Utah Gymnastics Notes: Utes show depth in Kim's absence
The University of Utah gymnastics team's lineup looked vastly different Friday, thanks to Nina Kim's absence because of the flu. Her illness did provide some good though, as the Utes are learning they have a little more depth than previously thought.
Katie Kivisto, who hasn't competed since falling off the uneven bars in the season opener, was back in the lineup and scored a 9.8. Dominique D'Oliveira competed for the first time this year, earning a 9.725 on the uneven bars.
"I was really happy for Dom," Utah coach Greg Marsden said.
Gabi Onodi took Kim's place on the vault and tied her career high of 9.8 and Kristen Riffanacht was in the lineup for the first time since the opener and scored 9.8 on the beam and 9.725 on the floor.
Utah State has had several of its gymnasts suffer from nagging injuries this year, now add Katie Omann to the list. Omann, the WAC gymnast of the week, bruised her heel warming up on the vault and was pulled from the lineup.
"We didn't have to count a fall, but it was extremely disappointing to lose her," Utah State coach Ray Corn said.
Despite beating the Aggies, SUU wasn't thrilled with its performance, which included five falls, two of which counted.
"That's too many, we have to get rid of that," SUU coach Scott Bauman said. "Our leaps are questionable too. We still have a lot to do. We knew it was going to be a race for second between us and Utah State, but if we are counting a fall, then I'm not happy."
When she saw the tentative lineup on Monday, junior Nicolle Ford was less than thrilled she wasn't scheduled to compete in the all-around.
Marsden had planned to rest her because of her injured wrist.
"He made the decision without asking me," she said, only half-jokingly. "I don't like to sit on the sidelines. I wanted to be part of it."
Ford, who had friends in town to watch her compete, talked him into changing his mind.