Sophomore Rachel Tidd won the all-around and tied for first on two events.
March 26, 2005
PROVO, Utah -
The Utah gymnastics team learned a few things in its 197.450-196.825 win over Brigham Young in the last regular season meet of the season. Namely, warm-ups don't count in the final score, Ashley Postell is human after all and a healthy Rachel Tidd makes Utah a better team.
Utah coach Greg Marsden confided before the meet that warm-ups had been awful. His team proceeded to show how little that matters, starting competition in spectacular fashion, then toughing out the second half to beat BYU for the 17th straight time.
One streak did come to an end. Freshman sensation Ashley Postell saw her string of routines without a fall snapped at 43 when she fell on a double back on her final tumbling pass. She didn't let it bother her, though, coming just shy of a school-record third straight 10.0 on the beam in her next routine. She received a 10.0 from one judge and finished with a 9.95. She also tied for first on vault with Tidd and Annabeth Eberle, all with a 9.95.
Tidd, who has been battling an ear infection and illness for three weeks, finally returned to good health this week. In her first all-around go since March 4, Tidd scored a 39.575--good enough for the all-around title--her second this year against BYU. She also won her eighth bar competition of the season, tying for first with Nicolle Ford, each with a 9.925.
Eberle epitomized Utah's toughness. Although she won the floor exercise for the second straight week with a 9.95, her most critical effort may have been on the beam, where she scored a 9.675. Kristen Riffanacht had fallen at the No. 2 spot and Eberle appeared destined for the same outcome before making a tenacious recovery on her flight series. A fall by Eberle would have placed the outcome of the meet in doubt.
Utah trailed just once--after the first rotation and despite perhaps its best bar set of the year. Utah's six counters absolutely nailed their routines, sticking every dismount cold and moving well between the bars. Two exhibition competitors also had impressive routines. Underrated was Postell's amazing effort, which received a 9.875--third behind Tidd and Ford's 9.925.
Utah took a lead it would never relinquish on the next event after its best vault score of the year, a 49.60. Four Utes scored a 9.925 or better, with Postell, Tidd and Eberle scoring three 9.95's in a row to finish the set. The Utes clearly love to vault in the Marriott Center. Last year's team set a school record with a 49.775. After two events, Utah led 98.975-98.175.
Postell's fall on floor unfortunately drew the most notice and overshadowed a 9.95 routine by Eberle and the successful return of Tidd (9.80). A 49.400 beam set by BYU cut into Utah's lead. After three events, the Utes led 148.175-147.575.
Postell (9.975), Ford (9.925), Tidd (9.90) and Gabriella Onodi (9.85) were the big scorers on the balance beam to end the meet and helped offset the rare 9.675 by Eberle.