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Utah gymnastics notes: Bijak has a big night
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah junior Daria Bijak said she felt in warmups that Friday could be a good night for herself. She was right.

Bijak tied her career high on the floor with a 9.9 and tied her career high on the uneven bars with a 9.925 in Utah's 196.85-193.45 win over Washington on Friday in the Huntsman Center.

Bijak also had a 9.675 on the beam, attributing some wobbles to being a little hyper after bars.

"I messed up a bit but then got it back," she said of the way she finished the night with the solid floor routine.

Seeing her earn big scores on Friday came as a bit of relief to coach Greg Marsden , who said he is counting on her to be the next Kristina Baskett or Ashley Postell .

"Her gymnastics is of that quality," he said. "She looks different than anybody else out there so it's good that she is rising to that level. I thought a lot of times last year she performed very well and the judges didn't reward her for it and for whatever reason they are rewarding her this year."

Bijak said there was no particular reason why Friday's meet went so well for her.

"There are days you are ready and there are days you feel like crap," she said.

In exhibition

Kyndal Robarts , who missed the first two meets with a torn shoulder muscle, vaulted in exhibition Friday and earned a 9.825 and a 9.775 on the balance beam. . . . Cortni Beers had a 9.7 on the bars in exhibition and Jacquelyn Johnson had a 9.75 on the bars and a 9.125 on the beam. . . . Gael Mackie had a 9.675 on the floor.

Marsden said he is pleased how quickly Robarts is recovering from tearing the labrum in her shoulder. Initially the Utes thought she would miss at least the first-half of the season, but she could compete next week.

"She is doing all her tumbling on floor," he said. "It's going to be great to get her back into the lineup."

No rest, good rest

Now that it is behind them, senior Kristina Baskett said the Utes needed to have a short week by competing Monday and then on Friday.

"It will get us more prepared for nationals," she said. "That is a big thing on your body, having two meets in a week and it's good training for nationals when we go two or three nights."

The Utes have another short week in February when they compete at Utah State on a Monday and at Nebraska on a Friday.

Briefly

Utah's season ticket count is at 5,612 according to the university, topping the 5,000-mark for the first time. The Utes drew a crowd of 12,951 fans to the season opener against UCLA and have averaged 12,840 fans for home meets since the 1992 season. . . . The Utes compete at No. 10 Oregon State on Friday, their second of just three road trips outside of Utah this season. . . . Baskett, from Normandy Park, Wash., said she doesn't know any of the gymnasts on Washington's team anymore. "It's just another team," she said.

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