Tory Wilson couldn’t be stopped by faulty balance beam equipment, gravity or controversial judging Friday as she led Utah’s fifth-ranked gymnastics team to a 197.125-193.475 win over Washington in front of 13,933 at the Huntsman Center.
Wilson won the all-around with a 39.025. While the score was short of her season high, the way she earned it was impressive.
Wilson saved her balance beam routine when the cap on the end of the beam slipped off just as she pushed off the beam. She managed to land the routine with just a small slip, scoring a 9.725.
Afterward, she joked that she was perfecting a “one-legged dismount.”
But that unexpected trick had nothing on her floor routine.
Wilson, a junior who is known for her powerful tumbling, threw a full twisting double layout, a trick rarely performed by any gymnast, male or female.
She stepped out and scored only 9.6 after the automatic two-tenth deduction, but the lower score didn’t lessen the moment as she was engulfed by teammates after the routine.
“It’s something I have been working on and playing around with and I wanted to compete it at some point,” she said. “We thought this would be a good week to do it.”
The only other female collegiate gymnasts believed to have performed the move were Penn State’s Brandi Personett, who competed the trick in 2010, and UCLA’s Kristen Maloney in 2005.
“I think I was more excited for her to do it than she was,” teammate Becky Tutka said. “Adding another twist to that, it’s almost unheard of.”
Wilson has been working the trick in practice off and on since the summer. Earlier in the week coach Greg Marsden jokingly asked if they’d ever see it in a meet. To his surprise, Wilson said she was ready to go for it.
The Utes put her last in the lineup in case there were breaks in other routines that would have necessitated a safer routine from Wilson. But her teammates set her up with several 9.9s.
“You might not see it all the time, but it was fun to do and fun to keep the sport more exciting,” Wilson said.
While it isn’t consistent enough for her to use every meet, Marsden didn’t rule out the possibility she could do it again in the future.
“It will depend on how things go,” he said. “I’d love for her to get into floor finals at nationals and do it. That would be fun.”
Wilson’s routine was the highlight of a rather mundane meet for the Utes. Tight judging on the vault led to their season low of 49.325, and illnesses and injuries caused them to shuffle the lineups elsewhere.
The result was a sufficient win that lacked some of the usual big scores the team has earned this year.
Most surprising were the vault scores, where Wilson (9.9) and Kailah Delaney (9.925) were the only ones to crack the 9.9 mark.
“Those kinds of things are out of our control,” Marsden said. “You can’t be overly affected by that. Where it affects us the most is when someone sticks a big vault and the crowd expects to see a bigger score. You could really feel the tension on and off throughout the night.”
No. 4 Utah 197.125, Washington 193.475
R In short • Shuffled lineups and some surprisingly low scores on the vault doesn’t prevent the Utes from beating the Huskies for the 20th straight time in Salt Lake City.
Vault • Kailah Delaney (Utah) 9.925
Uneven bars • Nansy Damianova (Utah) 9.925
Balance beam • Mary Beth Lofgren (Utah) 9.9
Floor • Lia Del Priore (Utah) 9.95
All-around • Tory Wilson (Utah) 39.025