Kim Allan was flying high on Senior Night.
March 14, 2003
SALT LAKE CITY -
After an emotional tribute to their three senior gymnasts, the Ute gymnasts dried their tears and had a ball on their way to a 197.475-196.575 win over No. 15 LSU in the Huntsman Center.
A boisterous crowd of 9,827 turned out early and stayed late to say goodbye to seniors Kim Allan, Kylee Wagner and Theresa Kulikowski. Unfortunately for everyone involved, Kulikowski, Utah's sensational All-American and NCAA champion, could not compete due to a broken finger suffered yesterday in practice.
Filling in for Kulikowski were senior Wagner on beam and floor and freshman Dominique D'Oliveira on bars. Wagner couldn't control her landing on her first 10.0 valued vault of the year, but bounced back big on the beam (9.825) and floor (9.85). D'Oliveira, who had not been able to crack the bar lineup after returning from a broken ankle and subsequent surgery over the Christmas holidays, scored a 9.825 in her debut.
But this meet was about the seniors and Allan made sure of that. The fiery senior, who yesterday tweaked the Achilles she tore two years ago, was told by Head Coach Greg Marsden before the meet that she would only compete on bars as a precaution. But Allan refused to leave the vault and beam lineups. Good decision on her part. She performed a season-best 9.875 on the vault and scored a 9.90 on both the bars and beam.
Another Ute who enjoyed a big night was junior Melissa Vituj, who won the all-around in a career-tying 39.675 performance. Vituj also captured vault with a career-tying and season-best 9.95, tied for first on beam with a 9.95 and owned floor with a 9.925. Junior Veronique Leclerc snapped out of a slump on the bars to win with a 9.925 and also scored a season-best 9.85 on vault.
By beating LSU, Utah avoided its first-ever losing record at home, evening its JHC mark at 3-3 and improving to 6-4 overall.