Utah gymnastics: Utes happy to have top spot another week
Pac-12 • Team will likely drop in rankings in coming weeks.
Published: February 15, 2012 04:11PM
Updated: February 14, 2012 12:05PM
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Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune Georgia Dabritz competes on the floor during the gymnastics meet against Utah State at the Huntsman Center on Friday, Jan. 13, 2012.

As much as they understand rankings are rather meaningless at this point in the season, Utah’s gymnasts conceded Monday they were a little relieved to see they maintained their spot at No. 1 for a third straight week despite having a disappointing meet at Arizona State.

The Utes, who beat the Sun Devils 196.15-194.0, have a 196.855 average, just better than No. 2 Florida in the rankings.

The Gators have a 196.833 average, which received a boost this weekend after they beat LSU 197.85-196.85.

“It’s not like we stress about it,” Utah sophomore Corrie Lothrop said of the ranking. “But we don’t want to move down, either. We want to hold it as long as possible, so it’s another reason for us to work harder.”

Unfortunately for the Utes, their reign will likely end when the rankings switch from the season average on Feb. 27 to the regional qualifying score formula.

Using the RQS, teams take their six best scores — three of which must be road scores — eliminate the high score, then average the remaining five.

Since the Utes have had only four road meets this year, they know their road scores are going to hurt them, probably to the point that they lose their top ranking.

“Even if we have much better efforts, those other scores are going to hurt us,” coach Greg Marsden said.

Until then, they’ll enjoy the view from the top and the attention the No. 1 ranking brings.

Not everyone understands gymnastics, but most understand what a No. 1 ranking is, Lothrop said. “They understand what that means. But we know as a team you always have things to work on no matter what the ranking is. No team is perfect.”

Not so bad

After reviewing Sunday’s meet, Marsden said he wasn’t too concerned with the effort, even though the Utes had to count a fall for the first time. Since the mistakes were made by Stephanie McAllister, the most consistent gymnast on the team and, freshman Georgia Dabritz, who was sick, Marsden wasn’t going to focus on the mistakes.

“I’m not going to make excuses, but when I went back and watched the film and weighed out the positives and the negatives, the positives outweighed the negatives,” he said.

Marsden was particularly happy with the team’s performance on the balance beam, where the Utes scored a 49.3.

“Beam is a tough event, and they handled it well on the road,” he said.

In the rankings

Lothrop is ranked No. 9 in the all-around (39.405), No. 6 on the floor (9.89) and No. 8 on the balance beam (9.855); McAllister is No. 8 on the uneven bars (9.875); Kyndal Robarts is No. 7 on the balance beam (9.86); Kailah Delaney is No. 9 on the vault (9.895). Utah remains No. 1 on the balance beam (49.22) and floor (49.225).

Around the state

Utah State hosts Sacramento State on Friday and will try to replicate its last outing. The Aggies enjoyed 15 career highs from their gymnasts in a season-best 194.875 losing to San Jose State (194.95). The score was the highest since Jeff Richards became the head coach three years ago. … BYU, which lost to Denver 193.75-191.85, competes at Arizona on Friday. … SUU is on a bye following its road trip over the weekend, when it finished fourth in a quad meet at Nebraska with a 191.9. The Huskers won the meet with a 196.55, followed by Michigan (195.825) and Washington (194.15).

lwodraska@sltrib.com

Top 25 Rankings

Team Ave. Pvs.

1. Utah 196.855 1

2. Florida 196.833 4

3. Oklahoma 196.696 5

4. Georgia 196.642 6

5. Arkansas 196.554 3

6. Alabama 196.54 2

7. UCLA 196.504 7

8. Oregon St. 196.305 9

9. Nebraska 196.2 8

10. Penn St. 195.988 10

11. Ohio St. 195.604 11

12. Stanford 195.595 12

13. LSU 195.429 14

14. Boise St. 195.175 15

15. Arizona 195.13 16

16. Missouri 195.017 18

17. Auburn 194.979 13

18. Illinois 194.86 19

19. N.C. St. 194.833 21

20. Denver 194.725 17

21. Michigan 194.67 22

22. West Va. 194.5 24

23. Wash. 194.425 20

24. Iowa 194.383 23

25. Arizona St. 194.346 25