Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
No southern hospitality expected for U. gymnasts
First Published Mar 08 2013 09:31 am • Last Updated May 31 2013 11:33 pm

Athens, Ga. • Utah coach Greg Marsden giggled earlier this week when he was asked whether the Utes would be the favorites when they competed at Georgia on Saturday.

His response was that if anyone thought Utah’s slim margin in the rankings gave the Utes any edge, then they "haven’t been to a Georgia gymnastics meet before."

At a glance

No. 7 Utah at No. 8 Georgia

Saturday, 4 p.m.

Records » Utah 9-1-1; Georgia 6-6-1

Live scoring » utahutes.com

About the Utes » Utah is coming off its highest road score since 2009. ... Utah has won the past three meets against Georgia. ... The only meet a Utah gymnast hasn’t won the bars was in the opener against UCLA. ... Utah’s last regular season meet is March 16 against Florida.

About the Gym Dawgs » Has the nation’s top-ranked bar worker in Chelsea Davis (9.935 RQS). ... Georgia leads the series 9-3 in Athens. ... Coached by Danna Durante, who was the head coach at Cal in 2012 and was an assistant at Nebraska from 2006-11.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Luckily, the Utes are veterans at knowing what to expect in Athens, a town known for enthusiastically supporting its gymnastics program to the point where many a team has succumbed to the hostile atmosphere.

The Utes were victims of that intimidation in the past, but since Suzanne Yoculan’s retirement, the series momentum has swung back in favor of the Utes.

They’ve won the last three meets and look at Saturday’s showdown as a way to establish themselves as a serious contender in the post season.

If they can do well at Georgia, the thinking is, they can do well in any atmosphere.

"I’d rather do this and be in this kind of situation at the end of the season than schedule some easy meets," Utah coach Greg Marsden said. "You do that and you can fool yourselves into thinking we are maybe better than we are. Here, I’d rather use the time left to address those areas that we need to address and get stronger all the way to the end."

For the Utes those areas are mainly mental ones. While the Utes did well at BYU, scoring their best road effort since 2009, they know the atmosphere in Athens will be drastically different than it was at BYU, where their fans outnumbered the Cougars’.

The Utes escaped with a 195.9-195.8 win over Georgia the last time they were here, but in other instances they’ve been rocked harder than the bands the college town is known for producing thanks in part to the sometimes wild atmosphere.

"It’s a tough environment and a different arena than we are used to," junior Mary Beth Lofgren said. "But that comes as part of the sport and some motivation to do well in it is good for us. It definitely helps to go in different arenas and atmospheres to get us ready for the post season."


story continues below
story continues below

Marsden would like to see the Utes do better than they did last year when they went to Florida. In an environment similar to Georgia’s, the Utes had two major breaks on the uneven bars that took them out of the meet right away. The Utes went on to lose 197-196.225.

"We didn’t handle that well but we’ve done a lot of growing up since then," he said. "This should be good for us. We’ve talked a lot about the need to get ready for their student section. They’ll probably be barking and holding up newspapers while we are on the floor to ignore us and that kind of thing. They may not have experienced it before, but they need to learn to deal with it."



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
Videos
Jobs
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.