Wilson, Dabritz, Marsdens win Pac-12 honors

S-Gym Colby Patterson
Tory Wilson competes on the bars at the last home meet against Georgia. Photo by Chris Ayers.

Tory Wilson competes on the bars at the last home meet against Georgia. Photo by Chris Ayers.

The Pac-12 Championships were full of a bunch of firsts for No. 5 Utah despite the fact that it is one of the most decorated programs in gymnastics history.

On top of winning their first conference title, the gymnasts brought home some individual hardware. By vote of the Pac-12 coaches, Tory Wilson was named the conference’s Gymnast of the Year while teammate Georgia Dabritz was named Specialist of the Year. This is the first time a Red Rock has won either award.

“It’s definitely an honor,” said Wilson, who was also the Pac-12 All-Around champion last weekend. “It’s kind of exciting to be able to bring that honor to Utah, because I’m proud to represent the school in the Pac-12.”

The honors went beyond the gymnasts, as co-head coaches Greg and Megan Marsden were named Pac-12 Coaches of the Year. Both have received this recognition from various organizations over the years, but Megan Marsden feels this one is the most special to date.

“It’s fun for me because I think this is one of the first honors we’ve received as co-head coaches,” she said. “I feel like that’s probably more representative of what we’ve done for a long time, is work together.”

 

Home sweet home

When Utah heads out to Fayetteville, Ark. next week to compete at regionals, the location will be new territory for all the Red Rocks except Greg Marsden. For the co-head coach, who grew up about 70 miles away in Clarksville, this will be a homecoming of sorts.

Marsden isn’t too focused on that, though.

“It’s pretty much all business,” he said. “I don’t really have any family there anymore and haven’t for a long time. It’s where I grew up, have good memories and things, but it’s business. We are going there to qualify for the NCAA Championships.”

Even though he grew up in the Natural State and attended both Central Arkansas and Arkansas State, Marsden believes that Ute fans will be hard to find when his team takes the mat.

“No matter what school you go to, everyone is a Razorback fan,” he said. “I don’t think I’m going to be able to sway any fans.”

 

Doing beam for the team

At the forefront of Utah’s up-and-down performance on beam throughout the season has been Mary Beth Lofgren. The senior had some spotty performances on the apparatus during the first part of the campaign but has turned things around as of late.

Lofgren has scored at least a 9.90 in four of the Red Rocks’ last five meets.

“We just built our confidence up throughout the season,” she said. “We decided we need to change our approach and treat it like the other events, so I definitely think that helped.”

One way Lofgren altered her approach is she now sings a song she heard many, many times at the Huntsman Center during her youth.

“It’s kind of funny,” she said. “But I sing ‘Utah Man’ during my routine.”

g.adams@chronicle.utah.edu