Utah gymnastics: DiLuzio making her mark
Since she has never competed in the all-around, Utah senior Annie DiLuzio has missed out on some of the glamour and recognition bestowed upon the gymnasts who compete in all four events.
However, that doesn't mean she hasn't earned her own brand of recognition in her career.
DiLuzio, who will be honored along with seniors Daria Bijak, Jamie Deetscreek, and Beth Rizzo on Friday when the Utes host BYU, hasn't broken into the uneven bars lineup as she had hoped, but she has established herself as one of the Utes' best on the other three events.
DiLuzio excels in the power events of floor and vault, having finished second on the vault at the NCAA Championships as a freshman and tying for the NCAA West Regional floor title last season. Often such gymnasts struggle on the balance beam, which requires more finesse.
However, DiLuzio is one of the Utes' strongest and most consistent competitors. She has two falls on the event, but has scored 9.825 or higher in seven of her other nine performances.
"She has power, but when she is airborne she has the most technically perfect twists," said Utah co-coach Megan Marsden.
"Her technique is impeccable and she is able to launch herself enough to do that with her power. Whether it's her triple twist on floor or her one-and-a-half on vault, she shows off how great she is at twisting."
The two falls on beam DiLuzio has had this season were from being aggressive, so Marsden wasn't too upset with the mistakes. DiLuzio was one of the few who wasn't affected by the tense situation at Florida a week ago, when she scored a 9.85.
"She has come a long ways on my event," Marsden said. "I believed she was going to have a good season because of the way she trained in the preseason. She was very consistent day in and day out. I believe you have to put in a lot of days to hit in meets, and she did that and kept her standards high."
For DiLuzio, doing well under pressure comes almost second nature and is a result of her mental outlook, she said.
"I try to go in with the same mindset and try to not put pressure on myself to be perfect but to have fun with it," she said of her routines. "I love doing what I do and I want to enjoy the moment. I've been doing these skills so long now it's almost second nature. I just want to focus on the same things."
DiLuzio, a two-year member of the U.S. National Team, trained hard to break into the uneven bars lineup as well. She has performed in exhibition, but not in the lineup because it is the Utes' deepest event.
While mildly disappointed her scores haven't counted, DiLuzio said just being able to perform is satisfying.
"I've been out there so it feels like I've been competing," she said. "I haven't held back so I'm happy with how things have gone. I'm an alternate so in case they ever need me I'm ready to go and help the team."
Class » Sr.
Height » 5-3
Hometown » Folsom, Calif.
Career highlights » Ranked No. 9 on the floor with a 9.915 average. ... 2009 NCAA West region floor co-champion. ... Didn't have a fall in 2008 season, hitting 38 of 38 routines. ... 2007 NCAA vault runner-up. ... Career highs of 9.975 (floor), 9.95 (vault), 9.875 (balance beam)
Friday, 7 p.m.