Theresa Kulikowski scored a 9.90 on this beam routine vs. Michigan.
Feb. 28, 2003
SALT LAKE CITY -
Suddenly home is not so sweet for the Utah gymnasts, who suffered their third home court loss in 23 years, and third in the last four meets in the Huntsman Center. Utah had an absolutely miserable night, counting falls on both beam and floor and recording its worst vault score of the year in a 196.750-195.875 loss to Michigan.
Competing in their first home meet for over a month, the Utes gave a crowd of 9,582 very little to cheer about in falling to 4-4 on the season. Only Melissa Vituj and Annabeth Eberle, who finished 1-2 in the all-around, showed why the Utes went into the meet ranked No. 5, five places ahead of Michigan.
Two falls on beam and floor more than erased a little lead the Utes clung to after two events, when a decent bar set put them up 98.275-98.175. Senior Kylee Wagner, who fell on both her beam and floor routines, epitomized Utah's problems in a night where they scored below a 49.00 on three events after doing so just twice total in the preceding seven meets.
Even Theresa Kulikowski, whose magnificent 9.95 bar routine resulted in her fifth bar win in as many meets, ran into late trouble. After following her bar set with a nice 9.90 beam routine, she tumbled to the ground on the floor exercise in her eagerly-awaited home debut of the season on that event.
Oddly given their overall poor performance, the Utes won the individual battle, taking the all-around, bars and beam and tying for first on floor. Vituj scored a 39.55 to edge Eberle (39.475) and Michigan's Jennifer Deiley (39.75) for all-around honors. Kulikowski won the bars with a 9.95, Eberle won beam with a 9.925 and Vituj tied for first with UM's Calli Rylas on the floor with a 9.95.
The Utes will take a crack at improving their home record, which now stands at 1-3, next Friday against Washington.