Gymnasts shuffle vault lineup for opening day of NCAA Champs
Duluth, Ga. • Utah's seventh-seeded gymnastics team is playing it a little conservative in its session here at the NCAA Championships.
The Utes, who compete with UCLA, LSU, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Stanford at 10 a.m. MT at the Gwinnett Center, are moving sophomore Corrie Lothrop back to second in the vault lineup, where she will compete with her old vault.
Lothrop has been competing last in the last three meets with a new vault which has earned scores of 9.825 at Florida, 9.9 in the Pac-12 Championships and 9.725 in the NCAA Regionals.
However, Lothrop hasn't been training the new vault well in the last few training sessions. The Utes decided to move her back to a spot earlier in the lineup, since her old vault (layout full) isn't worth as much as the new one (Yurchenko half on front pike off).
The Utes must finish in the top three of the competition to advance to Saturday's Super Six.
Utah has lost twice to UCLA this year, split with Nebraska and beat Stanford.
Nebraska, which lost the regional title to Utah, will have the services of sophomore Jamie Schleppenbach today.
Schleppenbach sat out the regional meet with a sore elbow. She is the nation's 10th-ranked vaulter with a 9.915 average.
The later session has a decidedly SEC flair, with defending champion Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas and Florida competing along with Oregon State and Ohio State.
In addition to deciding which teams will advance to the Super Six, today's preliminary rounds will decide the individual all-around champion and which individuals qualify for Sunday's event finals.
Individuals who place in the top four on each event, including ties, will compete Sunday.