The 2005 Utes placed third at the NCAA Championships
April 30, 2005
SALT LAKE CITY -
The Utah gymnastics team certainly celebrated its 30th anniversary in style in 2005. The Utes qualified for a record 30th national championship and placed third at the 2005 NCAA Championships in Auburn, Ala. It marked the 18th top-three finish at the national championships for Utah, which won the preliminary session to qualify into the Super Six.
Leading up to the championships, the Utes rang up a 12-2 regular season record, won the NCAA North Central Region title and led the nation in most weeks ranked No. 1 (eight). Lots of people watched Utah's trek to the national awards stand. The 2005 Utes led the nation by averaging 11,300 fans to their six home meets. The crowd of 14,100 that watched Utah beat Brigham Young in the Huntsman Center was the largest to watch a college gymnastics meet this year.
Utah simply dominated the North Central region. For the first time ever, a school swept the regional awards, with Greg Marsden receiving the award as the top head coach, Megan Marsden earning region assistant coach of the year and freshman Ashley Postell taking gymnast of the year honors. Megan Marsden would go on to win National co-Assistant Coach of the Year. At the North Central Region Championship, senior Annabeth Eberle won the all-around, vault and floor titles, while Postell won the uneven bars.
The duo also paced Utah at the NCAA Championships, where the Utes easily advanced to the Super Six after winning the afternoon session. Postell and Eberle placed 1-2 in the all-around in the first round of competition, and after the evening scores were tallied in, finished third and seventh, respectively. They were both first-team All-Americans. Earning second-team All-America all-around honors was sophomore Rachel Tidd, who tied for 12th overall. Utah garnered a total of nine first-team and five second-team All-America awards.
Postell was a first-team All-American in the all-around and on bars, vault and beam, and made the second team on floor. Eberle was a first-team All-American in the all-around and on vault and floor, and a second-teamer on beam. Tidd was a first-team All-American on bars and made the second team in the all-around and on vault. Senior Gritt Hofmann was a first-team All-American on the floor and sophomore Nicolle Ford earned second-team accolades on the bars.
On team finals night, Utah hit 24 of 24 routines and placed third in the most hotly-contested NCAA Super Six ever. The six teams combined to hit 141-144 routines and the gap between the first and sixth-place team was just 1.4 points--the smallest since the Super Six format went into effect in 1993.
Utah finished its fine season with a good showing by its four individual event qualifiers. Although Postell was forced to withdraw from beam and vault finals due to a foot injury she suffered in pre-meet warm-ups for the Super Six, she did compete on the bars and tied for third with Tidd. Eberle concluded a stunning career with a sixth-place finish on vault and an eighth-place mark on floor. Hofmann was 10th on the floor.
Eberle was a finalist for the AAI Senior Gymnast of the Year award and is also a Broderick Award finalist.
12-2 regular season record Highest Attendance Average: 11,300 Biggest Crowd in 2005: 14,100
NCAA North Central Region team champion Regional All-Around Champion: Annabeth Eberle Regional Vault Champion: Annabeth Eberle Regional Floor Champion: Annabeth Eberle Regional Bars Champion: Ashley Postell
Region Head Coach of the Year: Greg Marsden Region Assistant Coach of the Year: Megan Marsden Region Gymnast of the Year: Ashley Postell Region Administrator of the Year: Liz Abel
National co-Assistant Coach of the Year: Megan Marsden AAI Award Finalist: Annabeth Eberle Honda Award Finalist: Annabeth Eberle
Third place team at the NCAA Championships NCAA Championships Session I winner Nine First-Team All-Americans: Ashley Postell: All-Around (3rd), Bars (3rd), Vault and Beam Annabeth Eberle: All-Around (7th), Vault (6th), Floor (8th) Rachel Tidd: Bars (3rd) Gritt Hofmann: Floor (10th) Five Second-Team All-Americans: Rachel Tidd: All-Around (12th), Vault Ashley Postell: Floor Annabeth Eberle: Beam Nicolle Ford: Bars