Once hopeful that Corrie Lothrop's and Victoria Shanley's injuries would be mild setbacks, Utah's gymnastics team is coming to the realization they may not have either at full capacity, or worse, for the remainder of the season.
The No. 7 Utes, who close out the regular season Friday at BYU, have lost their last two meets, which not only coincide with a raise in quality of competition but the absence of Lothrop and Shanley.
Shanley was a solid contributor on the vault before she was sidelined with back spasms and Lothrop was one of the best in the all-around before bone chips in her ankle limited her to just the balance beam in the last two meets.
"I'm not optimistic about either since there is only five weeks left in the season," Utah coach Greg Marsden said. "With Corrie's, we know what it is, but it is still a day-to-day process.
"She might get back to where she can help us on bars and beam, but I'm less optimistic on vault and floor."
Ideally, Lothrop would undergo a scope to remove the pesky chip. However there simply isn't enough time to do so and have her available in any capacity for the post-season.
"It's frustrating," Lothrop said. "I've been in and out of the doctor's so many times and I'm just having to take it day by day."
Shanley's injury is a little more mysterious, but has the same result with the Utes unable to plan for her to be in the lineup.
"We have to prepare for the worst case scenario and plan to compete without them," Marsden said. "But I continue to be pleased with how this group responds no matter what the situations are or who is competing."
Freshman Mary Beth Lofgren's mother might have competed for BYU, but Lofgren said she doesn't have any dilemmas as to which school to pull for on Friday.
"We're all Utah fans now," Lofgren said.
Around the state
SUU and Utah State compete in the WAC Championships on Saturday in San Jose. Last year the T-birds won the title and the Aggies were third.
The two teams wrapped up their regular season together on Saturday in a tri-meet won by Iowa.
Iowa scored 196.45 to win the meet, SUU was second with a 195.4 and the Aggies were third with a 193.15.
This year, No. 13 Boise State, which has an RQS of 195.95, is favored in the WAC Championships.
In the rankings
UCLA jumped ahead of the Utes two places to No. 6. Utah's Stephanie McAllister is tied for seventh in the all-around (39.385) and is tied for fourth on the uneven bars (9.905). Gael Mackie is tied for No. 8 on the bars (9.895).
1. Florida 197.17 1
2. Alabama 197.04 2
3. Stanford 196.715 3
4. Oklahoma 196.655 4
5. Oregon St. 196.64 5
6. UCLA 196.52 8
7. Utah 196.47 6
8. Georgia 196.325 7
9. Michigan 196.320 9
10. Penn St. 196.045 10
26. BYU 195.03 28
33. SUU 194.58 33
46. Utah St. 192.935 45