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Utah gymnastics notes: Utes’ focus on the little things paying off already

First Published      Last Updated Feb 23 2017 06:49 pm


Utah gymnastics notes » A 10th here and a 10th there add up over the course of a season.

Utah's gymnastics team felt it was giving away too many 10ths last season when the Utes had just one gymnast, Breanna Hughes, who competed a 10.0-worthy vault.

So shoring up that weakness was a big goal for 2017.

The focus is already paying off for the Utes, who opened their season with a 196.625-195.525 win over Michigan on Saturday.

The Utes have four gymnasts who can perform 10.0-worthy vaults, giving themselves a more competitive lineup at the national level, coach Megan Marsden said.

Utah scored 49.1 on the event Saturday, but the coaches believe there is a lot of potential for bigger scores since Saturday's mark reflected some shaky landings.




The coaches aren't too concerned about the landings because the gymnasts have not had many reps of hard landings.

"Those will come," Marsden said. "We worked hard this summer to get those vaults because we felt like we were behind the eight ball last year. We don't want to give away those tenths so we worked really hard this summer and it has paid off."

Utah's effort was good enough to earn the Utes a No. 6 ranking nationally in the event. LSU had the weekend's best vault performance, scoring 49.525.

In the future

Marsden expects freshman Missy Reinstadtler, who did not break into any lineups on Saturday, to be a factor in the future as she continues to recover from a stress fracture in her foot.

A two-time Junior Olympic national champion, Reinstadtler is behind now because of the injury, but is catching up fast, Marsden said.

"Her quality of movement, she is an elite level athlete," Marsden said. "People will see that when she competes. She is between a 9.9 and a 10.0, so her future is bright. We just need to get her an opportunity or two."

Finding a way to do that is tough, Marsden said, because the team performed so well Saturday.

"No one pulled themselves out of the lineups," Marsden said. "That is a good thing."

In the rankings

The Utes moved up one spot to No. 5 based on their win Saturday while this week's opponent, BYU, is ranked No. 21. Utah's MyKayla Skinner is fourth in the all-around (39.55) and MaKenna Merrell is 10th (39.425). Skinner is also eighth in the vault (9.9), fourth in the bars (9.9) and tied with Merrell for sixth in the floor (9.9). … Utah senior Baely Rowe is third in the balance beam (9.925).

 

AT A GLANCE

Top 25

Rank, School Average

1. LSU 197.825

2. Oklahoma 197.75

3. Florida 197.1

4. Alabama 196.7

5. Utah 196.625

6. Missouri 196.225

7. Denver 195.875

8. UCLA 195.7

9. Oregon St. 195.575

10. George Washington 195.55

11. Michigan 195.525

12. Arkansas 195.35

13. Auburn 195.275

14. Kentucky 195.075

15. NC State 194.925

16. Northern Ill. 194.825

17. Minnesota 194.725

18. Penn St. 194.625

19. West Va. 194.4

20. Ohio St. 194.375

21. BYU 194.225

22. Illinois-Champaign 194.2 22. Iowa 194.2

24. Michigan St. 194.175

25. Arizona 194.025


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