Gymnastics: Utes make good use of bye week
Utah's second-ranked gymnastics team made good use of a rare bye week, but not enough to entice coach Greg Marsden to schedule more in future seasons.
The Utes, who had the weekend off because the scheduled series with Minnesota was dropped, used the extra practice time to work on upgrades with some gymnasts and rest others who had lingering injuries.
Jamie Deetscreek added a double arabian as her first floor pass and ended the routine with a double pike, while Gael Mackie added a pike full-in.
It's doubtful the two will use the new routines this week when the Utes host Arizona State on Friday, and may not use them this year at all, but getting the skills in were still important Marsden said.
"We're not only working for this year, but for the future too," Marsden said. "Gael has competed it before, so I'm a little more optimistic she could use it this season."
The Utes didn't do well last season coming off a bye week, earning their second-lowest score of the season (196.3), at Oregon State. Marsden is concerned that bye weeks, as productive as they might be, can throw the team off its schedule and hopes the Utes avoid a similar dip Friday.
"Hopefully we can come out sharp," he said. "We need to take a step forward to keep up with what is going on. Georgia, Alabama, Florida, UCLA -- there are a lot of teams that looking good and we want to continue to improve."
Chasing the 'Dogs
The Utes, who were knocked out of the No. 1 ranking by Georgia a week ago, acknowledge losing the ranking is a bit of a disappointment, but being No. 2 could give them some added focus heading into the final weeks of the season.
"It's a different perspective when you're not No. 1," Nina Kim said. "When you're chasing someone, you work harder. Being No. 1 is great, but it's not the real thing. You never know who is going to be at their best at nationals. Hopefully it will be us."
Georgia earned the nation's top score on Friday, posting a 198.2-196.65 win against Florida.
Around the state
SUU, which posted a 194.675-189.125 win over BYU on Friday, hosts San Jose State in its final home meet of the season Friday. The T-Birds are just outside the rankings with a 194.55 average, putting them No. 26.
BYU, which has suffered five season-ending injuries, won't get any breaks from their schedule. The Cougars compete three times in the next two weeks, beginning Friday at Boise State.
"We're playing the hand we're dealt and not complaining," BYU coach Brad Cattermole said. "It's the hard times that make you appreciate the good times. These girls are tough and courageous."
Utah State, which scored a 190.25 at Boise State last week, hosts Pitt on Friday.
1. Georgia 197.035
2. Utah 196.885
3. Stanford 196.59
4. Florida 196.465
5. Alabama 196.455
6. UCLA 196.43
7. Oklahoma 196.34
8. Auburn 196.31
9. Oregon State 196.295
10. Arkansas 196.29
11. LSU 196.29
12. Nebraska 195.745
13. Missouri 195.535
14. Michigan 195.37
15. Illinois-Champaign 195.215
16. Arizona 195.12
17. Ohio State 195.025
18. Minnesota 195.025
19. Penn State 194.96
20. West Virginia 194.93
21. Iowa State 194.765
22. Washington 194.655
23. Iowa 194.645
24. Kentucky and Kent St. 194.59