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Utah gymnastics: Tory Wilson faces plenty of competition on vault

Published January 20, 2014 2:35 pm

Utah gymnastics • Utes looking to end string of eight straight losses to UCLA.
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Tory Wilson was back in her seemingly rightful place Saturday, capturing the vault title for the Utah Utes in their win over Cal.

Wilson savored the moment, knowing chances to win the event apparently are going to be much more difficult this year than they were in 2013.

Wilson became the first Utah gymnast to go undefeated on an event in the regular season when she won the vault title 10 times last year.

But this year she has teammates Georgia Dabritz and Kailah Delaney on her heels, with both throwing big efforts and nailing landings that are bringing in scores that threaten her domination.

Delaney and Dabritz tied for the win in Utah's opener with a 9.9. Wilson posted a 9.875.

"Last year they weren't there to push me," she said. "Georgia is great, and having [Delaney] back is good, so that is going to make us better overall in our vault lineup."

The Utes are ranked No. 1 on the vault with a 49.463 average. Delaney ranks No. 5 with a 9.925 average.

Like Wilson, Delaney has a great feel for her landings, making her more consistent in sticking the landings, coach Greg Marsden said.

"I have a feeling it is going to go back and forth between them all year," he said.

No one can rule out Dabritz either, he said. The junior uses a more difficult vault, which makes it harder to stick the landings.

"If she gets the landings figured out and eliminates those small steps, she is going to be rewarded with huge scores," he said. "She'll get rewarded for that and be right there with them."

What pleases Marsden the most is there isn't much drop-off between the top three and the rest of the lineup.

"Last year Becky Tutka was almost a throw-away score for us on that event," he said. "She has started us off with great vaults this year, and when you do that, it sets the tone for the rest of the lineup. We're expecting three to four sticks a night now."

Looking ahead

The Utes are planning a blackout meet for Saturday's contest against UCLA, which will start at 7:30 p.m., half an hour later than normal so it can be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks. The Utes lead the Bruins 22-2 in Salt Lake City but have lost eight straight overall to the Bruins, dating back to a Jan. 7, 2011, win in Salt Lake City.

In the rankings

The Utes remained at No. 4 following their 196.875-196.275 win over Cal, which checked in at No. 25 with a 194.717 average.

Utah is No. 2 on the floor (49.375), while Dabritz is No. 3 on the uneven bars (9.925) and tied for eighth on the floor (9.913).

Delaney is ranked fifth on the vault (9.925), and Wilson is seventh in the all-around (39.425).

Around the state

Utah State, which is coming off a 194.15-193.975 win over SUU, hosts BYU on Friday. This season marks the first time the Aggies have won their two first meets since 1999. The Cougars finished third in a tri-meet at Boise State, scoring a 194.675. Boise State won the meet with a 195.15 and Denver was second with a 194.825.

SUU hosts Boise State on Friday. —

Top 25

1. Oklahoma 197.188

2. LSU 197.038

3. Florida 196.863

4. Utah 196.763

5. Michigan 196.663

6. Georgia 196.608

7. Alabama 196.6

8. UCLA 196.525

9. Nebraska 196.438

10. Arkansas 196.125

11. Illinois 195.75

12. Stanford 195.692

13. Minnesota 195.6

14. Auburn 195.55

15. Boise St. 195.5

16. Oregon St. 195.413

17. Arizona 195.3

18. Denver 195.2

18. Rutgers 195.2

20. Kentucky 195.0

21. Washington 194.925

22. Kent St. 194.867

23. Ohio St. 194.763

23. Arizona St. 194.763

25. California 194.717