Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Kyndal Robarts is congratulated by her teammates after competing on the beam during the gymnastics meet against Utah State at the Huntsman Center Friday January 13, 2012.
Utah gymnastics: Utes looking to regain their mojo
Gymnastics » Utah seek to unload pressure as hosts of Pac-12 championship.
First Published Mar 22 2012 11:27 am • Last Updated Jun 25 2012 11:38 pm

Utah senior Cortni Beers raises her eyebrows, shrugs her shoulders and gives a wry smile as she admits her teammates wonder the same thing as everyone else who follows the Utes’ gymnastics team.

Can the Utes, who host the school’s first Pac-12 championship event Saturday, get their mojo back?

At a glance

Hot at home

Most of Utah’s problems have occurred on the road this year. Here is a breakdown of the Utes’ home and away scoring.

Road scores

at UCLA 196.025

at ASU 194.0

at Michigan 194.85

at Florida 196.475

Road average » 195.3

Home scores

vs. USU 197.4

vs. BYU 197.55

vs. Georgia 197.15

vs. Stanford 196.3

vs. Oregon St. 196.575

vs. Nebraska 197.6

Home average » 197.1

Pac-12 Gymnastics Championships

Saturday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

2 p.m. session » No. 17 Arizona, No. 22 Washington, Arizona State and California

7 p.m. session » No. 4 UCLA, No. 7 Utah, No. 8 Oregon State and No. 11 Stanford

The lowdown » Even though the teams will compete separately, the winner can come out of either session.

Note » The public can attend Friday’s practices in the Huntsman Center. The afternoon group will practice from 1 to 2:40 p.m. and the evening group, including the Utes, will practice from 3 to 4:40 p.m.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"It’s the question everyone is asking themselves," Beers said. "We just need to get back to the beginning of the season when we were having fun out there and it was a new experience for the freshmen and everyone was excited. As the season has gone on, we’ve put more and more pressure on ourselves. We need to get back to that excitement we had earlier."

The problem is that Utah wants to ditch the pressure when it is greater than ever.

The Utes face six of the nation’s top 25 teams in the competition. However, with their home-floor advantage, the pressure will be on the Utes to rise to the top. More expectations will come when the Utes host the NCAA Regionals on April 7. They must be one of the top two finishers to advance to the NCAA Championships, April 20-22 in Duluth, Ga.

Utah coach Greg Marsden ominously noted after the Utes’ 197.9-196.475 loss at Florida that the Utes wouldn’t go far in the postseason if they don’t improve.

It’s a situation no one expected the Utes to be in after they nearly upset the Bruins at home in the season opener, then held the No. 1 ranking for three weeks. Earning that ranking might have done more harm than good, the Utes admit.

"It’s weird, we were doing so well then hit that spot and lost things," sophomore Mary Beth Lofgren said. "It got to be a lot of mental stuff, but all we can do is keep working."

Adding to the Utes’ dilemma, the teams around them have improved, while their scores have been relatively steady. The top four teams in the country, including UCLA, are all averaging above 197; the Utes average 196.705.

"We aren’t much different than we were at the first of the year than we are now, and I will take responsibility for that," Marsden said. "It’s my job to get us better prepared."

story continues below
story continues below

The Utes have worked on being more aggressive in the gym this week, but their success really comes down to the mental work, which is the more difficult element in gymnastics, they say.

"Your body will know what to do, but you can’t tell your mind what to do," Beers said. "If you start freaking out right before you go, it’s hard. It takes a lot of practice to turn the mind off."

Most of the gymnasts have worked with sport psychologists to develop routines and habits designed to shut off their minds.

The one common theme is that they all believe they will do their best if they pretend the Pac-12 meet is just another meet.

"Once we got on the road and started traveling and the scoring got tight, we started having problems," McAllister said. "We need to get our confidence back. The good thing is we’ve done some good things at home and it will be good for us to be in the Huntsman Center."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.