It was a little fitting for Utah's gymnastics team that its 197.15-196.95 win over Georgia came down to the performances of Corrie Lothrop and Stephanie McAllister. The two have asserted themselves as Utah's leaders off the floor and they were up for the challenge of leading on the floor, too.
The two had 9.95s on the floor to clinch the win for the Utes while Lothrop won the all-around with a 39.475. McAllister had a 39.45 in the all-around.
"Without question they've evolved as our leaders," Utah coach Greg Marsden said. "That began to happen last year and they worked hard in the offseason to continue to improve and upgrade their routines. Corrie had another upgrade on her beam dismount tonight. They are both focused and determined athletes, and it's fun to see that hard work be rewarded in their performances."
Lothrop earned a 9.9 as the last up on the beam. She didn't decide to try her new dismount until the five gymnasts before her had earned high enough scores to allow her to risk it.
"[Coach] Megan [Marsden] gave me the green light to do it, and I went for it," she said.
The new girl
Sophomore Hailee Hansen competed for the first time on the uneven bars, scoring a 9.85. Marsden said the decision to let her compete was made by assistant Tom Farden, who coaches bars.
"Hailee has been coming on strong and Nansy [Damianova] has been struggling a little," he said. "It was great to see Nansy do a good job in exhibition, but Hailee has been getting better and we challenged her this week that we might give her a shot."
Big step, big deduction
Utah senior Cortni Beers had a solid routine going on the balance beam until the landing, when she took several steps. She scored just 9.775. Marsden said he wasn't surprised by the low score.
"When the teams are of that quality, they are going to award the very good performances and there is a tendency for them to score tightly to leave themselves room that is the nature of gymnastics," he said.
Utah has won the past three head-to-head meetings with the Gym Dogs. It is the longest winning streak in the rivalry for the Utes since they won five in a row from 1990-1992.