Utah gymnastics: Three seniors to say goodbye on Friday
Utah's final gymnastics meet of the regular season on Friday against rival BYU at the Huntsman Center will be a special night for Utah seniors Katie Kivisto, Jessica Duke and Ashley Postell.
But how many chances they'll get to say goodbye to Ute fans on senior night remains to be seen.
Postell will compete in the all-around, but Kivisto hasn't competed in the last three meets and Duke only competes on bars regularly.
"We'll let them compete one way or another," Utah coach Greg Marsden said.
The easiest solution might be to allow them to compete on some events in exhibition, something Marsden often does with gymnasts to allow them to try new routines or see how they'll handle the atmosphere of competition before they join the lineup for real. However, he doesn't want to risk having someone get hurt just for the sake of performing a final time at home.
"At this point in the season, we don't want to lose someone," he said. "Usually, once someone gets enough confidence or experience and we know what they can do we don't have them go exhibition, but I may have to break that rule this week."
Both Kivisto and Duke hope they get a chance to say goodbye to Utah's fans one way or another, but Duke said what she doesn't want is to end the night on floor in exhibition, after Postell's routine.
"I think Ashley ending the night would be a great exclamation point," she said. "I just want to be in on bars because that's my event and I'd be happy enjoying the night with my teammates from there."
Marsden admitted he was worried how the scoring was going to go for Utah during its 197.425-196.325 win at Michigan Saturday, particularly after Utah's meet at Florida got away from the Utes and they were never able to make up ground on the Gators.
He became more concerned when he didn't think judges were taking proper deductions on Michigan's vault and requested the meet referee to monitor the situation.
Utah finished with a 49.425 on vault compared to Michigan's 49.2.
"It's within the rules of what is allowed, I just wanted to make sure both teams were being judged by the same set of standards, and I didn't see that happening," he said.
In the rankings
Utah switched with Florida in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots and the rest of the rankings remained virtually the same. SUU was back in at No. 24 after a week's absence, knocking out Illinois-Champaign.
Postell remains ranked No. 1 in the all-around (39.665), first in the vault (9.965) first on the balance beam (9.925), 10th on the uneven bars (9.89) and fourth on the floor (9.925). Kristina Baskett is seventh in the all-around (39.41), sixth in the vault (9.925) and tied for third on the bars (9.915).
The next step
Utah, SUU and BYU will find out on Monday where they are headed for the NCAA regional competition on April 12. Marsden believes his team is headed for Minnesota as part of the North Central regional or possibly Norman, Okla., as part of the South Central regional.
The top 18 teams are seeded and the following 18 teams are placed in regions as geographically close to them as possible. BYU currently is No. 28 and should get into the regionals. Utah State is outside looking in at No. 40.
Gymnastics Poll Ranking, school, RQS, previous ranking 1. Georgia 197.305 (1) 2. Utah 197.21(3) 3. Florida 197.09 (2) 4. Michigan 196.825 (4) 5. LSU 196.695 (5) 6. Alabama 196.67 (6) 7. Oregon State 196.53 (7) 8. UCLA 196.465 (8) 9. Oklahoma 196.45 (9) 10. Stanford 196.36 (10) 11. Arkansas 196.165 (11) 12. Denver 195.955 (13) 13. Auburn 195.92 (12) 14. Nebraska 195.85 (14) 15. Arizona 195.695 (18) 16. Boise State 195.6 (17) 18. Missouri 195.51 (16) 19. Arizona State 195.405 (23) 20. Kentucky 195.395 (19) 21. North Carolina State 195.25 (21) 22. Iowa 195.2 (20) 23. Penn State 195.045 (22) 24. SUU 194.89 (NR) 25. Minnesota 194.885 (25)
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