Feb. 13, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY -
Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader
For the complete release, please download the PDF file.
The No. 2-ranked Utah gymnastics team (7-0) hosts No. 20 Minnesota (8-1) in the Hilton Shootout on Friday, Feb. 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Huntsman Center ... Utah is off to its best start since the 1999 Utes won their first 10 meets before losing on the road to Oregon State. Last year's Utes jumped out to a 6-0 start before close road losses to Nebraska and Georgia ... Live scoring and video streaming for the Utah-Minnesota meet can be found at UtahUtes.com.
SEE U. ON CSTV
The Utah-Minnesota meet is one of three home meets this season that will be televised tape-delayed both locally and nationally. KJZZ-TV will broadcast the meet locally on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 5 p.m. MST. CSTV will air the meet to a national audience six times (all times listed are Eastern Standard Time): Feb. 22 at 11 p.m., Feb. 23 at 4 a.m., Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 25 at 2 a.m., Feb. 27 at 3:30 p.m. and Feb. 28 at 3:30 a.m. The talent will be Steve Brown (play-by-play) and former Ute Olympian and NCAA champion Missy Marlowe (color commentary).
Utah has competed at home just twice this season, but that's about to change. Starting this Friday, three of Utah's next four meets will be in the Huntsman Center. The other is instate, with the Utes competing at BYU on Feb. 24 ... The Utes are 4-0 on the road with wins over UCLA, Washington, Arizona State and Michigan, and 3-0 at home (Nebraska, Southern Utah/Utah State) ... Minnesota co-coaches Jim and Meg Stephenson are former Ute assistant coaches (Meg as a volunteer) ... Ashley Postell
moved into the team victory lead after capturing vault and beam at Michigan last week. Ute win leaders: Postell (8), Kristina Baskett
(6), Nicolle Ford
(6), Gritt Hofmann
(3) and Jessica Duke
(1) ... Of the Ute starters, only Ford (20-20) is without a fall this year.
Seniors Kristen Riffanacht
and Gabriella Onodi
gave Utah a great lift at the No. 1 and 2 positions on beam and floor in last week's road win over Michigan. Riffanacht went first up on floor and scored a 9.775, which was matched by Onodi. The pair flip-flopped positions on beam, where Onodi led off with a 9.85 and Riffanacht followed with a 9.80.
Utah is ranked No. 2 in the nation for the fourth straight week. Utah's 196.004 team average trails only No. 1 Georgia (196.561). Next week, the rankings will move from total average to regional qualifying score. The latest top 25 can be found on page 3 of this release. Utah has three gymnasts situated in the top 10 in this week's rankings. Junior All-American Nicolle Ford
is No. 5 in the all-around (39.350 average) and No. 4 on both bars (9.90) and beam (9.854). Sophomore All-American Ashley Postell
is tied for No. 10 on beam (9.825) and freshman Kristina Baskett
ranks No. 10 on both vault (9.867) and bars (9.867). Utah's best apparatus ranking is No. 2 on beam (48.875). The Utes rank No. 3 on vault (49.162) and No. 4 on both floor (49.983) and bars (48.983).
Utah won for the first time ever at Michigan last Saturday, beating the No. 4 Wolverines 196.40-196.10 to improve to 7-0 on the season. Nicolle Ford
tied for the all-around title with a 39.375, which included a clutch 9.875 beam routine after two teammate falls. Ashley Postell
secured the team win by capturing the beam title with a 9.90. She also won the vault (9.875), while Gritt Hofmann
was the floor champion (9.875). Jessica Duke's
9.90 on bars was a career-best. Utah especially dominated on the vault--taking the top five places--and scoring a 49.15.
Utah leads 24-1 overall and 9-0 in Salt Lake City ... Minnesota's win fell in 2000 in a quadrangular meet at Arizona State. The loss ignited Utah, which closed the regular season with five straight dual meet wins, captured regionals at Minnesota and went on to place second at the NCAA Championships ... Utah has an 18-1 regular season edge over the Gophers.
8-1 ... top all-arounders and their season highs: Laura Johnson (39.20), Ashley Mutchler (38.775) ... Jim Stephenson is 183-170-1in his 14th year at the helm, while Meg Stephenson is 127-96-1 in her ninth year as co-coach.