Ann Arbor, Mich. • Utah's gymnastics team historically has struggled at Michigan. Apparently, being the No. 1 team in the country isn't quite enough to change that trend for the Utes.
For the second week in a row, the Utes (5-1) won a meet after trailing early, using yet another strong finish to beat No. 21 Michigan 196.05-194.85 in Ann Arbor.
Utah's final tally was a season low for the Utes, who had a similar performance at Arizona State, where they won 196.15-194.0 Sunday.
The Utes trailed Michigan 49.1-48.85 after the first rotation, as they posted their second-lowest uneven bars score of the year.
The Utes didn't have any falls on the event, but they didn't earn the big scores they've been getting, either.
Corrie Lothrop and Stephanie McAllister led the team with 9.8s.
Utah coach Greg Marsden was upset over the low scores, even though the judges were consistent in giving Michigan (6-2) a low score of 48.725 on the event, too.
"It was probably our best bar set all year, and it was by far our lowest score," he said. "It was a little ridiculous and unfair as to what is being done at other meets. For that panel of judges to decide to do that, that makes it difficult for either team on the floor to use that score for qualifications for regionals or championships."
The low score means the Utes likely will lose their top ranking.
"There is no way we can keep it," Marsden said. "But that isn't something we can concentrate on."
The Utes, who have emphasized sticking their vaults in practice recently, did a better job in that area Friday and were rewarded with a 49.2 on the event, which included 9.9s from Georgia Dabritz and Kailah Delaney.
The Utes led the Wolverines 98.05-97.825 going into the floor, where they are ranked No. 1.
The Utes earned a 49.1, including three 9.85s, while Michigan had to count a fall on the balance beam when its last two competitors fell.
Freshman Tory Wilson replaced Kyndal Robarts in the floor lineup and scored a 9.625. Marsden said Robarts asked to be pulled because she didn't feel right in warm-ups.
"We've talked to the girls about doing that, and I was proud she did that because it's hard to do," he said. "We want her to be out there at the national championships."
The Wolverines' 48.25 on the balance beam meant the Utes led comfortably, 147.15-146.075, going into the last rotation.
Utah has been very good on the balance beam under pressure this year, earning big scores on the event at UCLA (49.0), against Georgia (49.175) and at Arizona State (49.3).
Friday's lineup started a little shaky, with Kassandra Lopez battling to stay on the beam for a 9.575, but the last four up all scored 9.8 or higher to give the Utes a 48.9.
Michigan finished with a 48.775 on the floor.
"Overall, it was a pretty good meet," Marsden said. "We made a few mistakes, but it was a better effort on the road."
No. 1 Utah 196.05, No. 21 Michigan 194.85
R In short • For the second week in a row, the Utes rally on the road after trailing following the first event.
Key moment • Michigan suffers two falls on the balance beam to give the Utes full command of the meet.
Key stat • The Utes finish the meet with four scores on the balance beam of 9.8 or higher.
Vault • Sachi Sugiyama (Michigan), Georgia Dabritz (Utah) and Kailah Delaney (Utah), 9.9
Uneven bars • Corrie Lothrop (Utah) and Stephanie McAllister (Utah), 9.8
Balance beam • Katie Zurales (Michigan) and Cortni Beers (Utah), 9.85
Floor • Joanna Sampson (Michigan), 9.925
All-around • Joanna Sampson (Michigan), 39.25