Robarts vaults to her new career best
A few little adjustments are paying off in a big way for Utah gymnast Kyndal Robarts , who helped the Utes beat Georgia 196.55-196.5 Friday with her career best on the vault for the second week in a row.
Robarts ended the Utes' vault lineup with a 9.95 Friday. Against Iowa State a week ago, she scored a 9.925.
A good vaulter last year, Robarts changed the trajectory of her vault during the offseason. The result is a better chance for her to stick because she drops down straighter.
"This week's felt even better than last week," she said.
Robarts finished with a 39.275 in the all-around, just behind teammates Daria Bijak (39.375) and Jamie Deetscreek (39.325).
"She is that next one, right there pushing them," Utah coach Greg Marsden said.
Friday's weather kept some Utah fans away, judging by some of the empty seats in the lower bowl of the Huntsman Center, but the no-shows didn't prevent the program from drawing a total of 15,552 paid attendance for the meet, giving them a new NCAA record.
The previous best was 15,447 for a meet against BYU on March 28, 2008. The Utes have had the biggest home crowds for any gymnastics program for the last five years, drawing 11,297 or more. The Utes averaged 13,861 fans in 2009.
"This is a big part of why people want to come to Utah, both on our team and others," Marsden said. "Teams won't even make us return a meet, they just want to come here and experience a big crowd."
Rare losing streak
The last time Georgia lost two meets in a row was in 2005, when it had a three-meet losing streak but recovered to win the SEC championship and the first of its five straight national titles.
The Gym Dogs lost at Alabama last week, snapping a 13-meet regular-season winning streak.
Georgia coach Jay Clark said he felt good about his team's performance, even with the loss.
"I told our team you've got to crawl before you walk and learn to walk before you run," he said. "Tonight, we walked. We had some mistakes, but we didn't lay down and die."
None of Georgia's gymnasts competed in the all-around. ... Four of Utah's next five meets are on the road. ... Deetscreek's 9.9 on the balance beam was her second in as many weeks.