Athens, Ga. • Utah junior Stephanie McAllister, who won the all-around in the season opener, narrowly missed claiming another all-around title here at Georgia Saturday in the Utes' 195.9-195.8 win over the Gym Dogs.
McAllister scored a 39.3 to finish second to Georgia's Cassidy McComb who earned a 39.35.
McAllister posted 9.8s on the balance beam and floor, 9.825 on the vault and a 9.875 on the uneven bars. McComb's big score came on the floor where she earned a 9.925, which was enough to land her the all-around title but not enough to give her team the win.
McAllister admitted she felt some nerves but was able to shut them out after the coaches spoke to the team, she said.
"They told us to slow down and not get ahead of ourselves," she said. "They told us to calm down and do the things we talked about as a team and it helped."
McAllister's floor routine featured a full-in, which is the kind of difficulty she had in mind for her routines when she was putting in the long hours of training in the summer.
That kind of motivation is paying off for her now, said Utah coach Greg Marsden.
"What I love about Stephanie is right now she is thinking how she can improve," he said. "She is the one who wanted to change her leap combination and wanted to be more aggressive on floor. She is actively participating in her coaching and is working hard."
Marsden believes McAllister is setting an example for the rest of the team as well and the up-and-comers are following her lead.
"That is what is fun about this group, we aren't taking them somewhere kicking and screaming," he said. "They are active participants in what we are doing this year which has made them a lot of fun to work with."