March 22, 1998
PROVO, UTAH -- The No. 4 ranked Utah gymnastics team hit 23 of 24 routines and posted its second-highest road score of the year, but came up .075 short of rival Brigham Young, 196.050- 195.975. There was one silver lining to the loss. Utah's score should help the Utes maintain their No. 1 Midwest Region ranking, ahead of Arizona State.
In Provo, The Utes led after each rotation but the last, despite competing with an injury juggled lineup. Star all-arounder Angie Leonard competed on just two events due to an aggravated shin injury, three-event freshman Theresa Wolf missed her second straight meet with a heel contusion and Sarah Northrop didn't vault due to knee and ankle injuries.
Despite the Utes' banged up condition, they fielded a competitive team, only to lose their first "whole" meet ever to BYU--a series they lead 58-2. Utah lost in 1994 down in Provo, after pulling out of the meet at its midway point. Last Saturday's loss dropped Utah to 7-3-- the first time the Utes have lost three meets in a season since 1988.
Though Utah came up a little short, Marilyn Ekdahl, Angelika Schatton and Ashley Kever did a fine job filling in for their injured teammates. In her first floor routine ever as a collegian, Ekdahl scored a 9.825 as Utah's first competitor. She also chipped in a 9.65 vault as a substitute and went 9.775 on bars, her normal event. Schatton, a regular on vault, opened Utah's beam set with a 9.775 and received a 9.725 on the floor. Kever, who usually competes on just floor, contributed a 9.80 on the beam.
Shannon Bowles and Denise Jones tied for second in the all-around, each with a 39.05. Bowles was on target for a huge score until she slipped off the beam in her last routine of the night. She won the vault competition with a career-best 9.95 and had a 9.80 on bars and 9.85 on floor. Jones recorded her third straight 39.00 all-around with a solid night across the board.
Utah is off now until the 1998 NCAA Midwest Region Championships in Tempe, Ariz., April 4.