Utah gymnastics: Healthy Utes give coach options
Thanks to the speedy recoveries of some of Utah's injured gymnasts, Utah coach Greg Marsden has a lot of options available to him as he prepares his lineups for the NCAA Championships, which start Thursday in Athens, Ga.
However, how many of those options will be put into use is yet to be determined.
The Utes compete in what many assume is the more difficult session against Georgia, Michigan, Stanford, Denver and UCLA, with the top three teams advancing to Friday's Super Six, where the champion will be crowned.
Theoretically, Marsden could rest some of his gymnasts Thursday so they'll be fresh for Friday's meet, but he isn't sure he wants to change his lineups.
"It will depend on who feels good and who is healthy and that kind of thing," he said. "I'd like to think we could get through Thursday and have the same group available, but you never know what kind of condition they're going to be in going into the second night and it would be nice to have options."
The Utes had several gymnasts slowed by injuries going into the NCAA regional championships, but they've had only light practices the last week, allowing them to rest their aches and pains.
Annie DiLuzio (shin) said she feels much better than she did in the middle of the season, Kristina Baskett (ankle) is healthier and Nina Kim has made a rapid recovery since suffering a severe ankle sprain that originally threatened her participation in the national championships.
Now she is scheduled to compete on everything except floor, and even that event is a strong possibility.
"I'll have to see about floor," Marsden said. "I told her 'Don't push that so much we risk losing you on the other three events, but if it's there, get it ready.' "
Senior Katie Kivisto and sophomore Stephanie Neff didn't compete at regionals while Jessica Duke and Gael Mackie competed in just one event and Jamie Deetscreek, Beth Rizzo and Kyndal Robarts competed in two events.
This is it
Utah senior Ashley Postell has decided she isn't going to pursue her hopes of competing in the 2008 Olympics because she realized she doesn't have enough time to get her routines in order.
"That ship has sailed," she said. "I don't have enough extra time to work on other skills and do things I need to do for the team. My routines would have to be twice as long as they are now and it's too much to do in a month."