Provo • Even when they are sick and injured, Utah's gymnastics team still gets the better of the in-state rivals.
Despite last-minute lineup changes and questionable health, the No. 7 Utes beat the Cougars for the 29th straight time Friday, taking a 196.7-195.8 win at the Marriott Center in front of 2,965 in the regular season finale for both teams.
The Utes were led by Stephanie McAllister, who won the all-around with a 39.275.
BYU was led by Madeleine Johnson and Haylee Rollins, who scored 9.9 on the uneven bars, tying McAllister for the event title. BYU's Krysten Koval won the beam with a 9.9.
The teams will learn their regional destination Monday at noon when the seedings are announced for the April 2 meet.
"We weren't as strong in practice this week with people being sick or injured and it showed," McAllister said. "We had to fight through it and hopefully we can take the next two weeks and work on things and recover and keep getting better for regionals."
The Cougars trailed the Utes just 98.55-98.25 after two rotations, but the Utes posted a 49.3 on the floor while BYU had just 49.05 on the bars to give the Utes some breathing room.
The Cougars had two falls on floor to end the meet in disappointing fashion, BYU coach Brad Cattermole said.
"I was pleased other than counting the falls on floor but hopefully that will get everybody thinking," he said.
As late as Thursday, Utah coach Greg Marsden wasn't sure if he'd have enough gymnasts available to fill out a full lineup since sickness prevented several gymnasts from practicing and freshman Fumina Kobayashi was scratched due to a back injury.
The Utes got a boost though with the return of freshman Corrie Lothrop to the all-around lineup since Feb. 18.
Lothrop, hampered by a sore ankle, struggled on the uneven bars but was critical in other spots of the lineup. She scored 9.825s on the on the vault and floor and 9.775 on the balance beam.
"I was nervous and just trying too hard," Lothrop said of her bars routine in which she scored just 8.975. "I was hitting it fine in practice."
Freshman Nansy Damianova competed for the first time in the all-around and scored a 38.75.
She went last in the balance beam lineup as the Utes adjusted for Kobayashi, the usual leadoff gymnast on the event. Inconsistent in practice, Damianova had what might have been a winning routine end when she fell off the beam just before her dismount.
The fall also took her out of the lead for the all-around title.
While the lineups might not have been ideal, the Utes felt good about the way they ended the regular season.
"It was a tough week but we got through it," Marsden said. "There was a lot of putting your game face on and just getting through this meet."
The Utes hope to be seeded in either the Denver or Corvallis, Ore., regional. More important than the destination is regrouping for regionals, Marsden said.
"We've said all along we train like we compete and we need to get back to the gym and train well," he said.
Vault • Lia Del Priore (Utah) and Nansy Damianova (Utah) 9.875
Uneven bars • Madeleine Johnson (BYU), Haylee Rollins (BYU), Stephanie McAllister (Utah) 9.9
Balance beam • Krysten Koval (BYU) 9.9
Floor • Nansy Damianova (Utah) 9.9
All-Around • Stephanie McAllister (Utah) 39.275
First rotation • Utah (uneven bars) 49.375; BYU (vault) 48.975
Second rotation • Utah (vault) 49.175; BYU (uneven bars) 49.275
Third rotation • Utah (floor) 49.3; BYU (balance beam) 49.05
Fourth rotation • Utah (balance beam) 48.85; BYU (floor) 48.5
R In short • The seventh-ranked Utes end their two-meet losing streak by beating the Cougars for the 29th time in a row.
Key moment • Utah freshman Nansy Damianova leads the all-around competition in her first meet as an all-arounder until she falls off the balance beam.
Key stat •: The Utes earn a season-best 49.3 on the floor to take a 0.55-point advantage into the final rotation.