Annabeth Eberle's second 10.0 of the year on floor helped her to an all-around win.
March 28, 2003
PROVO, Utah -
For three events, the University of Utah gymnastics team looked like a world beater, rolling up a two-point lead against No. 24 ranked Brigham Young. And, although the Utes ran into trouble at the end on the beam, their fast start helped them to a 197.400-196.025 win on the floor of their arch rival.
Even counting a fall on beam, Utah's score was the tenth-best in school history, making one wonder how good the No. 9 ranked Utes could be once that problem is solved.
"I hate to state the obvious, but we were great on three events and then crumbled on beam," said Head Coach Greg Marsden. "Plenty of good things happened tonight but we have work to get done before regionals."
Riding on the strong shoulders of Annabeth Eberle, whose 39.750 was the fourth-best score in school history, Utah (7-5) clinched a winning record against one of the toughest schedules in school history.
Eberle was followed in the all-around standings by Melissa Vituj with a solid 39.625. The duo combined to win three of the four individual events, with teammate Kim Allan wrapping up the other title with her 9.95 on bars. Eberle won vault (9.95) and floor (10.0) and Vituj took beam (9.90).
The story of the night was Eberle, whose sensational sophomore season was epitomized by her flawless floor routine. Ironically, it took every tenth for her to edge out Vituj on that event, where the junior All-American scored a 9.975.
Utah opened the meet by tying its season best on bars with a 49.525. From the No. 2 spot, Dominique D'Oliveira had an incredible routine and received a career-best 9.900. Eberle followed with a high flying 9.925 score, her best routine on that event since Jan. 17, also against BYU. Closer Allan chipped in one of the nicest routines of the entire season, tying her career high with a 9.95.
The floor rotation brought yet another season-best, with the Eberle and Vituj-fueled lineup putting up a 49.60 score. Riffanacht tied another career high with a 9.90.
Fortunately, Utah had a big lead heading into the final event, because the Utes started off on the wrong foot after a long television delay. Gritt Hofmann and Kylee Wagner both fell from the No. 1 and 3 positions and Natalie Nicoloff worked hard to stay on in a 9.75 effort in the No. 2 spot. Allan righted the Utes with a gritty 9.80 performance and Eberle and Vituj marched through 9.875 and 9.90 routines.