"We still have a little more time to decide now, but we feel like we need to let the team know before the meet so they can prepare," she said. "We'd hoped she would be further along, but high ankle sprains are one of the worst."
If Lee isn't available, she would be replaced by Erika Muhaw on the vault and Shannon McNatt on the balance beam. Muhaw scored a 9.75 at regionals on the vault while McNatt won the balance beam in her debut, scoring 9.9. Lee logged a 9.9 on the uneven bars at regionals.
Even with Lee, the Utes have 10 active gymnasts since sophomore All-America Sabrina Schwab (knee) and freshman Kim Tessen (Achilles tendon) have been sidelined since January with injuries.
Nevertheless, the Utes enter the championships in good spirits, Marsden said.
"I feel like this group has really come together and they are as tight a group as they can be," she said.
The all-around and event winners will be awarded from Friday's preliminary rounds. Normally competing in the afternoon is considered a negative because scores tend to be higher in the evening session.
However, the Utes do benefit by having top-ranked Oklahoma in their session. That means MyKayla Skinner, who is ranked second in the all-around, will be able to go head-to-head against Oklahoma's Maggie Nichols and Chayse Capps, who are ranked first and third in the all-around, respectively.
Skinner, who has won 11 of 12 all-around competitions this year, is trying to become Utah's first all-around champion since Theresa Kulikowski in 1999.
Skinner is also ranked No. 1 on the floor and seventh on the vault. Other gymnasts who have a chance at doing well individually include Baely Rowe, who is ranked fifth in the all-around and 13th on the beam and Tiffani Lewis, who won the Pac-12 vault title.
Hitting all cylinders
The Utes have stressed all year the importance of hitting all their routines, although only five are scored. However, they recognize there is something to be said for momentum and that scores tend to rise when all routines are hit.
The Utes have hit 24 for 24 in four meets this season, against Washington, Oregon State, UCLA and at regionals and are 277 of 288 in made routines total.