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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Utah gymnasts earn big win

Utah senior Stephanie McAllister said she can't remember the last time she felt the atmosphere in the Huntsman Center as intense as it was Friday night. That thought probably was shared by many as the top-ranked Utes edged No. 4 Georgia 197.15-196.95.

Credit Utah's season high of 49.5 on the floor for keeping the Gym Dogs from getting the upset. Credit too Utah's young gymnasts who continue to seem unfazed by pressure situations.

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The Utes didn't have a fall in the meet and had their best floor rotation when they needed it most.

Watching them compete, one would never know 11 of Utah's 15 gymnasts are freshmen and sophomores.

"When you recruit, you never know how they are going to make that transition into college," Utah coach Greg Marsden said. "Sometimes it takes a year or two to fully get it. It is unusual we have this many young people on a team with this much composure."

The win left the Utes feeling every bit like the top-ranked team they are.

"It was awesome," senior Stephanie McAllister said. "Obviously Georgia is a good team and Greg told us it was going to be head-to-head and routine-to-routine and that is exactly what happened. When we ended it on floor, we knew we just needed to show it off and do our thing."

If all goes well, both teams looked like they have the caliber of teams to be battling again at the NCAA Championships.

But no doubt, the Utes will take some time to enjoy Friday's win before thinking about the future, it was one well earned.



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