Nansy Damianova won floor with a 9.90 and Utah improved to 87-2 all-time vs. BYU.
March 18, 2011
PROVO, Utah -
The No. 7 Ute gymnasts improved to 87-2 all-time against Brigham Young, beating the Cougars 196.700-195.800. The meet featured the return of Corrie Lothrop to the all-around lineup and Victoria Shanley to the vault lineup, and the Utes concluded the regular season without counting a fall in any meet.
Stephanie McAllister won her fourth all-around title of the season, scoring a 39.275 to beat Nansy Damianova (38.750) and Lothrop (38.400). Both Damianova and Lothrop had a fall--Damianova on beam and Lothrop on floor--and McAllister's score reflected a sub-par 9.675 on beam.
Other than falling on her first career beam routine, Damianova was marvelous, tying for first on vault with Lia Del Priore (9.875), scoring a 9.85 on bars and winning floor with a 9.90. Gael Mackie, who was out all week with illness, won her fourth bar title of the season with a 9.925.
"A lot of them (Ute gymnasts) were putting on a good game face, just doing the best they could under the circumstances," said coach Greg Marsden, who noted that training had been a struggle all week due to illness and injury. "I was concerned that someone would run out of gas and get hurt."
He was pleased to get Lothrop back in the all-around lineup after a three-week absence. "I pushed Corrie a little faster than we wanted with Gael (Mackie) being sick and I asked her to get some routines ready." Lothrop had competed just two routines--both on beam--in the previous three weeks due to an ankle injury.
In round two, while BYU was getting some high-flying scores on bars, Utah lost ground on vault. Only Lia Del Priore, who started the set with a career-high 9.875 and Damianova (9.875) scored well for the Utes, who totaled a 49.175 on the event. After two, Utah's lead was chopped to a slim 98.550-98.250.
Utah regained control on the next event when Damianova's career-tying 9.90 led Utah to a season-high 49.300 on the floor and allowed the Utes to retain the lead going into the final event. Also tying a career high was Jacquelyn Johnson (9.875). Still, with the dangerous beam ahead, Utah led just 147.850-147.300.
The Utes put up just a 48.850--their lowest beam score of the year--but it was enough to beat BYU, which had to count a fall on the floor. Mary Beth Lofgren's 9.875 highlighted the set.
The Utes will learn their regional destination on Monday. The NCAA regional championships will be held on April 2 on the campuses of Alabama, Denver, Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma and Oregon State.