Utah head coach Greg Marsden is preparing to coach his 33rd season at Utah.
Jan. 3, 2008
SALT LAKE CITY -
The Utah gymnastics team received the third-most points in the preseason coaches poll behind three-time defending NCAA champion Georgia and last year's third-place finisher, Florida. Utah has placed second at the last two NCAA Championships. The Utes received 779 points and three first-place votes in the preseason poll. Georgia led the way with 866 points and 28 first-place votes, and Florida tallied 788 points and one first-place vote.
Utah will open its season against Georgia on Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Huntsman Center. The two teams have combined to win 18 national championships - Utah 10 and Georgia eight - and 17 of the 26 NCAA Championships awarded. Utah's first title was 1981 AIAW Championship.
The Utah-Georgia meet on Jan. 11 will feature not only the top two teams from the last two NCAA Championships, but the top two all-arounders as well. Georgia's Courtney Kupets and Utah's Ashley Postell placed 1-2 in the all-around in 2006 and 2007. A total of three NCAA individual champions will compete in the meet: Kupets (five golds), Postell (2007 balance beam champion) and Ute Kristina Baskett (2006 uneven bars co-champ).
Utah's 2008 schedule features seven preseason top 20 teams in all, including No. 2 Florida on Mar. 14 in Gainesville. Other ranked teams are No. 4 UCLA (Feb. 24 in Los Angeles), No. 7 Nebraska (Jan. 18 in Salt Lake City), No. 9 Michigan (Feb. 22 in Ann Arbor), No. 11 Oregon State (Mar. 7 in Salt Lake City) and No. 18 Arizona State (Jan. 25 in Tempe).
The Utes, who return 10 letter-winners and six All-Americans from last year's NCAA runner-up team, will hold a tune-up for the season on Friday, Jan. 4. The fifth-annual Red Rocks Preview will be held in the Huntsman Center starting at 7 p.m. and admission and parking are free.
Utah Gymnastics Tickets are available at utahutes.com, the Rice-Eccles Stadium box office and by phone (801-581-UTIX). Tickets will also be sold at the Red Rocks Preview.
Team Points First Place Votes 1. Georgia 866 28 2. Florida 788 1 3. Utah 779 3 4. UCLA 743 5. Stanford 727 2 6. Alabama 685 7. Nebraska 641 8.Oklahoma 620 9. Michigan 593 1 10. LSU 591 11. Oregon State 503 12. Arizona 402 13. Penn State 385 14. Arkansas 365 Denver 365 16. Missouri 310 17. Iowa State 285 18. Arizona State 256 19. Auburn 237 20. Ohio State 202 21. Michigan State 197 22. West Virginia 130 23. Illinois 124 24. Kentucky 104 25. North Carolina State 72