Good thing Utah’s gymnastics team has more depth this year than it has in many seasons. The Utes are going to need it.
Utah’s 2014 season began on a down note Saturday when junior Kassandra Lopez tore her Achilles tendon during warmups.
Lopez was scheduled to compete on the bars, beam and vault Saturday and was expected to be one of Utah’s contributors in the all-around this year thanks to her consistency.
The 2012 regional runner-up on the bars and beam, Lopez was 45-of-49 for her career.
Lopez is the second gymnast in as many years to tear her Achilles. Senior Corrie Lothrop tore hers last year and received a medical hardship since she missed most of the year with the injury.
Lopez has a redshirt year available, although the Utes would have loved to have had her experience this year.
While the Utes have a lot of depth, they were counting on Lopez in the balance beam and uneven bars lineups, where the Utes have the least amount of depth.
Lopez’ absence from the balance beam will put more pressure on Georgia Dabritz to become a consistent contributor in the event. Tory Wilson replaced Lopez in the uneven bars lineup and earned a 9.95. However, the Utes suffered two falls on the event with Nansy Damianova scoring just 9.3 and Lothrop scoring only 9.075 after falling. Becky Tutka replaced Lopez on the vault with a 9.875.
In the stands
The announced attendance for Saturday’s meet was 14,910. Utah led the nation in 2013 averaging 14,349 fans. Season tickets are still available.