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Utah gymnastics: Lothrop might be a gymnastics ‘granny’ but she is still going strong

College gymnastics » Junior willing to carry bigger load next season.

First Published Mar 10 2014 04:32 pm • Last Updated Mar 11 2014 04:26 pm

Utah’s gymnastics team will say goodbye to its seniors Saturday when the fifth-ranked Utes host No. 6 Georgia in the regular-season finale.

Luckily for the Utes, the number of goodbyes is sticking at four gymnasts, not five.

At a glance

Top 25

1. LSU 197.66

2. Oklahoma 197.64

3. Florida 197.565

4. Alabama 197.32

5. Utah 197.225

6. Georgia 197.02

7. UCLA 196.92

8. Michigan 196.9

9. Nebraska 196.71

10. Stanford 196.64

11. Auburn 196.515

12. Oregon St. 196.485

13. Minnesota 196.305

14. Illinois 196.285

15. Penn St. 196.28

16. Arkansas 196.265

17. Boise St. 196.185

18. Central Mich. 196.075

19. California 195.925

20. Arizona 195.92

21. Denver 195.845

22. Arizona St. 195.71

23. Ohio St. 195.585

24. SUU 195.56

25. Kent St., BYU 195.405

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Corrie Lothrop, who was granted a medical hardship after missing most of the 2013 season with a torn Achilles tendon, said she has decided to return next year.

Earlier this year Lothrop said she thought she’d return but wanted to see how the season went before committing.

She has been an integral part of the team, earning two wins and posting career highs of 9.925 on the bars and 9.95 on the balance beam. She has also hit 17 of 18 routines, with the lone miss coming on the uneven bars in the season opener.

"I definitely don’t feel like I’m done," she said. "It was really questionable after the injury if I’d come back or not, but the season has gone really well."

Before the injury, Lothrop was a mainstay in the all-around, with eight of her 23 career wins coming in the all-around. Lothrop hopes she can return to the vault and floor lineups next year.

"I know I have to be smart about it," she said. "But next year if they needed me on the other events I’d like to be able to go in."

The gymnasts who will say their goodbyes are Nansy Damianova, Lia Del Priore, Hailee Hansen and Mary Beth Lofgren.

Lothrop said it will be an emotional night for her, even though she admitted she’ll feel a little odd.

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"I’ll just be sitting there like the granny on the team," she said.

Feeling all right

Even coming off a loss, the Utes are feeling more positive about their chances in the postseason than they have in several years.

Why the good attitude? For the first time in several years the Utes feel they have the talent to compete with the best.

Utah came in third Friday with a 197.35 against Michigan (197.825) and UCLA (197.475).

But unlike past seasons, when the Utes left the arena after such losses with the nagging feeling they were outmatched, the Utes have survived an extremely difficult schedule with their hope of postseason success intact.

If anything, it has grown.

"There were a lot of positives to take away from that meet," coach Greg Marsden said. "It was a tough competition and we were in it from the start."

An average beam score, a few uncharacteristic missed landings on vault and illnesses to Nansy Damianova and Kailah Delaney all played a part in Utah’s showing.

Marsden believes most of the issues will work themselves out, although he remains concerned about the balance beam.

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