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Utah gymnastics: Utes still not satisfied with beam lineup

Published February 3, 2014 4:44 pm

Women's gymnastics • They were solid at Arizona State, but think they can do better
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah's balance beam rotation at Arizona State was good, just not quite good enough to satisfy. As such, the fourth-ranked Utes could be using their third straight different lineup on Friday when they host No. 13 Arizona.

The Utes are considering using freshman Baely Rowe as the leadoff gymnast, which would make Friday her first experience in the crucial position.

The Utes used Breanna Hughes in the spot on Saturday instead of Corrie Lothrop in hopes it would solidify the lineup. Hughes fell and while the rest of the lineup hit; the Utes obviously want a more consistent lineup.

"It's not usual to have a freshman in that spot but it has been a pretty solid event for her," Utah coach Greg Marsden said of Rowe. "It's something we are going to take a look at this week."

The Utes haven't given up on Hughes, either, he said. Her fall was the first of her career, ending a streak of 33 made routines.

"She has one mistake in a year and a half and you definitely don't want to panic," he said. "But we'll see how things go this week."

Rowe, who has earned back-to-back 9.825s on the beam, said she was up for the challenge.

"I don't see anything different where you go in the lineup," she said. "I've always loved beam."

Lothrop, who scored a career-high 9.95 against the Sun Devils as the anchor in the lineup, said she didn't mind where she went either.

"I had longer to wait and more time, but once I got into my head and started thinking about my routine it was OK," she said. "I'll go wherever they want me to go."

New territory

Utah is off to its first 6-0 start since 2008, a statistic that might surprise many who grew accustomed to the Utes enjoying undefeated regular seasons in their gymnastics heyday.

However, such seasons have became rare as parity in the sport has increased, Marsden noted.

"Before you had to worry about just three or four teams and now it's a lot more that have gotten competitive," he said. "You don't take it for granted anymore to win because if you have an off night, almost anyone can beat you."

Utah's only loss in the 2008 regular season was against Florida on March 14. The Utes had just one loss in 2009 as well, but since that season have had at least three losses or ties per season.

In the rankings

The Utes are ranked No. 1 on the vault (49.5), No. 3 on the floor (49.4), No. 5 on the bars (49.238) and No. 13 on the beam (48.875). Georgia Dabritz is No. 2 on the bars (9.931) and floor (9.938) and is tied with teammate Tory Wilson for No. 6 on the vault (9.913). Kailah Delaney is No. 2 on the vault (9.931).

Get there early

On Saturday, Marsden said he was happy to earn his 1,000 win on the road so it wouldn't be as big of a deal. However, he can't escape the limelight. School officials are planning to recognize him for his achievement with a pre-meet presentation on Friday.

The presentation will be at 6:45 p.m. so the meet can start on time for broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks. —

Top 25 rankings

1. Florida 197.413

2. Oklahoma 197.294

3. LSU 197.225

4. Utah 196.963

5. Georgia 196.871

6. Michigan 196.863

7. Alabama 196.788

8. Nebraska 196.575

9. UCLA 196.375

10. Auburn 196.125

11. Arkansas 196.113

12. Stanford 196.088

13. Arizona 196.006

14. Illinois 195.831

15. Minnesota 195.785

16. Oregon St. 195.75

17. Denver 195.594

18. Boise St. 195.569

19. Central Michigan 195.12

20. Arizona St. 195.106

21. Ohio St. 195.088

22. California 195.01

23. Penn St. 194.98

24. Washington 194.738

25. Kent St. 194.656 —

Arizona at Utah

Friday, 7 p.m.

TV: None