Stephanie McAllister sealed Utah's come-from-behind win over Georgia with a 9.95 on floor.
Feb. 3, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY
In surely one of the most exciting meets in Huntsman Center history, the top-ranked Utah gymnasts edged past No. 4 Georgia, 197.150-196.950 before a roaring crowd of 14,926. Not until Corrie Lothrop and Stephanie McAllister reeled off 9.95 floor routines as Utah's final competitors did the Utes secure the victory.
Even given the fierce competition between two of college gymnastics' top programs, 9.90's were hard to come by. Not only did the caliber of competition have a national championship feel to it, so did the judging panel, which required the gymnasts on both teams to earn every tenth. Asked later by reporters about the tight scoring, Utah coach Greg Marsden said, "When two teams are of this quality, the judges score very tight to leave room to reward exceptional routines. It's a good thing. That's what they are supposed to do."
Both teams did what they were supposed to do as well, which was put on an epic showdown. They traded leads every rotation, starting with Georgia taking a 49.275-49.225 lead in the first rotation.
Utah edged ahead in round two when McAllister's 9.90 led a 49.250 bar set that beat Georgia's 49.175 on vault. At the midway point, Utah clung to a 98.475-98.450 lead.
It wouldn't last for long, with the Bulldogs' 49.300 on floor trumping Utah's 49.175 on beam. While Lothrop set the stage for her clutch floor routine by using an upgraded double back dismount off the beam to claim a hard-earned 9.90 as the anchor, the Utes trailed by a tenth heading into the final event, 147.750-147.650.
It was a fitting setting for a photo finish with Utah, ranked No. 1 in the nation on floor going to that event and Georgia, ranked No. 2 on the beam, heading to its specialty. The two teams traded blows to the very end with Utah overtaking the Bulldogs by five one-hundredths of a point (187.150-187.100) on Lothrop's 9.95 routine. Still, the Utes needed every tenth of McAllister's 9.95 routine to fend off the Bulldogs, which got a 9.90 from Shayla Worley as their final competitor on beam.
Lothrop won her second all-around title in as many weeks with a 39.475, followed closely by McAllister at 39.450. Lothrop finished with three victories, tying for first on beam (9.90) and floor (9.95).
Utah's victory was its third-straight against Georgia, marking the Utes' longest win streak against their cross-country rival since winning five in a row from 1990-1992.