Feb. 10, 2003
SALT LAKE CITY -
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The No. 2 ranked Utah gymnasts (3-2) face another tough road test this week when they go to Tucson, Ariz., for a Friday meet with No. 13 Arizona (4-4) ... Meet time is 7:30 p.m. MST in the McKale Center ... It is the third straight road meet for the Utes, who are 2-0 away from home ... Utah's 47-0 all-time record against the Wildcats is its most wins without a loss against any opponent ... Theresa Kulikowski
earned her 100th career win last week at Utah State, tying for first on bars with a 9.95.
The Utah gymnastics team is ranked No. 2 in the nation this week, a two-place improvement from last week. The Utes, whose 197.825 score last Friday in Logan is the third-best in the country this year, trail only UCLA in the new rankings. The complete Feb. 10 rankings, which are based on total season average, follow: 1. UCLA 197.109, 2. Utah 196.985, 3. Alabama 196.917, 4. Georgia 196.900, 5. Nebraska 196.757, 6. Florida 196.540, 7. Arizona State 196.330, 8. Stanford 196.180, 9. Oregon State 195.775, 10. LSU 195.565, 11. Michigan 195.396, 12. Denver 195.390, 13. Arizona 195.380, 14. Washington 195.150, 15. Auburn 195.075, 16. Oklahoma 195.040, 17. Iowa 195.037, 18. Kent State 194.917, 19. Penn State 194.825, 20. Iowa State 194.460, 21. Missouri 194.405, 22. Minnesota 194.290, 23. Central Michigan 194.220, 24. Ohio State 194.200, 25. North Carolina State 194.140.
The best effort of the year by Utah resulted in the fifth-best score in school history last Friday in Logan, Utah. The Utes went 24-of-24 in routines in beating the Aggies 197.825-196.150. Melissa Vituj
recorded career highs in the all-around (39.675) and on beam (9.975) and floor (9.975) to capture three victories. Three Utes tied for first on bars with a 9.95: Theresa Kulikowski
, Kim Allan
and Veronique Leclerc
. It was a career-high for Allan and Leclerc. Freshman Kristen Riffanacht
won the vault with a career-best 9.90.
Three Utes are ranked in the nation's top 10 individually this week. Junior Melissa Vituj
is second on the floor exercise (9.955 average), tied for fourth on the balance beam (9.940) and seventh in the all-around (39.525). On the uneven bars, senior Theresa Kulikowski
is ranked No. 1 (9.975) and senior Kim Allan
is No. 8 (9.905) ... Kulikowski's 10.0 on bars vs. Minnesota gave her the school record for perfect scores with 12. Kristen Kenoyer had 11 career 10.0's from 1990-93 ... Sophomore Gritt Hofmann
set career marks on both of her events against Utah State, scoring a 9.80 on vault and 9.925 on beam ... Freshmen Dominque D'Oliveira and Crystal Glimore are both available to compete if needed this week (D'Oliveira on bars and Gilmore on bars and beam). They missed the first five meets with injuries.
Utah is 47-0 in its series against Arizona ... Utah leads 8-0 in Tucson and 16-0 in regular season play ... Utah beat UA twice last year: 197.150-196.100 in Salt Lake City and 196.775-194.975 at the NCAA Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where Utah placed fourth and Arizona was 11th.
Utah and Arizona have met three common foes this year and are 2-1 against them. Utah beat Minnesota on the road and Brigham Young at home and lost to Arizona State at home. Arizona beat Minnesota on the road, BYU at a neutral site and lost to ASU at home.
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 (767-121-5). In regular season competition, Marsden is 381-53-2. 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.
4-4 ... 1-1 at home ... high score is 196.175 ... top all-arounders are Monica Bisordi (39.425) and Jamie Schell (39.325) ... Head Coach Bill Ryden is 53-68-1 in his fifth year. Ryden was the 2002 Pac-10 and NCAA South Central Regional Coach of the Year.
"At Utah State, we finally were able to do what we have been working on in the gym in terms of eliminating execution errors and sticking landings. This week at Arizona, I hope we can continue to show improvement in those areas. In the last half of the season, if we can get where we want to be execution-wise, we'll begin to upgrade difficulty.
"Arizona is a very competitive team. Unfortunately, they don't have a great following at home, so sometimes the environment can be a little sterile. Without an enthusiastic crowd, it will be important that we not depend on it for energy. We're really going to have to create that energy within the team."