The No. 8 ranked Utah gymnasts (7-1-1, 4-1-1 Pac-12) break from Pac-12 Conference play this week for a Friday, Mar. 1 contest against Brigham Young (7-6) and North Carolina State (10-5-1) in Provo, Utah. The meet, which counts toward the Deseret Duel rivalry series, starts at 7 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center. It will be televised on BYUtv.
Utah's drop from seventh to eighth in the national rankings this week after beating No. 10 Stanford came with the switch to regional qualifying score. The RQS involves taking the six best scores, of which three must be from road meets, dropping the high score and averaging the remaining five ... Friday's meet is worth three points in the Deseret Duel rivalry series, which Utah currently leads 19-16 (Utah's wins to date have come in football, soccer and men's and women's swimming) ... Utah has just one home meet remaining on its schedule--on Mar. 16 vs. Florida. The upcoming road schedule has meets at BYU (Mar. 1), Georgia (Mar. 9), the Pac-12 Championships (Mar. 23), the NCAA Regionals (Apr. 6)--and if Utah finishes in the top two at regionals--at the NCAA Championships (Apr. 19-21) ... Utah is 1-1-1 this season in road meets and the meet at BYU is the Utes' first non-conference road meet of the season ... Friday's meet is the final home meet of the season for BYU and the only meet held in the Marriott Center. The Cougars hold their other home meets in the Smith Fieldhouse ... The Utes are averaging 14,203 fans a meet at home with three crowds in excess of 14,000 (14,917, 14,410, 14,129), giving Utah 25 all-time crowds of 14,000 or more.
Sophomore All-American Tory Wilson is the nation's top ranked vaulter for the fourth straight week and has a regional qualifying score (RQS) of 9.945. Wilson has taken first on vault in all seven meets and scored a career-high 10.0 against California on Feb. 9 ... The Utes have won five Pac-12 weekly awards, which are announced on Tuesdays: Georgia Dabritz was the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week on Jan. 22 and the Specialist of the Week on Feb. 12, and Wilson was the Specialist of the Week on Jan. 22, Feb. 5 and Feb. 19 ... Ute individual winners are Dabritz (11), Wilson (9), Corrie Lothrop (3), Nansy Damianova (2), Becky Tutka (2), Lia Del Priore (1) and Mary Beth Lofgren (1) ... The Utes have completed 158-of-168 routines without a fall. Gymnasts without a fall are Lothrop (15-15), Breanna Hughes (14-14), Tutka (14-14), Lia Del Priore (11-11) and Kassandra Lopez (9-9).
A Ute has captured the uneven bar title in the last six meets with Georgia Dabritz picking up five wins and Nansy Damianova one. The only meet where a Ute did not win the bar competition was in the opener at UCLA when Dabritz was the high Ute finisher in third ... The 10.0 scores by Tory Wilson (on vault vs. Cal) and Lia Del Priore (on floor vs. Stanford) marks the first time that two different Utes have earned 10.0s in a season since 2005 when Ashley Postell (beam twice) and Annabeth Eberle (floor) did so
... Utah has lost two All-Americans to injury: Junior five-time All-American and 2012 Pac-12 all-around champion Lothrop (Achilles surgery) is lost for the season. Doubtful to compete this year after preseason knee surgery is sophomore vault All-American Kailah Delaney.
IN THE RANKINGS
Utah slipped one place in the national rankings to eighth this week. For the first time this season, the rankings are based on regional qualifying score (RQS). Sophomore Tory Wilson leads the nation on vault (9.945 RQS). Also in the top 10 are sophomore Becky Tutka on floor (tied for sixth, 9.895) and sophomore Georgia Dabritz on bars (tied for 10th, 9.880).
A season-high 49.525 on floor helped Utah hold off fast-charging Stanford and earn a 197.300-197.075 victory before 13,357 fans and a live national television audience (Pac-12 Networks). Sophomore Lia Del Priore scored a 10.0 on floor--Utah's first on the event since 2005--and also scored a 9.90 on vault. Tory Wilson won her seventh vault title in as many tries, tying for first with a 9.95, and Georgia Dabritz won bars with a 9.925.
Utah is 88-2 all-time against BYU and 24-2 in Provo ... The Utes have won 30 straight since getting edged 196.050-195.975 in Provo in 1998 ... Utah has never met NC State.
Coach: Brad Cattermole (25th season)
2012 NCAA Finish: DNQ
National Rank: NR
2013 Record: 7-6
Scored a season high in a 195.800-194.075 victory over Southern Utah last Saturday ... top all-arounder is Raquel Willman (39.20 season high) ... 3-1 at home this season.
SCOUTING NC STATE
Coach: Mark Stevenson (33rd season)
2012 NCAA Finish: DNQ
National Rank: NR
2013 Record: 10-5-1
Season high 195.675 ... top all-arounders are Stephanie Ouellette (39.20), Diahanna Ham (39.125) and Michaela Woodford (39.05).