Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Tory Wilson competes on the bars for the Utes, in their Gymnastics opener, Utah vs, BYU, Boise State and Southern Utah University, at the Huntsman Center, Friday, January 10, 2014.
Utah gymnastics: Utes will be top seed for Pac-12 championships
Women’s gymnastics » Utah must compete in afternoon session with other high seeds.
First Published Mar 17 2014 09:51 am • Last Updated Mar 17 2014 11:20 pm

Utah gymnastics coach Greg Marsden is thrilled his team is the No. 1 seed for the Pac-12 Championships Saturday at Cal.

But being stuck in the afternoon session along with other top seeds instead of in prime time has Marsden far from happy. In fact, it has him irate.

At a glance

Top 25 Rankings

1. Florida 197.79

2. LSU 197.72

3. Oklahoma 197.66

4. Alabama 197.405

5. Utah 197.365

6. Georgia 197.2

7. UCLA 197.005

8. Michigan 196.9

9. Nebraska 196.83

10. Stanford 196.64

11. Oregon St. 196.61

12. Auburn 196.56

13. Illinois 196.495

14. Penn St. 196.41

15. Arkansas 196.355

16. Minnesota 196.305

17. Boise St. 196.2

18. Central Mich. 196.165

19. California 196.095

20. Denver 196.02

21. Arizona 195.95

22. ASU 195.745

23. New Hampshire 195.72

24. Ohio St. 195.68

25. BYU 195.675

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The fifth-ranked Utes will compete against No. 7 UCLA, No. 10 Stanford and No. 11 Oregon State in the afternoon session, which is at 2 p.m. MDT, while the evening session, which starts at 7:30 p.m. MDT, will include No. 19 Cal, No. 21 Arizona, No. 22 ASU and Washington.

As the host team, Cal was allowed to pick the session in which it wanted to compete. The obvious choice was the evening session to help with ticket sales, but Marsden doesn’t think it is fair.

"You don’t run a tournament like that," Marsden said. "You work all season to earn that position and we should be competing in that final session."

The rule, which was voted in by the Pac-12 coaches, hasn’t affected the traditional format of the best teams competing later in the past two seasons since both hosts, Utah in 2012 and Oregon State last year, were among the top four seeds.

It is extremely unlikely the Pac-12 winner will come from the evening session given the strength of the top four teams, but the four will have to wait until the evening session is over before any real celebrating can begin.

Both sessions will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks, but Marsden believes it is going to make for some awkward TV.

"It’s complete lunacy," Marsden said. "It’s just really stupid. I just can’t believe from the conference office and the Pac-12 Networks marketing standpoint we are doing this."

Not all is bad news for the Utes since they’ll be allowed to compete in the "Olympic" rotation order of starting on vault as the top seed. The rotations were decided by a vote before the season started and the top seed was paired with the preferable rotation.


story continues below
story continues below

"It certainly doesn’t guarantee anything. You still have to hit all four events to win, but we are used to that format and we compete well with it," Marsden said. "We can use the excitement you get from competing on vault first and floor last to our advantage since they are our best events."

The Utes were the top seed last year, but had three major breaks on the beam and finished third behind Oregon State and UCLA.

The beam doomed the Utes in 2012, too, when Utah had two falls from the apparatus and finished second behind the Bruins.

Beam has been a struggle for Utah this season, too, but the Utes are feeling better about the event than they have in a long time after posting a 49.5 in Saturday’s win over sixth-ranked Georgia.

"We are in a lot better place mentally," junior Georgia Dabritz said. "We are more confident in ourselves and as a team and that is going to be really helpful going into this next meet."

The Utes haven’t hidden the fact they want to be the first team from Utah to win a Pac-12 title. Now that their opportunity is here, they aren’t feeling any added pressure after stating such a goal.

"You are going to feel pressure no matter what spot you are in," junior Tory Wilson said. "It all comes down to who handles it the best."



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.