Mary Beth Lofgren competed in her first collegiate all-around in close loss to No. 2 Stanford.
Jan. 28, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY - Photo Gallery
A team finally beat the Utes at their own game--the balance beam. Tied after three rotations, second-ranked Stanford put together the highest event score of the night on the beam to move past Utah 196.825-196.500. Utah (3-1) was knocked from the ranks of the unbeatens, while the Cardinal improved to 8-0. It was Utah's first regular season home loss since 2007 and snapped a streak of 20 regular season home wins.
A crowd of 13,835 watched a short-handed Utah team turn in yet another gutsy performance, battling back from a 98.375-98.350 two-event deficit to tie the score at 147.500 on the balance beam. When Fumina Kobayashi suffered her first fall of the season as Utah's first beam competitor, the meet could have gotten away from the Utes. Instead, the next five competitors hit their routines and freshman Mary Beth Lofgren closed the set with a personal-best 9.90. Lofgren would finish the night tied with two Stanford gymnasts for first place on the beam to earn Utah's only individual victory of the night.
Even without injured All-America Kyndal Robarts (projected to miss at least four weeks with a knee injury) and three-event performer Jacquelyn Johnson (concussion), the Utes posted their highest score of the season.
Said Utah coach Greg Marsden, "If you had told me we would be without Kyndal and Jacq and come this close to beating Stanford I'd never have believed you. I thought we were exceptional tonight and we can still get better."
It would be hard to get much younger. Freshmen performed 14 of Utah's 24 routines, including five of six vaults. In her first collegiate routine, freshman Victoria Shanley scored a 9.875 on vault, tying for second on the event with fellow freshman Corrie Lothrop. Even Utah's veterans were relatively new: senior Gael Mackie scored a career-high 9.875 on floor--where she had not competed in a year and rarely even trains.
Stephanie McAllister led a trio of Ute all-arounders by placing second with a career-best 39.400. In her first-ever collegiate all-around, Lofgren posted a 39.225, while fellow freshman Corrie Lothrop contributed a 39.150.