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(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah's Stephanie McAllister performs her floor routine as the University of Utah hosts Georgia at the Huntsman Center, college gymnastics Friday, February 3, 2012 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Utah gymnastics’ depth will be tested against Oregon State
Gymnastics » Utes may be without two top performers Friday.
First Published Mar 01 2012 01:29 pm • Last Updated Mar 02 2012 12:39 am

The depth of Utah’s gymnastics team might get its biggest test yet against one of the Utes’ toughest foes Friday when Utah hosts Oregon State.

The Utes could be without top all-around gymnast Corrie Lothrop and senior all-around standout Stephanie McAllister for the Utes’ Pac-12 showdown against the Beavers.

At a glance

No. 9 Oregon State at No. 7 Utah

At the Huntsman Center

Meet » Friday, 7 p.m.

Records » Utah 6-1, Oregon State 8-0-1

About the Utes » Utah has hit 159 of 168 routines as a team and has won its last six meets since losing the opener at UCLA. … The meet is cancer awareness night, so fans who wear pink will receive a free general admission ticket. … A Utah gymnast has won the balance beam in all seven meets.

About the Beavers » Tied with UCLA earlier in the season. … Senior Leslie Mak is ranked fourth nationally in the all-around with a 39.4. … Junior Makayla Stambaugh is 12th nationally in the all-around. … Coached by Tanya Chaplin (225-106-2).

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Lothrop is still feeling the effects of straining her arms in the Utes’ win over Stanford a week ago. McAllister’s absence could be caused by a freak accident. She sliced the palm of her hand cutting an avocado, said Utah coach Greg Marsden.

Both gymnasts probably could compete if necessary, but with just three meets remaining until the postseason, Marsden said he would rather be conservative and keep them out of Friday’s competition.

"We’ve always said we have a lot of depth this year," he said. "We should still be able to put a good team on the floor even without these two and be competitive."

Freshman Kailah Delaney, who sat out of last week’s meet with a strained Achilles’ tendon, is expected to compete.

If Lothrop can’t go, Marsden will replace her in the balance beam lineup with freshman Georgia Dabritz, who scored a 9.9 in exhibition on the event against Stanford.

"That would be the upside for us, getting Georgia in the lineup and seeing what she does," Marsden said. "She has been unbelievable in exhibition, but again, you never know what someone can do until you see them in competition."

Nansy Damianova could make an appearance in the uneven bars lineup and Marsden wouldn’t mind seeing Lia Del Priore in the vault lineup since she has been performing well in practice.

"This meet could give us a chance to look at some things," he said. "We are deep enough we should be a good team without [Lothrop and McAllister] and we want to make sure we have them for the Pac-12s and regionals."

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Still, the absence of the two stars could mean the Utes might be in for another close meet. Utah beat Stanford 196.3-196.1 in a nailbiter that ended with Marsden getting a yellow card for confronting the judges during Utah’s floor routines.

While the floor rotation probably left the biggest impression on fans, Marsden said the meet overall wasn’t a bad one.

"We’ve been working on sticking our vaults and I’ve been pleased with that," Marsden said. "We still need to continue to get better and eliminate some steps on landings and things like that, but overall I still think we are going in the right direction."


Twitter: @lyawodraska

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