Jan. 6, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY--
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THIS WEEK IN UTAH GYMNASTICS
The No. 6-ranked Utah gymnastics team will kick off its 2014 season on Saturday, Jan. 11 with a four-team rendition of the annual Deseret First Duel. Joining rivalry series partners Utah and Brigham Young will be Southern Utah and No. 23 Boise State in a meet that starts at 7 p.m. MST in the Huntsman Center. The meet is also the annual Daddy-Daughter night. There is no television, but there will be free live video streaming and live scores at UtahUtes.com.
Starting his 39th season, Utah coach Greg Marsden
is poised to become the sport's first 1,000-win coach. With a 994-199-7 career record, Marsden needs just six wins to reach the milestone ... Dads and their daughters may obtain free online coupons for Daddy-Daughter night by using the promo code RedRocksDads at utahtickets.com ... Mascots from area teams will be roaming the concourse prior to the meet, starting at 5:30 p.m. ... Gymnastics season tickets for 2014 have already topped 6,900, which breaks last year's school-record mark of 6,883. Season tickets are still available, along with three-meet packages and single-meet tickets at utahtickets.com ... Saturday's meet is worth three points in the Deseret First Duel rivalry series, which Utah currently leads 23-6 (Ute wins to date have come in football, men's basketball and women's basketball).
IN THE RANKINGS
Utah starts the season ranked No. 6 in the preseason coaches' poll, marking the program's 24th-straight appearance in the preseason top-six since the poll began in 1991. See page 3 for the 2014 preseason top 25, as well as Utah's all-time preseason rankings and subsequent NCAA finishes. Ten of Utah's 2014 opponents are in the preseason top 25: No. 4 UCLA, No. 7 Michigan, No. 8 Georgia, No. 9 Stanford, No. 12 Oregon State, No. 17 Arizona, No. 20 Washington, No. 22 California, No. 23 Boise State and No. 25 Arizona State.
There are a school-record nine All-Americans on Utah's roster, including 2013 NCAA uneven bar runner-up and first-team All-America all-aounder Georgia Dabritz
... The Utes return all 24 routines from last year's NCAA team, which did not have a single senior on the roster ... Returning to action after missing most or all of last season with injuries are All-Americans Corrie Lothrop
and Kailah Delaney
. While they are listed as a senior and junior, respectively, both will have an additional year of eligibility available. Lothrop, a five-time All-American, was the 2012 Pac-12 all-around champion ... The team's only freshman, Baely Rowe
, was the 2013 Junior Olympic all-around champion.
Seniors Hailee Hansen
and Corrie Lothrop
have been elected team co-captains for the second-straight year ... Hansen has been awarded a scholarship for her final season. Last year, she became only the third walk-on in school history to earn All-America honors ... First-team All-America all-arounder Lothrop will compete only on beam and bars to start the season while she continues her recovery from a torn Achilles ... Tory Wilson
became the first gymnast in school history to go undefeated on an event in the regular season last year, winning all 10 vault competitions prior to postseason play. She also won vault at regionals ... Georgia Dabritz
led Utah in victories as a sophomore last year with 18 ... Although some positions are still under contention, the preliminary lineup for the opening meet does not feature any all-arounders. The most likely candidates to go all-around in the early going are first-team All-American Dabritz, first-team All-Pac-12 Wilson and Kassandra Lopez
Utah is 90-2 all-time against BYU and 42-0 in Salt Lake City. The Utes have won 32 straight against the Cougars since getting edged 196.050-195.975 in Provo in 1998 ... Utah is 19-0 against Southern Utah and 12-0 against Boise State.