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The No. 3 ranked Utah gymnasts have a week to prepare for their biggest home meet of the season--No. 1 Georgia on Monday, Mar. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Huntsman center ... It's the first dual meet in Salt Lake City in 15 years for the two national rivals, who are both undefeated: Utah is 9-0 and Georgia is 12-0 (prior to a home meet against Kentucky on Friday, Mar. 3) ... Utah (10) and Georgia (6) have won more national championships than any other college gymnastics program ... Georgia placed first and Utah third at the 2005 NCAA Championships ... The Utes are hoping for a sell-out crowd and will sell tickets for $2 apiece (see Pack The House Promo below) ... Live scoring and video streaming for the Utah-Georgia meet can be found at UtahUtes.com ... The meet will be televised locally (KJZZ) and nationally (CSTV). More TV information follows.
PACK THE HOUSE PROMO
The Ute gymnasts are hoping for a sell-out crowd against No. 1 ranked Georgia on Monday, Mar. 6 in the 15,000-seat Huntsman Center. Tickets for the big showdown will be available for just $2 a person while seats remain and a pre-meet day purchase is advised. Tickets can be purchased at the Ute Ticket Office, online at www.utahtickets.com and by phone at 581-UTIX. Parking is free. The Ute gymnasts have averaged 12,480 to their first three home meets of 2006 and a sell-out crowd for the Georgia meet would mark the first time they have filled the 15,000-seat Huntsman Center since 1992. Utah's all-time gymnastics attendance record of 15,238 goes back to 1991.
WORLD CLASS SHOWDOWN
Competing for Utah in the RC Willey Showdown on March 6 is 2002 World Balance Beam Champion Ashley Postell
, currently ranked No. 1 in the nation on the beam. Georgia counters with 2004 U.S. Olympian Courtney Kupets, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the all-around and on the uneven bars. Kupets was the Olympic bronze medalist on the uneven bars.
The Utah-Georgia meet will be televised tape-delayed both locally and nationally. KJZZ-TV will broadcast the meet locally on Sunday, Mar. 11 at 5 p.m. MST. CSTV will air the meet to a national audience twice: Friday, Mar. 10 at 11 p.m. EST (9 p.m. MST) and Saturday, Mar. 11 at 12:30 p.m. EST (10:30 a.m. MST). The talent will be Steve Brown (play-by-play) and former Ute Olympian and NCAA champion Missy Marlowe (color commentary).
FORD IS QUESTIONABLE
Utah's top all-arounder, junior All-American Nicolle Ford
is questionable for the Georgia meet after dislocating the middle (proximal interphalangeal) joint on her index finger. X-rays revealed that the finger is not fractured as was originally feared after an accident on bars in practice Sunday. Ford is currently ranked No. 7 in the nation in the all-around, No. 5 on bars and No. 6 on beam. Ford did not practice Monday and her status will be evaluated later in the week.
Senior Natalie Nicoloff
suffered a season-ending elbow injury on Feb. 23 while attempting a shoot-over on the bars. Nicoloff competed twice this season--both times on the bars--and scored a 9.675 and 9.550. She was 33-of-35 in career routines and had not fallen in a routine since her freshman season ... A win against Georgia would give Utah its first 10-0 start since 1999 ... Four Utes have scored a 39.35 or better in the all-around: Ford (39.55 best), Postell (39.55), Kristina Baskett
(39.35) and Nina Kim
(39.35) ... Top Ute individual event scorers are Baskett on vault (9.975), Ford on bars (9.975), and Postell on beam (9.975) and floor (9.925) ... Ute winners include: Baskett (12), Postell (10), Ford (8), Gritt Hofmann
(4) and Jessica Duke
(1) ... Ford is Utah's only gymnast without a fall this year (28-28).