Feb. 6, 1998
SALT LAKE CITY -- Shannon Bowles led a Ute all-around sweep and the No. 2-ranked University of Utah rolled up its highest score of the year on every event to beat a talented Brigham Young team, 196.825-194.875, before 11,468 spectators.
Bowles tied the eighth best all-around score in school history, scoring a career-best 39.600. Angie Leonard (39.275) and Denise Jones (39.250) kept Bowles company in the top three.
For the first time of the season, the Utes hit all 24 events and they hit them big. Bowles became just the second freshman in school history to score a 10.0--a mark she now shares with senior teammate Traci Sommer. Bowles' 10.0 on beam highlighted a stunning beam set for Utah, which hit all six routines on the plank for the first time of the year en route to a season-best 49.350.
Bowles also captured vault with a personal best 9.925. She had a 9.875 on bars and a 9.80 on floor.
But this was a team thing for the 3-1 Utes, who had struggled on beam in all three previous meets. Molly Northrop, who was questionable right up until the start of competition due to illness, led off the set with a 9.800.
Theresa Wolf broke her career-best on beam with a 9.85, followed by Denise Jones' 9.775 routine. Angie Leonard and Sommer turned in back-to-back 9.825s, leading up to Bowles' magnificent 10.0.
Jones burst out with her best ever all-around. The junior, who had missed a routine in the three previous meets, was on this night--which was capped by a career-best 9.90 on bars. Sarah Northrop, in her first appearance "to count" this year, opened Utah's evening with a 9.800 vault. She repeated that feat on bars. Her identical twin Molly kept pace, scoring a career-best 9.90 on bars, despite feeling ill.
Utah needed all the firepower it could get, given BYU's best showing of the season. The No. 22-ranked Cougars trailed just 49.10-48.90 after the first rotation and were still within reach after two events--trailing 98.45-97.775. The Cougars encountered some problems on floor, giving Utah some breathing room.
The Utes didn't need it by then, as they put the meet away on beam and increased the spread with their season-best 49.025 floor. Every Ute competed with the exception of Jenny Schmidt, out for the season with a knee injury, and two-time defending NCAA balance beam champion Summer Reid, who has competed just one routine all year due to a torn calf muscle.