Utah’s gymnastics team is in a familiar place with the release of the preseason coaches’ poll.
The Utes, who finished 2017 fifth, were picked to finish fifth again in the poll that was released on Monday.
Oklahoma, winner of the last two national titles, is No. 1 again followed by Florida, LSU, Alabama and Utah. Southern Utah made the rankings at No. 24.
Utah will face seven preseason Top-20 teams in 2018, including a quad meet in Reno, Nev., on Jan. 14 that features Utah, No. 6 UCLA, No. 15 Washington and No. 18 Stanford.
The Utes are led by 2017 NCAA floor exercise champion MyKayla Skinner along with fellow All-Americans Tiffani Lewis, Maddy Stover, Kari Leeand and MaKenna Merrell-Giles.
Utah coach Megan Marsden said she felt like the Utes were a little underestimated and that the goal this year is to start out strong so theUtes are in the top three on a weekly basis.
“We feel like that is where you have to be to build a reputation,” she said. “We want to start out right away with that and the team is on board.”
Utah fans can see the veterans in action along with newcomers Sydney Sloshy and Alexia Burch on Friday in the Red Rocks preview at 7 p.m. at the Huntsman Center.
Season tickets are still available at utahtickets.com. Utah has sold 9,096 season tickets so far, breaking last year’s record of 8,763.
Preseason gymnastics coaches poll
1. Oklahoma (33) 1769 pts.
2. Florida (10) 1728
3. LSU (7) 1692
4. Alabama 1584
5. Utah 1544
6. UCLA 1477
7. Michigan 1443
8. Denver 1313
9. Nebraska 1214
10. Kentucky 1213
24. Southern Utah 605
*First-place votes in parenthesis