Thanks to a rare Sunday meet, Utah's gymnastics team doesn't have a long time to prepare for its home opener against Utah State on Friday.
Luckily for the Utes, they don't need a bunch of extra hours in which to get ready.
The Utes wanted to use Sunday's meet against UCLA as a test to see if their preseason training had gone as well as they thought it had. Judging by their close 196.075-196.025 loss to the Bruins, coach Greg Marsden believes his team is spot on.
While there are plenty of improvements to be made, he doesn't see the need to overhaul any of Utah's events or lineups.
"We don't need to make any big adjustments," he said. "We want to build on what we started and we need to do a much better job on bars, but you go into the first meet wanting to see where you are and it was a good start for us."
The Utes got into a hole early against the Bruins with a 48.45 on the bars due to three breaks, but even those mistakes don't have Marsden concerned.
"What we had mistakes on were kind of goofy stuff," he said. "We started off tight and there is a big advantage to starting off on vault tight and using your power rather than a finesse event like bars or the balance beam, but I'm not overly concerned."
The Utes' score tied Florida for the fourth-best score of the weekend. Georgia (196.525), Arkansas (196.45) and the Bruins had the highest of the teams that competed.
Welcome to the fold
UCLA coach Valorie Kondos Field said having the Utes in the Pac-12 won't change much for the Bruins from a competition standpoint, but she does like having Marsden in the same league as herself.
The two often have similar thinking when it comes to promoting the sport, and both are known for being outspoken.
"There is no better proponent for our sport than Greg," she said. "It will be good to have him in the Pac-12 ruffling feathers."
Friday's meet is the season opener for the Aggies, who have a young team with seven freshmen on it. Sarah Landes, Junior Olympic vault champion Kaitlyn Betts and Susie Miller are among the rookies third-year coach Jeff Richards is relying on to help build Utah State's program.
Junior Amanda Watamaniuk and senior Rebecca Holliday are two of the more experienced athletes the Aggies have.
Utah State was picked third in a tie with San Jose State with nine points each in the preseason WAC coaches poll behind Denver and SUU.
Around the state
BYU's gymnastics team opens its season Saturday at North Carolina State while SUU hosts Missouri on Friday. SUU hosts BYU Jan. 20 in a meeting of the rivals.
Utah State at Utah
P Friday, 7 p.m.
TV • Ch. 4