24.

Falling a spot wasn't ideal, but nothing to fret about, the Utes said.

"Florida did have a really big score but we still have a couple more meets left," Baskett said. "We're not going to lose sleep over it."

lwodraska@sltrib.com