Ashley Postell was invincible in Utah's victory over Minnesota.
Jan. 27, 2007
Utah gymnastics coach Greg Marsden will have some tough decisions to make in practice this week after seeing the way his team beat Minnesota 195.875-194.125 to improve its mark to 3-0. And he couldn't be more happy about his newfound "problem."
"I've really been tough on the freshmen - challenging them in the gym and in public - so I want to say how proud I am of them now that they stepped up and contributed in a meet," said Marsden.
While Annie DiLuzio has been a big scorer for the Utes on three events in every meet, none of her rookie classmates has chipped in until tonight.
"My freshman exhibition performers made me look like an idiot tonight, which is great," laughed Marsden. "Beth Rizzo showed she needs to be in the floor lineup with her exhibition routine, and Sarah Shire actually got thrown into count on beam and really pulled through." In addition, Daria Bijak impressed in her first counting routine of the season by scoring a 9.725 on the uneven bars.
Shire, who did not compete at all in Utah's first two meets, went exhibition on vault and received a non-counting 9.875. Scheduled for another exhibition appearance on the beam, instead the freshman found herself in the lineup in place of senior Nicolle Ford, after Ford suffered her second fall of the night on the floor exercise.
Shire made a case for a full-time job after an impressive routine earned her a 9.80--the fourth-best beam score of the night. While Shire's showing was impressive to Marsden and a vocal Utah contingent in the stands, it took the backseat to the best performance of the season by All-American Ashley Postell. Postell was untouchable, winning the all-around with a 39.55 and also sweeping all of the individual titles (tying for first on bars with Kristina Baskett with a 9.825). Postell took solo wins on vault (9.90), beam (9.925) and floor (9.90). Her vault and beam scores were season bests and her 9.90 on floor tied her best this year.
Ford didn't have as much success recovering from sickness that cost her practice time this week. Utah's last performer on the bars, Ford fell on her landing. She rebounded with a nice 9.85 vault, but fell again on her floor routine. After the second fall, Marsden made the decision to pull her out of the beam lineup and give Shire a shot.