Los Angeles • Georgia Dabritz didn’t like her uneven bars routine Sunday nearly as much as the one she had during Thursday’s semifinal round of the NCAA Championships. Good thing she is a gymnast and not a judge.
The ones who critiqued her against the nation’s best sure liked it.
2013 NCAA champions
Vault » Diandre Milliner, Alabama, 9.925
» Rheagan Courville, LSU, 9.925
Uneven bars » Alaina Johnson, Florida, 9.9125
Balance beam » Bridget Sloan, Florida, 9.9
Floor » Joanna Sampson, Michigan, 9.9375
Vault » Tory Wilson, 8th, 9.8917
Uneven bars » Georgia Dabritz, 2nd, 9.9
» Nansy Damianova, 9th, 9.8125
Floor » Nansy Damianova, 8th, 9.875
Dabritz tied for second in the uneven bars competition at Pauley Pavilion, just missing the distinction of being the first Utah uneven bars champion since Kristina Baskett won the award in 2006.
Competing first out of 10 competitors, Dabritz hit her routine and earned a 9.9.
She admitted she didn’t think the score would hold. It did until Florida’s Alaina Johnson went in the seventh slot and scored a 9.9125 to win the title.
Tying Dabritz was Florida’s Bridget Sloan, the 2009 world champion and 2008 Olympian.
"I am amazed the score held up," Dabritz said. "Second is still great. I am more than happy with that and tying an Olympian is always a plus."
Utah’s other competitors didn’t fare as well with Tory Wilson placing eighth in the vault and Nansy Damianova ninth on the bars and eighth on the floor.
Dabritz didn’t feel her routine was as good as the one she did during Thursday’s semifinals when she scored a 9.95.
"I was just trying to have fun with it and not just go through the motions," she said.
Utah coach Greg Marsden thought the result was a big step forward for Dabritz not only in her development as one of the top gymnasts in the country in talent, but also mentally.
Dabritz balked on a vault during the NCAAs a year ago but handled the pressure of the individual competition much better Sunday, Marsden said.
"She has made a lot of growth in a year," Marsden said.
Dabritz spent most of the year ranked in the top 10 on the event and won the region title the last two years. She might have missed the NCAA title this year, but it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if she wins it one day, with the way her career is going.
"Reputation in this sport is important, and Georgia is among some great athletes," Marsden said. "Her confidence and reputation is only going to go up."
Wilson has stuck every vault this year like an arrow coming straight down and driving a wedge in the surface of the earth.
Unfortunately, the first hop of the year came at a bad time.
Wilson, who won or tied for 11 vault titles in a row this year and became the first Utah gymnast to go undefeated on an event, hopped on her vault landing Sunday.
Even though the hop was straight up, Wilson’s slight error was enough for the judges to take a hefty deduction and award her 9.8917.
"It was just one of those things, I don’t know why it happened," she said of the hop. "I was happy with the vault. It felt good to me."
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