Flashing red glasses and a crowd of 15,030 greeted the Ute gymnasts before their win over BYU.
March 26, 2010
SALT LAKE CITY -
The Huntsman Center was buzzing long before the meet against Brigham Young started in anticipation of Senior Night and the chance to make "fan" history. By the time everyone took their seats, a total of 15,030 had packed into the 15,000-seat Huntsman Center and history was made. Utah became the first team other than basketball to win a women's NCAA season attendance crown by averaging 14,213 to its home meets. The Utes also broke their own gymnastics season attendance record of 13,861, set just last year. As for the seniors, well they made sure the big crowd went home happy by leading the Utes to a 196.950-195.825 win over Brigham Young.
Senior Daria Bijak won the bars with a 9.925 and Annie DiLuzio closed the meet with a career-tying 9.975 floor routine--to narrowly defeat classmate Jamie Deetscreek (9.95). Senior Beth Rizzo returned from injury to score a 9.825 on vault and a 9.80 on floor.
Junior Kyndal Robarts shared the limelight with the seniors, winning the all-around with a career-best 39.600 to edge Bijak (39.525), and also taking first on vault (9.925) and beam (9.925).
Robarts was the only one to really nail her beam routine--scoring a career-high 9.925 at the end of the lineup after two falls preceded her routine. Utah's beam was the only black mark on an otherwise red hot night for the Utes. Said co-coach Greg Marsden about his team's continued woes on the beam, "We were great on three events and we keep improving on three events, but we just are not competing beam the way we train. I promise you we look better than that (in training) than we do in the meets. We are going to do a lot of beam routines in the next few weeks."
He was very pleased with the other three events, citing "huge amplitude" on vault, hitting handstands on bars and "making the floor look easy." About the approaching postseason, Marsden said, "We keep getting better, but we know we are running out of time. We need for everyone to put it together at the same time."
Utah opened the meet with its best vault score of the season--a 49.35 with DiLuzio and Robarts closing the set with a 9.90 and 9.925, respectively. Just in time for her final regular season home meet, The Cougars stayed close with a 49.075.
A season-high 49.425 on bars followed, with both Robarts and Jacquelyn Johnson scoring personal bests with matching 9.85 scores to lead things off. After Beers fell, Gael Mackie (9.90) and Deetscreek (9.90) scored season bests. Bijak one-upped them with a winning 9.925 routine. After two rotatons, it was Utah 98.775, BYU 97.975.
In place of McAllister, freshman Fumina Kobayashi got the start on beam and turned in a solid 9.75 effort. Falls by Beers and Deetscreek meant the Utes would count a fall. The event ended on a high note with Robarts' scoring a career-high 9.925 amid chants of "10, 10, 10" from the stands.
The seniors gave and received a great sendoff on the floor exercise and Utah scored a season-best 49.550. Among the scores were a career-tying 9.975 from DiLuzio, a 9.95 from Deetscreek, a 9.925 from Bijak and Robarts' 9.90.
The Utes now have two weeks off to prepare for the NCAA Regional, which they will host on April 10. The field of six will be announced on Monday.
2010 Utah Gymnastics Attendance
1.15.10 vs. Iowa State - 12,605
1.22.10 vs. Georgia - *15,552 (NCAA record)
2.12.10 vs. Utah State - 12,951
3.5.10 vs. Nebraska - 14,726
3.12.10 vs. Oregon State, Penn State and Southern Utah - 14,411
3.26.10 vs. BYU - 15,030
Top 10 Utah Gymnastics Season Averages
1. 14,213, 2010
2. 13,861, 2009
3. 13,164, 1993
4. 12,771, 2008
5. 12,747, 2006
6. 12,557, 1992
7. 11,300, 2005
8. 11,297, 2007
9. 10,568, 1999
10. 10,511, 1994
Top 10 Largest Utah Gymnastics Crowds
1. 15,552, 1-22-10
2. 15,447, 3-28-08
3. 15,238, 2-11-91
4. 15,168, 3-6-93
5. 15,082, 2-6-09
6. 15,080, 3-13-09
7. 15,072, 1-20-92
8. 15,030, 3.26.10
9. 14,978, 3-9-92
10. 14,726, 3.5.10