Tory Wilson tied with Georgia Dabritz for first on bars with a 9.95 and also won the all-around (39.400).
Jan. 11, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY--
Tory Wilson, a last minute addition to the uneven bar and all-around lineups, won them both to lead the Utah gymnastics team past Boise State, Brigham Young and Southern Utah before a crowd of 14,910 in the Huntsman Center.
Leading Boise State by just a tenth of a point (147.375-147.275) entering the final rotation of the night, the Utes were aided by two Bronco falls on the beam and finished with a 196.650-195.850 margin of victory in their season opener. Brigham Young scored a 194.550 to beat SUU (192.025) for third place.
The evening started on a somber note when junior Kassandra Lopez tore her Achilles in pre-meet warm-ups on the floor. Lopez, who had a great preseason, was scheduled to compete late in the lineup on vault, bars and beam.
Said Utah coach Greg Marsden, "We are heartbroken for Kassandra. She had worked so hard and was in the best shape of her life. She was in three events and we were preparing her to join the all-around lineup by putting her in the exhibition lineup on floor, where she has not been able to compete for three years because of injuries. We all feel bad, but we have to refocus and move forward."
Led by a career-high 9.95 on bars by Wilson, who tied for first on the event with Georgia Dabritz, Lopez' replacements fared very well. Becky Tutka moved into the vault lineup and scored a career-best 9.875, and freshman Baely Rowe debuted on beam, scoring a 9.75.
"After we heard about Kassandra, we were down, but unfortunately this team knows how to handle injuries like this. Since we're such a deep team, I'm used to being thrown into the lineup at the last minute," said Wilson, who earned her third career all-around victory and her second in two years against BYU.
Even though Lopez collapsed to the mat with just minutes left in the pre-meet warm-ups, the Utes got off to a spectacular start on the vault, scoring a 49.425 behind 9.90s from Dabritz and Kailah Delaney and 9.875s from Lia Del Priore and Nansy Damianova. Dabritz and Delaney tied for first on the event. Delaney was competing in her first meet since her freshman season in 2012. She missed all of last season with a knee injury.
Utah's big vault score proved the difference as the Utes fell twice on bars on back-to-back routines by All-Americans Corrie Lothrop and Nansy Damianova. After Utah's respectable if cautious 49.075 beam set, the Utes found themselves hanging onto a tenth of a point lead over the Broncos.
The meet's outcome was not determined until the second Bronco fall with just one routine remaining in the meet, although Damianova's winning 9.90 floor routine would likely have been enough for the Utes to stay ahead even without it.
"The coaches at Boise State do a great job," said Marsden. "They are just excellent coaches. We were very fortunate to win that meet given some of the problems we had. We did okay for the first meet and we will get better. We are not watering down at all and we are throwing all of our difficulty that we'll have at the end of the year, so we're not as precise now as we will be. We need two, three, four competitions to get the kinks worked out."
Utah opens its Pac-12 schedule next Friday at California.