Theresa Kulikowski scored a perfect 10.0 in her first meet of 2003.
Feb. 1, 2003
Theresa Kulikowski scored a 10.0 on the uneven bars in her first routine of the year and Annabeth Eberle had a career night to lead the No. 1 ranked University of Utah gymnastics team to a 196.400-194.750 win over No. 25 Minnesota.
Kulikowski, who missed Utah's first three meets with a dislocated rib and just returned to practice this week, received the first perfect 10.0 ever rewarded in the UM Sports Pavilion for her magnificent bar routine. It was the 12th career 10.0 for Kulikowski and her seventh on the uneven bars.
Sophomore Eberle was unaffected by the falls or near falls that struck three of her teammates in a remarkable showing that saw her win the all-around with a career-best 39.625. Eberle also won the vault with a season-best 9.90 and tied for first on beam (9.90) and floor (9.925).
Junior Melissa Vituj suffered her first fall of the year on Utah's first event, the bars, but came back to tie for first on beam (9.90) and floor (9.925). Sophomore Gritt Hofmann was part of a three-way tie on the beam with her career-best 9.90 routine.
Utah had to count a fall on the bars and a major break on the beam, but Utah head coach Greg Marsden was nonetheless pleased with Utah's first road meet of the year.
"I wasn't sure what to expect in our first meet away from home, but I thought we were very aggressive. We had to count a fall and a major break, but other than that, the scores were consistent with what we've been getting at home."
He was thrilled to get Kulikowski, a 12-time NCAA All-American and three-time NCAA champion, back in his lineup on two events. Kulikowski had scores of fans among the 2,123 in attendance and treated them to a flawless bar routine. She looked on her way to another perfect score before coming off of a move crooked and finding herself holding on to the beam to stay aboard.
He was also appreciative of Eberle's big night. "This was a breakthrough for Annabeth," he said. "She'd been struggling with consistency this year, but tonight she was right on on all four events. She had a much better approach to competition than I've seen before."
Also turning in her best meet of the year was senior Kylee Wagner, who hit three events, and Hofmann, whose 9.90 on beam was a career-best.
Utah improved to 2-2 with the win and continues its month-long road trip next Friday at Utah State.