Georgia Dabritz won this floor routine with a 9.975 and also won vault (9.975) and bars (9.95).
Jan. 25, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY-- -
The No. 4-ranked Utah gymnastics shot out to a huge lead behind season high efforts on vault and bars and cruised to a 197.125-195.875 win over No. 8 UCLA. The nearly one-and-a-half point cushion built on vault and bars helped the crowd of 14,483 breathe a little easier when the Utes stumbled on the balance beam.
After counting a fall on the beam for the second week in a row, Utah (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) bounced back on floor to score a 49.425 and earn the 999th victory in Utah gymnastics history. Greg Marsden, in his 39th year on the staff, has coached all of those victories and has the opportunity to become the first 1,000-win coach in the sport next Saturday at Arizona State.
"It's a milestone for the program," said Marsden. "The nice thing for me is that I've been here the entire time and it says a lot about the quality of the athletes we've had here and also our great coaching staffs over the years. I have been fortunate that Utah has provided me with the wherewithal to recruit great athletes and coaches."
Certainly one of those great athletes is junior Georgia Dabritz, who stood out in a star-studded field by winning all three events she performed. Dabritz set or tied career highs on vault and floor by scoring a 9.975 on both, and won bars with a 9.95. The Pac-12 Specialist of the Week in Utah's first two meets, Dabritz--who has now won seven of the nine routines she has competed--will certainly be a top contender to make it three in a row.
Dabritz, a first-team All-America all-arounder last year--placing seventh at the NCAA Championships--has not yet broken into the all-around lineup this season. "I'd love to have Georgia on beam," said Marsden, who is looking for consistency in the lineup, "but she'll have to earn her way in."
Said Dabritz about her teammates on the beam, "I think (we) are amazing on beam and we just have to show it at the meets. This team is so powerful, maybe it's hard for us to harness that power when we get over to beam."
While the beam struggles carried over from last week's win at Cal, so did the dynamite team performances on vault, bars and floor, where the Utes are quickly establishing themselves as national contenders.
How good were the Utes on vault? The nation's No. 1 ranked vault team dropped a 9.875 en route to a 49.60 score! Along with Dabritz' 9.975, Mary Beth Lofgren scored a career-tying 9.90 in her first vault of the season, and Kailah Delaney and Tory Wilson both put up 9.925 scores. Utah's monster set, combined with some UCLA troubles on the bars, allowed the Utes a 49.60-48.625 edge over the Bruins after one event.
Utah expanded its lead even further--going ahead 99.125-97.725--after a season-best 49.525 on bars. Dabritz improved to 3-0 on the event with her 9.95, while Corrie Lothrop (9.925) and Nansy Damianova (9.925) both tied career highs. Wilson, whose all-around win streak would stop at two meets after she fell on beam, put up a 9.90 on the bars.
Utah got off to a solid start on the beam, as freshman Baely Rowe set a personal best with a 9.825, and Lothrop (9.80) and Breanna Hughes (9.75) also hit their routines. After Wilson fell from the fourth position, Kailah Delaney's rock solid routine scored a 9.85. Though Lofgren fell from the anchor position for the second week in a row, Utah held a 147.700-147.050 lead over the Bruins going into the floor exercise.
Dabritz made sure UCLA couldn't stage a comeback by scoring a 9.975 that drew nearly as many boos as it did cheers from a crowd anticipating a 10.0. Damianova finished the night with a flourish by scoring a career-high 9.95.
The Utes head back on the road next week, taking on a surprising Sun Devil team in Tempe on Feb. 1.