Theresa Kulikowski took the gold on all three of her events.
Feb. 21, 2003
CORVALLIS, Ore. -
The No. 3 ranked Utah gymnastics team became the third higher ranked team to fall to Oregon State in Gill Coliseum this year, losing to the No. 9 ranked Beavers 196.900-196.325. It was Utah's worst score of the year and just like No. 1 UCLA and No. 6 Arizona State before them, the Utes lost the meet on the balance beam, where they had three falls.
The loss ended Utah's win streak at three, all obtained on the road. And the falls off the beam came from unusual sources. Melissa Vituj, the nation's third-ranked beam worker, had her first fall of the year on that event, as did Gritt Hofmann and Kylee Wagner.
The meet came down to the final rotation with Oregon State holding a slim .20 lead and Utah heading into what is normally its best event and one in which it is the nation's second-ranked team.
"I told the team I was very disappointed because it was our meet to win at the end and we didn't take advantage of it," said Ute Head Coach Greg Marsden, who saw his team's record dip to 4-3. "We did a lot of good things in this meet, but you can't have three misses on one event, ever ... ever. There is no excuse for that."
Marsden was pleased with sophomore sensation Annabeth Eberle, who tied for first in the all-around with a 39.575 and won the vault with a career-best 9.95. He also welcomed Theresa Kulikowski back to the floor lineup for the first time this year. Competing in the middle of the lineup, Kulikowski nonetheless won the event, scoring a 9.95. She also won her other two events, the bars (9.95) and beam (9.95). She tied for first on the beam with teammate Kim Allan, who produced a career-best 9.95 on a night that also saw her score a 9.925 on her only other event, the bars.
Utah had a nice start to the night, scoring a 49.30 on the bars to take a .20 lead after one event. Particularly sharp were Vituj, who tied a career high with a 9.875, and Allan (9.925) and Kulikowski (9.95) to close the set. Kulikowski's score would hold up and she tied for first on the event, her fourth win on bars in as many meets. She missed the first three meets with a dislocated rib.
The Utes lost their lead and then some on the next rotation, despite a pretty nice vault set that scored a 49.100. Eberle uncorked a gigantic vault and stuck it cold to win the event with a career-best 9.95. Still, the Utes found themselves down by two tenths (98.600-98.400) at the midway point after OSU rocketed to a 49.50 on the bars.
That margin held after Utah took its turn on the floor, where the highlight was unquestionably the return of Kulikowski, performing on floor for the first time this year. Kulikowski, who received a perfect score on bars in her first routine of the year (on bars back on Feb. 1), came close with a 9.95 in her first floor routine.
The Utes return home for the first time in a month next Friday to host No. 10 Michigan in the Huntsman Center.