The Utah gymnastics team’s bye week turned into anything but a time of rest. The Utes were in the gym virtually every day working on their routines as they added upgrades and changed floor passes.
As a result, fans are going to see some very different-looking routines Friday when the Utes host BYU.
Sohomore Corrie Lothrop changed her uneven bars routine and upgraded her vault, senior Kyndal Robarts changed her floor routine, sophomore Nansy Damianova has a new bar routine with several different elements, and sophomore Mary Beth Lofgren upgraded her beam dismount.
"It was a good week for us," Lofgren said. "We have a lot of depth and options, but that is a good problem to have."
Overall it was one of the busiest "down" weeks the Utes have had in a long time, said Utah coach Greg Marsden.
He had planned to cut down on the team’s time in the gym, so it was the gymnasts’ own motivation that led to all the productivity, he said.
"I am so impressed with how motivated this group is," he said. "They’re asking to come in and do extra on their days off. It has almost become a competitive thing being in the gym. They want to upgrade their routines and get a lot done."
That the bye week was so early in the season played a part in the productivity, too, he said.
"When it’s later in the season you have to get people healthy and that kind of thing," he said. "But we are relatively healthy, so that combined with the motivation made for a really fun week."
Freshman Kailah Delaney, who was recently diagnosed with mononucleosis, has been released to train for all events. She has been training and competing only on the vault while she recovered from the illness. … Sophomore Victoria Shanley, who has been sidelined with a stress fracture in her ankle, has been released to do more training.
Marsden hopes she can eventually break into the vault lineup and possibly the uneven bars.
"We are thinnest on bars, so she could help us with depth on that event," he said.
Around the state
Utah State hosts SUU and Boise State on Friday. The Aggies posted a 192.325 to finish third in a meet at Texas Woman’s Saturday while BYU upset the T-Birds 194.8-194.05 in Cedar City Friday.
In the rankings
The Utes dropped a spot to No. 2 with a 196.713 average while Arkansas and UCLA share the top spot with a 196.775 average. Nebraska (196.575) and Oklahoma (196.433) round out the Top 5.
Marsden said he isn’t surprised by the teams at the top of the rankings, other than the presence of Arkansas.
"They’ve had a good start," he said. "But I think the teams that you’d expect to be there are there." Georgia Dabritz is ranked No. 1 on the floor (9.9), Stephanie McAllister is sixth on the floor (9.9) and eighth in the all-around (39.4). Delaney is sixth on the vault (9.9).
SUU’s Alyssa Click is ranked fourth on the balance beam (9.9).
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