Utah gymnastics: Utes get another shot at Nebraska Huskers
Utah's gymnastics team can exact some revenge and qualify for the NCAA Championships, all in one meet.
Fifth-ranked Nebraska, which beat the Utes 197.6-197.45 in their final regular-season home meet, is the top seed in the NCAA's Salt Lake City Regional on April 7 at the Hunstman Center.
The top two teams will advance to the NCAA Championships April 20-22 in Duluth, Ga.
"It will definitely be interesting to go up against them again," sophomore Corrie Lothrop said. "Hopefully we can find our stride and build on it heading into nationals."
The Utes have won 26 regional titles out of the 37 championships in which they have participated.
Rather than focusing on winning, the Utes are stressing the need for a complete meet without any major mistakes. Of course, if they can do that, winning just might take care of itself.
The Utes are painfully aware of how devastating a fall can be, after they lost their shot at the Pac-12 title Saturday when two gymnasts fell off the balance beam. UCLA won the meet with a 197.425, and Utah was second with a 197.375.
"That is why we have been focusing on the process rather than the outcome," Utah coach Greg Marsden said. "If we do better with the process and handling situations and not second-guessing ourselves, the outcome will take care of itself."
The Utes didn't have a fall in their loss to the Huskers, but had a few small breaks on balance beam that gave Nebraska an opportunity to win.
"We know they are a good team," senior Kyndal Robarts said. "We have to approach it like we did the Pac-12s and try to be focused but have fun, too."
Going up against the Huskers should give the Utes a good idea of what lies ahead for them at the NCAA Championships.
"Through the years many times it has come down to one or the other of us in prelims going forward to the Super Six," Marsden said. "Obviously we know they are a good team since they beat us on our home floor."
With almost two weeks until their next competition, the Utes will go lighter in practice this week. Marsden said the team is technically sound but continues to struggle with consistency.
"As I've said before, it's different people having different problems," he said. "It's something we'll keep working on, but we are running out of time. We can compete with anybody if we quit beating ourselves."
NCAA regional selections
Utah will host the Salt Lake City Regional on April 7 at 6 p.m. at the Huntsman Center.
Salt Lake City Regional
San Jose State
Auburn, Ala. Regional
Fayetteville, Ark. Regional
Champaign, Ill. Regional
Raleigh, N.C., Regional
North Carolina State
Central Michigan Top 25 final rankings
Ranking team RQS previous
1. Florida 197.445 1
2. Oklahoma 197.36 2
3. UCLA 197.27 4
4. Alabama 197.245 3
5. Nebraska 197.03 6
6. Georgia 196.995 5
7. Oregon St. 196.76 8
8. Utah 196.705 7
9. LSU 196.57 8
10. Arkansas 196.545 10
11. Stanford 196.41 11
12. Ohio St. 196.245 13
13. Penn St. 196.23 12
14. Denver 196.09 18
15. Boise St. 196.055 14
16. Arizona 196.02 17
17. Minnesota 195.985 16
18. Auburn 195.965 15
19. Missouri 195.925 19
20. North Carolina St. 195.87 20
21. Michigan 195.825 21
22. Illinois 195.695 23
23. Washington 195.595 22
24. Kentucky (24) and Iowa St. (25) 195.49