Red Rocks face beam challenges

S-Gymnasticksss copy Colby Patterson
Photo by Brent Uberty.

Photo by Brent Uberty.

After two weeks of competition, the Red Rocks are off to an incredibly impressive start, and they have the numbers to prove it. Utah is first in the nation on vault, second on floor and tied for eighth on bars.

For this reason, the Red Rocks’ woes on beam continue to stick out like a sore thumb. Gymnasts attribute the problems they had on the event at Cal last weekend to feeling pressure.

“We had a great meet going,” said freshman Baely Rowe, who was one of two Utah gymnasts to fall last Friday. “We’ve been doing really well on beam in practice, and we wanted to make a big score out of it. We were all pretty confident going in, and a few mistakes happened, but that just happens sometimes.”

Since Utah had one fall already and the rest of the lineup had clean performances, the pressure was built up even more for Mary Beth Lofgren, the Red Rocks’ last competitor.

“I think we put the pressure on ourselves,” Lofgren said. “We hit three good events, and we wanted to make it four. Personally, I know I let the pressure get to me, so lesson learned.”

 

Striving for 197

For the second week in a row, Utah is No. 4 in the national rankings after garnering a season-high score of 196.875 last weekend. The teams in front of the Red Rocks, however, all have season-highs of over 197. Even though there is a clear distinction between Utah and the top three squads, Tory Wilson said the team isn’t too concerned with getting a certain score.

“I think scores are more of an afterthought,” Wilson said. “As a team, we go for the quality of our routines and make sure everyone is hitting and doing a good job. Then, the score that that results in is something that we would generally want to aim for anyway. I don’t really think about the scores.”

To be in the hunt for the national title, though, co-head coach Greg Marsden feels his team needs to get to that 197 plateau.

“We believe we are talented enough to compete for the championship this year,” Marsden said. “If we’re going to do that, we need to be consistent week in and week out. If we do that with the team that we have this year, we should be up in the mid-197 range. “

 

Honors for Dabritz

Georgia Dabritz has been off to a hot start this season, as she has been a double-event winner at both meets and has also been a two-time recipient of the Pac-12 Specialist of the Week award.

“It’s always a special achievement when you get something from the Pac-12,” Dabritz said. “It’s a big honor because there are so many girls and so many teams competing all week long. Just to get that once is a great thing.”

Much of Dabritz’s success has come on the bars. She is second in the nation with an average of 9.925 per routine.

“The key for me is not thinking at all on bars,” Dabritz said. “That’s when I do my best, when I set my mind free. When I land, it’s kind of more of a blur than anything else.”

Dabritz has been an example of what to do on meet days, but Marsden said her impact stretches beyond competition.

“Georgia has really emerged as one of the leaders on the team,” Marsden said. “Something that she wasn’t always is being consistent. She has developed into a very consistent performer. She has done a much better job with that and will continue with experience to gain even more confidence.”

g.adams@chronicle.utah.edu