Feb. 17, 1998
The No. 2-ranked Utes (4-1) hit the road for the first of three contests with a Pacific-10 opponent-heading to Seattle for a Friday meet with No. 17 Washington (7-2) ... Meet time is 8:00 p.m. Mountain time ... The Utah-Washington meet will be shown tape-delayed on Fox Sports Rocky Mountain on Sat., Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. ... Utah, ranked No. 2 for a third straight week in the Feb. 10 poll, will likely stay in the top three when the new poll is released late Tuesday (Feb. 17) ... Utah and Washington placed 7-8 at the 1997 NCAA Championships ... Last year marked Washington's best national finish ever and Utah's worst finish in 20 years ... Utah has won a record ten national championships, including four in the 1990s (1990, '92, '94, 95).
IN THE POLLS
Utah, ranked No. 2 for the past three weeks, should remain in the top three when the new poll is issued late Tue., Feb. 17. The rankings are based on average score through Feb. 24. Beginning March 3, the rankings will be determined by regional qualifying score (RQS). As of Feb. 10, the nation's top five ranked teams were: Georgia, Utah, Alabama, Florida and UCLA.
Freshman Shannon Bowles led a shorthanded Ute team to a 194.950-192.175 win over No. 9 Minnesota before 9,116 fans in the Huntsman Center last Friday. Bowles scored a 39.50 to win her second all-around in as many weeks. The U.S. National Team member also won vault (9.925) and beam (9.875) and tied for first on floor with Angie Leonard (9.800). Utah had just eight gymnasts available to compete, with senior All-American Traci Sommer (back) and freshman Theresa Wolf (flu) both pulling out the day of the meet. Bars proved Utah's best event, as it has all season. Leonard's winning 9.925 routine capped a 49.350 night on the bars-tying Utah's best score of the year.
Senior Traci Sommer, who missed last week's meet with a sore back, is listed as probable for this Friday. Sophomore Jenny Schmidt underwent surgery on Dec. 27 to repair the patellar tendon in her right knee and is doubtful to return this season.
UTAH COACH GREG MARSDEN
Utah's Greg Marsden, the most successful coach in collegiate gymnastics history, is in his 23rd year at the U. He owns a 657-90-3 record (331-41-1 regular season). His ten national championships is triple that of any other coach. Four of those titles have come in the '90s (1990, '92, '94, '95). Fourteen of Marsden's teams have placed in the top-two nationally. The only coach in Utah's gymnastics history, Marsden is a seven-time national coach of the year selection.
Utah leads 22-0 ... series has been annual since 1993 ... Utah won last year in Salt Lake City 196.575-193.125 ... last meeting in Seattle was in 1996, with Utah winning 195.400-193.950 ... Utes lead 5-0 in Seattle.
Utah and Washington have met two common opponents and are 2-0 against them. The Utes beat Utah State 194.950-193.400 and Arizona 194.700-188.850. Washington downed Utah State 191.250-187.125 and Arizona 193.975-193.775.
Utah is averaging 10,702 fans through its first three home meets, with two meets drawing in excess of 11,000 ... Uneven bars has produced Utah's highest score in all five meets ... Utah, the nation's best beam team for the past two years, has yet to prove itself this year, although the Utes have been solid the last two meets. Road meets have been a different story: Utah had three falls on beam at Michigan and two at Utah State ... Utah set season bests on all four events against Brigham Young on Feb. 6 and produced a 49.00 circuit for the only time this year ... The Northrop twins are the only Utes without a miss this year. Molly Northrop is 10 of 10, hitting all of her beam and bar routines. Sarah Northrop is 4 of 4, with all four routines coming in the last two meets.
Senior Traci Sommer missed her second meet of the year last week, this time with a back injury. Sommer, who is listed as probable for this week, missed Utah's Jan. 23 meet at Michigan with a sprained knee. The three-time All-American had returned to form before her latest injury, scoring season-bests on beam (9.875) and floor (9.800) against BYU on Feb. 6. She also had a 9.70 vault vs. the Cougars. An all-arounder since her freshman year, Sommer has competed just eight routines through five meets in 1998. She has 18 career 39.00 all-arounds and owns the fifth-best score in school history (39.70, Mar. 7, 1997). In her career, she has