Red Rocks triumph over Huskies

S-Gym Colby Patterson
her floor routine at last Fridays meet at the Huntsman Center. Photo by Erin Burns.

her floor routine at last Fridays meet at the Huntsman Center. Photo by Erin Burns.

With Kailah Delaney hampered because of illness and Georgia Dabritz less than 100 percent because of a muscle strain, the No. 5 Red Rocks were forced to shuffle their lineups around a bit as they hosted Washington Friday night.

Despite the adversity and sluggish start, Utah walked away with a 197.125–193.475 victory.

“It was a good, solid meet for us,” said co-head coach Greg Marsden. “Some really good things and some things that we need to continue to work on, but for the most part, I thought that it was very solid from beginning to end.”

The Red Rocks started the night with a 49.325 on vault. Most teams in the nation would be satisfied with such a score, but it was nearly two tenths off Utah’s season average on the event.

That score wasn’t necessarily a reflection of the Red Rocks’ performance, though. Becky Tutka led things off by sticking her landing, but she received just a 9.80. Marsden was less than amused with the scores given to his gymnasts on vault, but said the judging was fair overall.

“They were being really tight and especially at the beginning of the meet,” Marsden said. “That’s just what happens. That’s out of our control. In some meets, the judges have got to be tighter than in other meets and you can’t be overly affected by that.”

After watching the Huskies commit error after error during their bars set, the Red Rocks made their way to the event for the second rotation, where they counted five clean routines despite a fall from Hailee Hansen. Team morale was a bit down as the team moved to beam, but Utah posted a 48.950 even after Breanna Hughes fell. Mary Beth Lofgren was the star on the apparatus, earning a 9.900.

“It just felt on,” Lofgren said. “I love beam, so being able to compete on beam in front of 13,000 people is just fun. I had a lot of fun tonight.”

Lofgren also received a score of 9.900 on floor, the event where the Red Rocks did most of their damage. The Huntsman Center nearly experienced an earthquake as Lia Del Priore received a 9.950 and Tutka was given a 9.925. Dabritz and Nansy Damianova followed those marks by both scoring 9.900, setting up the most exciting routine of the evening from Tory Wilson.

On the stat sheet, Wilson capped off the meet by scoring a 9.600, but that number does not do justice to what she did. On the first pass of her routine, Wilson attempted a full-twist double layout, something only a small handful of gymnasts have tried in the history of college gymnastics.

“It’s just something that I’ve been working on and playing around with,” Wilson said. “Everyone set it up real well with 9.900s all the way down, so it was a good time to see how it goes in a meet.”

Wilson landed the pass but stepped out of bounds, which led to her low score. It didn’t matter, though, as Utah posted a 49.575 on floor to close out the night.

The Red Rocks will next compete in a big road meet Mar. 7 when they travel to Ann Arbor to compete against Michigan and UCLA.

g.adams@chronicle.utah.edu