Utah gymnastics: Utes battle way into nationals as Oregon State falls short
Tuscaloosa, Ala. • Utah's struggles at the NCAA Regionals were indicative of the close competitions around the country as some of the top teams failed to make the cut for the NCAA Championships.
Most notably was the failure of Pac-12 champ Oregon State to advance.
The Beavers hosted a regional but had several falls and lost to No. 4 Georgia (197.425) and No. 16 Arkansas (196.95).
Fifth-ranked Michigan won the Morgantown regional with a 196.725 while No. 17 Illinois scored a 196.025 to advance, upsetting No. 8 Nebraska (195.875).
There was a mild upset in the Columbus, Ohio, regional where No. 7 LSU won the title with a 197.275, while No. 6 UCLA was second with a 196.95.
"We've talked about this before, that you can't have mistakes and expect to move on," Utah coach Greg Marsden said. "There is so much pressure for this meet, just to advance, that it isn't uncommon anymore that teams are getting upset. I am proud of the way we battled through."
Oklahoma won its regional with a 197.375 and Stanford was second with a 196.8 to advance. SUU finished fifth in the region with a 194.85.
Top-ranked Florida won its regional with a 198.4 while Minnesota scored a 197.1 to edge Auburn (196.7) to advance. Auburn and Minnesota were tied at the end of the regular season with a 196.615 RQS.
Utah freshman Breanna Hughes didn't see her team's final two rotations after she had a reaction to peanuts midway through the meet. Hughes, who scored a 9.8 on the uneven bars and a 9.65 on the balance beam, must have touched her face with something that had peanut residue on it as her face swelled.
Hughes luckily was done with her competition and remained in the locker room after she was attended to by medics.
Earlier Saturday, Georgia Dabritz, Tory Wilson and Becky Tutka were named regular season All-Americans by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women.
This is the first season the coaches association has recognized regular season All-Americans. A different set of All-Americans will be named at the 2013 NCAA Championships, where the top eight gymnasts on each event earn the status.
Dabritz and Wilson both earned All-America status on the vault last year.
Utah senior associate athletic director Liz Abel was named North Central Region Administrator of the Year, and Wilson was named the North Central Region Gymnast of the Year.
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