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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 say they will learn from Pac-12 loss

Even though they didn't win the Pac-12 championship Saturday, Utah's gymnastics team wasn't totally crushed. The level of their competition, plus their strong finish, seemed to ease the disappointment of missing out on the school's first title.

"We've been without a conference for a long time so if tonight was anything like what this is going to be like, we're in for a fun ride," Utah coach Greg Marsden said.

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The Utes finished second with a 197.375 while UCLA won with a 197.425. Oregon State was third (197.025), and Stanford was fourth (196.825).

Arizona posted the highest score in the afternoon session with a 195.9 followed by Arizona State (194.55), Washington (194.125) and California (193.525).

The Utes, who finished the regular season on a two-meet slide, had a chance to win the title when they scored a 49.6 on the uneven bars. But two falls off the balance beam did in the Utes.

"It could have been a lot of things," said freshman Kassandra Lopez. "We did good on bars and were pretty pumped and beam is something you have to chill out for and things happened. We just have to go back in the gym and work just as hard and keep improving."

The Utes' next meet will be April 7 when they host the NCAA Regionals. The field for that meet will be announced Monday at 1 p.m.

"Obviously this was an important meet and we desperately wanted to win this meet, but we have some important meets ahead of us," Marsden said. "We won't make the same mistakes again. We will learn from this."

- Lya Wodraska

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