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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 finish third at Pac-12 meet

Utah's gymnastics team was just a few routines away from winning the program's first Pac-12 title. Instead, the Utes fell to third.

Three routines with major breaks on the balance beam dropped the Utes from first to third as home team Oregon State surged to the win with a 197.85 while UCLA was second (197.375) followed by Utah (197.075) and Stanford (196.625). Earlier in the day, Washington had the high score in the afternoon session with a 195.875 followed by Arizona (195.525), Cal (195.075) and Arizona State (193.425).

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Utah coach Greg Marsden said he knew balance beam was going to be Utah's weak event this year. His concerns have come to life in inconsistency. Some weeks the Utes roll on the event in others, well, they stumble as they did Saturday.

Utah's beam score of 48.825 was the first time the Utes were below the 49 mark in seven meets.

"It is too bad," he said. "It is hard to close out on that event and at times we have been able to do that this year, but not tonight," he said. "We were competing to stay on the beam. It is hard to be upset because we didn't count a fall, but we did everything but fall in some of the routines. We had some little hops on bars too but those were little things."

Utah's Lia Del Priore admitted it was hard for the Utes to maintain their focus in the final events, particularly since the format of competing one gymnast at a time made it easy to see the scores.

"It was definitely good and bad," she said. "We try not to pay attention to the scores but when they are right there it's hard not to. We didn't handle beam well, but it was still a good score."

Just not good enough.

The Utes find out on Monday where they will go for the NCAA Regional Championships.

- Lya Wodraska

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