Utah gymnastics notes: Utes still have work to do on mental strength
The disappointment of disintegrating on the balance beam in Monday's 197-196.3 loss to Stanford was tangible for Utah's gymnastics team.
The Utes were obviously disappointed, upset and even a bit mystified as to their breakdown that included two falls and several mistake-ridden routines.
Now comes the tough task of righting themselves in a short week as they host No. 11 Oregon State on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Junior Tory Wilson seemed certain the Utes would recover and not let the disappointing loss mark the beginning of a slide for Utah.
"We have a fire in us this year, and we aren't happy," she said. "We have to get back to work so we don't let this happen again."
But how do they prevent another meltdown?
That is the dilemma the Utes face now. As coach Greg Marsden has said, making a big deal about the mistakes could lead to even more of a mental block than the ones the Utes have exhibited.
But then, who doesn't know what the Utes' biggest issue is?
"You can't hide from it," Marsden said. "It is a big deal and we have to get it resolved. We have the physical ability to do it; it's obviously a mindset issue when we go to beam."
Georgia Dabritz, who scored a 9.675 against the Cardinal in the first time she has competed on the beam this year, said she isn't sure what is wrong with the team.
"Everything was like we do in practice," she said.
Except the outcome wasn't the same, as the Utes scored just a 48.075 Monday. The mark was far from the goal of 49.3-49.5 Marsden expects.
"We have to figure out what is going on," Marsden said. "I'm not blaming the team. It's our job as coaches to help them get better, and we haven't done that at all."
Marsden doubts junior Becky Tutka will compete on the floor Saturday against the Beavers. Tutka, a senior who has scored 9.825 or higher in four of her five floor routines, sat out Monday's loss to Stanford with a sore Achilles tendon.
Corrie Lothrop tore her Achilles tendon last year, and Kassandra Lopez is out for the current season with the same injury.
"We seem snakebit with that injury, and we don't want to risk anything," Marsden said.
The Utes likely will use the same lineup against Oregon State as they used against Stanford, with Kailah Delaney filling in for Tutka.
Delaney scored a 9.825 against the Cardinal in just her second floor routine of the season.
In the rankings
Wilson is ranked ninth in the all-around with a 39.39 average and second on the vault with a 9.925 average. Dabritz is first on the uneven bars (9.94), second on the floor (9.945) and seventh on the vault (9.915). Delaney is fifth on the vault (9.92), and Nansy Damianova is 10th on the floor (9.91).
Top 25 rankings
1. Oklahoma 197.446
2. Florida 197.392
3. LSU 197.379
4. Utah 197.135
5. Alabama 197.025
6. Georgia 196.864
7. Michigan 196.65
8. Nebraska 196.608
9. UCLA 196.517
10. Auburn 196.258
11. Oregon St. 196.205
12. Stanford 196.154
13. Arkansas 196.125
14. Illinois 195.9
15. Minn. 195.854
16. Boise St. 195.767
17. Arizona 195.679
18. Denver 195.646
19. C. Michigan 195.441
20. Penn St. 195.389
21. California 195.296
22. Arizona St. 195.263
23. Ohio St. 195.254
24. Washington 195.133
25. Kent St. 194.971