Jan. 13, 2003
SALT LAKE CITY -
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No. 3 ranked Utah (0-1) plays host to rival Brigham Young (0-0) Friday, Jan. 17 in Salt Lake City ... The Spartan Chrysler-Jeep Showdown starts at 7 p.m. in the Huntsman Center ... Utah moved up one spot to No. 3 in the rankings after a close loss to No. 1 ranked UCLA last week ... BYU was ranked No. 23 in the preseason poll, but dropped out this week since the new rankings are based on high score and the Cougars have not yet competed ... Utah hopes to start a new home court win streak after seeing its national-record 23-year-old streak snapped last Friday vs. UCLA (see The Streak).
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday starting at 1:30 p.m. in the Dumke Gymnastics Center. All practices are open to the public. Media interested in interviews should plan to be in the Dumke Gymnastics Center 30 minutes before practice begins. Interviews must be completed by the start of practice. Call sports information director Liz Abel at 801-581-3511 to arrange interviews.
The rankings this week and next are based on high score. The new Jan. 13 rankings follow: 1. UCLA 197.600, 2. Georgia 197.325, 3. Utah 196.750, 4. Nebraska 196.700, 5. Florida 196.575, 6. Denver 196.425, 7. Michigan 196.100, 8. Stanford 196.050, 9. Alabama 196.000, 10. Oregon State 195.825, 11. Arizona 195.725, 12. Minnesota 195.525, 13. Auburn 195.350, 14. Louisiana State 194.600, 15. Penn State 194.375, 16. Arizona State 194.200, 17. West Virginia 193.975, 18. New Hampshire 193.900, 19. Cal State Fullerton 193.875, 20. (tie) Kent State, Central Michigan 193.925, 22. Kentucky 193.625, 23. Arkansas 193.300, 24. Iowa 193.250, 25. Bowling Green 192.850.
A short-handed Ute team put forth a great effort but came up short, 197.225-196.750, to No. 1 ranked UCLA in Salt Lake City last Friday. A crowd of 10,834 was treated to a great night of gymnastics and gave a standing ovation when it was over. The loss finally put an end to the longest home court win streak in the nation by any team in any sport. Utah had won 170 straight meets dating back to 1979 before falling to the powerful Bruins. Melissa Vituj
led four Ute all-arounders by placing second with a 39.60. She won the balance beam competition with a career-tying 9.95. Utah was competing without star Theresa Kulikowski
, a 12-time All-American and three-time NCAA champion, who missed the meet with a rib injury. Freshmen Dominique D'Oliveira
and Crystal Gilmore
also missed the meet with injuries.
The first national individual rankings are based on high score and Utah's Melissa Vituj
is tied for fourth in the all-around with a 39.60. Veronique Leclerc
is tied for 14th in the all-around (39.35). Vituj is tied for first on the beam (9.95) and third on the floor (9.95) ... Utah's 196.75 score against UCLA last Friday was the second-best season-opening score in school history. The 1993 Utes opened with a 196.950 score.
Senior All-America Theresa Kulikowski
will likely miss another 2-3 weeks with a rib injury. She and freshmen Dominique D'Oliveira
(broken ankle) and Crystal Gilmore
(back) all missed the first meet. Gilmore is questionable for this week.
Utah leads 68-2 in a series that dates back to 1976. Utah's two losses, which were in 1994 and 1998, were both in Provo. Utah has won the last 10. The Utes lead the series 31-0 in Salt Lake City and 46-2 in regular season competition.
UTAH COACH GREG MARSDEN
, the most successful coach in collegiate gymnastics history, is in his 28th year at the U. He is college gymnastics' only 700 win coach (764-120-5). In regular season competition, Marsden is 378-52-2. He has spent his entire career at Utah and has won 10 national championships, double that of any other coach. Four of those titles came in the '90s (1990, '92, '94, '95). Fifteen of his teams have placed in the top-three at the national championships, most recently in 2000 (second). Marsden is a seven-time National Coach of the Year recipient.
0-0 ... ranked 23rd in the preseason coaches poll ... unranked this week ... junior Kari Dye Lords has a career all-around high of 39.475 ... sophomore Jaime Mabray has a 39.350 career all-around best ... Head Coach Brad Cattermole is 180-217-1 going into his 16th season.
"It's out of the frying pan and into the fire. BYU-Utah is typically a meet that goes down to the last rotation and I don't expect anything different this year. I was pleased with the job our team did against UCLA. Now we need to be careful not to let down. Our schedule is one that requires us to be ready each week.
"The main issues I saw last week were we need to stick our landings on vault and eliminate some execution deductions on bars and beam. I thought we looked a little nervous on those two events. On floor, we just need to continue to compete aggressively. I thought that was our best event on Friday and now we probably need to look at upgrading the difficulty of tumbling passes."