Jan. 9, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY -
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A few notes on this week's Utah gymnastics meet at Washington follow. For the complete release and stats, please download the accompanying PDF document.
The No. 4-ranked Utah gymnastics team (1-0) makes its second road trip in as many weeks, competing against No. 18 Washington (2-3) in Seattle on Friday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. PST ... Utah opened its 2006 season with a bang last Saturday, beating UCLA, 194.875-193.850 in Los Angeles ... Washington met UCLA in its season-opener, as well, losing to the Bruins (193.775-190.425) at the Hawaiian Classic on Jan. 3 ... Live scoring, commentary and video streaming can be found for the Utah-Washington meet at UtahUtes.com. Live scoring and commentary are free and the live video streaming is available by purchasing the Utah All-Access pass.
The Utes dropped two places from No. 2 to No. 4 in the national rankings after beating No. 3-ranked UCLA last Saturday in Los Angeles. Here's how that oddity can happen in college gymnastics: Utah and UCLA's preseason rankings were by vote of the coaches. The new rankings were determined by high score--resulting in Utah dropping to fourth and UCLA to No. 9. The same determination will be used in next week's poll and then the rankings will go to total season average for four weeks. From Feb. 20 on, the measuring stick for ranking the teams will become yet more consistent, when the system moves to regional qualifying score. Complete rankings can be found on page 3 of this release.
A UTE OVERVIEW
Utah finished third at the 2006 NCAA Championships and boasts four All-Americans on its active roster (a fifth is out indefinitely with a back injury). Leading the way is sophomore Ashley Postell
, the 2002 World Balance Beam Champion and a five-time All-American as a freshman last year. Postell finished third in both the all-around and on bars at the 2006 NCAA Championships. Junior Nicolle Ford
is a four-time All-American, senior Kristen Riffanacht
owns two All-America citations and senior Gritt Hofmann
is a returning All-American on the floor exercise.
UTES IN THE RANKINGS
Junior Nicolle Ford's
39.20 all-around score at UCLA was the sixth-highest all-around score in the nation in the opening week of competition. Ford and Freshman Kristina Baskett
are tied for second on the uneven bars (9.875), and Ford and freshman Nina Kim
are tide for third on the beam (9.85). Rankings this week are based on high score.
Utah overcame a shaky start to snatch a 194.875-193.850 from No. 3 UCLA in Los Angeles last Saturday. The Utes opened the meet with two falls on the uneven bars, but finished strong on that event and the remainder of the meet. Junior Nicolle Ford
placed second in the all-around (39.20) and Gritt Hofmann
and Kristina Baskett
tied for first on the floor with a 9.825. Utah trailed the Bruins by .325 entering the final rotation, but a good night on the beam by the Utes (48.90), combined with UCLA mistakes on the floor, swung the contest in Utah's favor.
ITEMS OF INTEREST
Utah's win over UCLA last week marked its third straight victory over the Bruins and the third time in the last four years that the Utes have opened their season with a victory over UCLA ... Sophomore Jessica Duke
and freshman Nina Kim
made their all-around debuts at UCLA and performed very well on three events. Duke fell in her first routine to count on the balance beam and Kim fell on her last floor pass ... Kim showed poise under pressure despite her late fall on the floor. The rookie followed falls by a teammate or teammates on bars and beam, yet appeared unaffected, scoring a 9.725 and 9.85, respectively ... Freshman Kristina Baskett
was one of just two competitors to post three 9.80-or-better scores at last Saturday's meet. UCLA's Kate Richardson was the other ... Baskett will enjoy a large fan following in Seattle this week. She hails from nearby Normandy Park, Wash.