Kristina Baskett won the all-around and three events to lead the Utes.
Feb. 6, 2009
SALT LAKE CITY -
The fifth-largest crowd in NCAA gymnastics history watched the No. 1 ranked Utes ride a rollercoaster past visiting Southern Utah, Brigham Young and Texas Woman's. Utah's 196.850 final score included its best score on bars in two years, career highs by several gymnasts, three all-arounders in the top three and two falls on the beam.
Even with counting its first fall since the season opener, Utah's score was plenty enough to beat Southern Utah (194.525), BYU (192.850) and TWU (191.425).
"It was a rollercoaster tonight with exceptional routines and mistakes," said coach Greg Marsden. "What I like about this team is that no one panics."
Certainly not Kristina Baskett, who enjoyed her best meet of the season. The senior won the all-around with a season-high 39.650 and won (or tied) for three individual event titles--finishing second on the other.
Through two rotations, the Utes appeared headed for a monster night after piling up a season-best 98.775 "halftime" score. A solid outing on vault (49.250) segued into an incredible bar set that saw four Utes score a 9.90 or better and the last three competitors land 9.925 scores.
The second half proved a different story as two of Utah's last four gymnasts fell off the beam, including the first fall of the season by Daria Bijak, competing in the all-around for the first time this year. A 9.90 by Baskett, who scored a 9.90 or better on every event, and a 9.875 by both Jamie Deetscreek and Nina Kim helped Utah salvage a 48.75, but the falls dashed any hopes of a 197-plus team score.
The Utes got a little sloppy on their first two floor routines before regrouping and finishing strong. Baskett scored yet another 9.90 and Annie DiLuzio ripped off a career-best 9.95 routine to lead the way to a 49.325 score.
Utah's start on vault was impressive in part for the team's management of a lengthy delay in the middle of the lineup when the e the judges and meet personnel sorted out a misunderstanding.
The only thing slow about the second rotation came when lead-off Stephanie McAllister over-rotated on a move and had to resort to plan B. But after that, Utah jammed the accelerator down, starting with a 9.90- by Kim and a 9.825 by Deetscreek. Utah's last three competitors put on a clinic, with Mackie, Bijak and Baskett posting identical 9.925 scores. For Mackie, it was a career-high, while Bijak tied her career-best with her third 9.925 in a row. Utah's 49.525 was its best bar score since Feb. 9, 2007. The big bars gave Utah its best two-event score of the year (98.775).
It was feast and famine on the third rotation, where Utah counted a fall for just the second time this year. Robarts led off with a 9.825, followed by Deetscreek with career-tying 9.875. DiLuzio fell, only to see Baskett cruise to a 9.90. Bijak fell and Kim scored a 9.75 to end the set.
Utah finished the meet with extraordinary tumbling from Bijak (9.85), Kim (9.85), Baskett (9.90) and DiLuzio.