All-around winner Kristina Baskett loved her first Huntsman Center experience.
Jan. 20, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY -
The crowd of 12,131 in attendance for Utah's season-opening against Nebraska made its approval of Ute freshmen Kristina Baskett and Nina Kim known by roaring with delight at every move they made. After the No. 3 Utes handled the No. 6 Cornhuskers by a 195.75-193.00 score, the Ute rookies reciprocated the affection.
Said all-around winner Baskett, "I was excited to come here and compete in front of all of these people, but it was even better than I thought it would be. It gave me a lift and gave me something to feed off." Kim laughed, "I've never competed in front of even half that many people. I loved it. They energized me and helped me get through my floor routine," referring to falls on her two previous floor routines on the road.
Neither showed any sign of nerves, despite the unfamiliar experience, and Baskett's all-around victory came in her very first attempt to count. She would have won the all-around a week ago at Washington had her beam routine been to score rather than as exhibition. Trailing teammate Nicolle Ford in the all-around standings after three events--29.45-29.425--Baskett went ahead on the last rotation after scoring a 9.90. The score also gave her a victory on the floor exercise. Ford placed second in the all-around with her best score of the year, a 39.275, and won the bars with a 9.90.
Ashley Postell, Utah's freshman sensation a year ago, would have battled the duo for the all-around but for some wobbles on her best event--the balance beam. Postell still scored a 39.125 in the all-around to finish third. In fourth was Husker Emily Parsons (39.10), who came into the meet as the No. 1-ranked all-arounder in the nation but took herself out of the running in this meet with a 9.425 bar routine. Parsons did win the vault (9.95) and beam (9.875).