Utah improved to 2-0 with a victory over Nebraska.
Jan. 18, 2008
SALT LAKE CITY -
The Utah and Nebraska gymnasts came out in identical pink ribbon leotards on Breast Cancer Awareness Night in the Huntsman Center, but it didn't take long for the 12,906 in attendance to differentiate the No. 3 Utes from the No. 11 Huskers. Utah jumped out to a big lead on the first event and went on to claim a 196.425-194.575 victory.
Led by a pair of 9.875 vault scores by Nina Kim and Kristina Baskett, Utah racked up a 49.250 on the vault to open the meet. On the other side of the gym, Nebraska flopped to a 48.275 on the bars when its No. 5 and 6 competitors fell. Though the Utes dipped to a 48.975 on the uneven bars - and Nebraska improved to a 48.950 on the vault - Utah still held a one-point lead heading into the third rotation.
Sophomore Jamie Deetscreek and freshman Kyndal Robarts got Utah off to a good start on the balance beam, scoring career-high 9.825s, followed by Annie DiLuzio (9.775) and Daria Bijak (9.825). Then Kim fell and suddenly Utah's lead didn't look so big. The scare was short lived, as Ashley Postell performed a 9.90 beam routine to expand Utah's lead to over a point.
Postell, who ended up tying for first on the beam, won three event titles for the second straight week. As was the case the week before against Georgia, Postell took all-around honors (39.325). Against Nebraska, she also won first place on the bars (9.875). A step out of bounds on the floor cost the All-America senior a chance at another gold.
Postell, who beat a field of four Nebraska all-arounders, had no intra-squad competition due to an injury to Kristina Baskett. Baskett displaced several ribs early in the week and couldn't practice. In fact, she couldn't put on her jacket unassisted or steer her car just two days prior to the meet. A trip to the doctor and "24-hour treatment" by trainer Tom Iriye put some of the ribs back in place, but a sore Baskett proclaimed after the meet, "I think one is still out." She talked head coach Greg Marsden into allowing her to compete on vault and bars, scoring a 9.875 and 9.825, respectively, before calling it a night.
Baskett's injury allowed Marsden to tinker with his lineup. "We've been fortunate to be able to compete a lot of different athletes in the first two meets - either to count or as exhibition. The (gymnasts) are really pushing each other in practice every day and I think that's why they are competing with so much confidence in the meets." The only complaint Marsden had was that his team "did not improve much on our landings from last week and still has deductions to clean up."
Up next for the 2-0 Utes is a road meet against Arizona State on Friday, Jan. 25 in Tempe.