Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Dabritz Leads Utah Gymnasts in NCAA Event Finals

Georgia Dabritz placed ninth on this vault at the NCAA Championships.

Georgia Dabritz placed ninth on this vault at the NCAA Championships.

April 20, 2014


Still stinging from the disappointment of missing out on team finals, Utah's three qualifiers into the event finals had mixed results in the NCAA Individual Event Finals. Georgia Dabritz was Utah's top finisher, tying for ninth on vault with a 9.8667. Becky Tutka finished 11th on floor with a 9.85 and Nansy Damianova took 13th on floor with a 9.7375.

Coach Greg Marsden shrugged afterwards, saying, "Nansy (Damianova) tried too hard to stick every landing. We worked hard to get her not to do that but she just couldn't resist today." He noted that Becky Tutka's floor routine was "very good until a little trouble sticking her last (tumbling) pass," and that he was "proud that Georgia (Dabritz) went for it on vault." Dabritz threw a Yurchenko one-and-a-half rather than going the safer route with a Yurchenko full.

Dabritz was one of three gymnasts who tried to separate themselves from the field by doing a Yurchenko one-and-a-half. She had great form and distance but a small hop on the landing cost her, as it did the other two.

"With most of the others doing Yurchenko fulls, I wanted to try something different," said Dabritz of her choice to use a vault she had competed just a couple of times previously this season. "A full is easier to stick but since the one-and-a-half is more difficult and very hard to stick, the judges will sometimes allow you a hop."

Despite tying for ninth in a field of 12, Dabritz was happy with her performance. "I thought it was a good vault. I'm still disappointed we (the Utes) didn't get to compete last night in team finals, but it was nice to compete one more time today."



Tutka and Damianova drew back-to-back positions on floor--Tutka making her first appearance in event finals and Damianova competing the final routine of her career.

"It was fun," said Tutka. "Everyone in finals is really good. I sunk my squat a little too low (on the last tumbling pass). In a normal meet, sometimes that doesn't hurt you, but you need to be perfect in this meet."

Damianova had trouble with her landings throughout the routine and expressed disappointment about her performance. "This wasn't the way I wanted my career to end. My routine was just terrible. I didn't feel nervous and I had a positive outlook and wanted to enjoy my last routine, but my legs didn't respond the way I wanted."

Although the trio in finals echoed the disappointment the entire team felt over missing out at a chance to compete for a national title after falling less than a tenth of a point short of advancing to the Super Six, they also reflected on a great season that saw them win the school's Pac-12 Championship and the regional title.

The Utes bid goodbye to four All-America seniors in Birmingham: Damianova, Lia Del Priore, Hailee Hansen and Mary Beth Lofgren. Returning for 2015 will be nine letterwinners--including six All-Americans and Kassandra Lopez, who missed this season with a torn Achilles.

"We will certainly miss this senior class, but we have a great team returning and some outstanding recruits coming in," said Marsden.

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