March 17, 1998
Utah vs. Brigham young
Sat., March 21 7:00 p.m.
Provo, Utah Marriott Center
Utah's last regular season meet is on Saturday in Provo, Utah, where the No. 4 Utes (7-2) will meet No. 10 Brigham Young (6-3) at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center ... The meet will be televised tape-delayed at 10:30 p.m. Saturday on KBYU (Channel 11). Holly Rowe (play by play) and Elisabeth Crandall (commentary) are the talent ... Utah won the first meeting between the two schools back on Feb. 6 (196.825-194.875). That score stands as Utah's best this season ... Utah starts the week ranked No. 4 in the nation and should remain in the top five when the new poll is released late Tuesday (March 17) ... Six of Utah's eight opponents this year are currently ranked in the Top 20 ... Head Coach Greg Marsden picked up win No. 660 against Oregon State last Saturday ... Utah has won a record ten national championships, including four in the 1990s (1990, '92, '94, 95).
UTES LEAD NATION'S ATTENDANCE
Utah returned to the top of the gymnastics attendance race, averaging 10,211 in its five home meets. Alabama, which edged Utah last year, finished its five-meet schedule with a 9,815 average. It is the fifth season that the Utes have averaged 10,000 in the Huntsman Center, where they have averaged 10,900 over the last seven years. Utah's crowds this year: 11,522 (Arizona), 11,468 (BYU), 9,116 (Minnesota), 9,934 (Utah State) and 9,015 (Oregon State).
PRACTICE TIMES & INTERVIEW POLICY
Monday (2:00), Tuesday (2:00), Thursday (3:00) in HPER W106. All practices are open. Media interested in interviews should plan to be in the practice facility (HPER W106) 30 minutes prior to the start of practice. All interviews must be completed by 1:30 p.m. Note: Head Coach Greg Marsden is available during practice, upon request. Interviews outside practice can be arranged by calling sports information director Liz Abel at 801-581-3511.
IN THE POLLS
Utah is ranked No. 4 in the latest poll (Mar. 10). The new rankings will be issued late Tuesday (Mar. 17). The Utes' highest ranking this year was No. 2-where they spent six weeks. The rankings are now based on regional qualifying score (RQS). That tabulation placed Utah (195.575 RQS) behind Georgia (196.881), Michigan (195.912) and Alabama (195.800) in the Mar. 10 poll. The complete poll is on page 6 of this release.
Senior Traci Sommer, competing for the last time in the Huntsman Center, led a Utah rout of Oregon State, 195.875-190.100. Sommer received a standing ovation from the crowd of 9,015 after her beam and floor routines-both victories. She scored a perfect 10.0 on the beam. She also scored a season-high 9.925 on floor and her 9.80 vault was the second best score on that event. Utah went 1-2-3 in the all-around, with a 39.00 sweep by Angie Leonard (39.150), Denise Jones (39.125) and Shannon Bowles (39.100). Utah overcame adversity in the win. Its first competitor of the night, Sarah Northrop, sprained both knees on her first vault. Northrop's injury left Utah with just five competitors on bars. The Utes finished strong with a 49.175 on both beam and floor.
Junior Sarah Northrop (two sprained knees) is doubtful. Freshman Theresa Wolf (heel contusion) is probable to return to the bar lineup-and maybe more events-this week. Wolf missed last Saturday's meet. Sophomore Jenny Schmidt underwent surgery on Dec. 27 to repair the patellar tendon in her right knee and is out for the 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 660-91-3 record (334-42-1 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 58-1 ... Utes are 10-1 in Provo ... Only Ute loss was "half" meet setback in Provo in 1994. Utah lost 194.125-125.800 after pulling out of the competition two events into the meet ... Utes have won 11 straight against BYU, including postseason competition ... In their first meeting this year, Utah blew open a close meet on the last two events to take a 196.825-194.875 win.
Utah and BYU have had just two opponents in common: Utah State and Oregon State. Utah is 3-0 against them (two wins against Utah State), while BYU is 3-1 (two wins over USU, split with Oregon State).
Utah is 2-2 on the road ... Utah has completed a 49.00 circuit twice this year-against Brigham Young (196.825) and Washington (196.225) ... Utes are currently the top-ranked team in the Midwest Region, followed by defending NCAA runner-up Arizona State ... Uneven bars has produced Utah's highest score in eight of nine meets, including a season-best score (for any event) of 49.475 vs. Utah State on Feb. 27 ... Utah has struggled on its "trademark" event-the balance beam-this year. The Utes had three falls at Michigan, two at Utah State, three vs. Utah State and two at Stanford. There have been just four meets where Utah has not counted a fall on beam.
TRACKING TRACI Senior Traci Sommer, an all-arounder her first three years at Utah, is starring on three events this year. She saved her best effort so far for her Huntsman Center finale last Saturday. Sommer won the beam with a perfect 10-her first 10 since her freshman year (also on beam). She also won the floor exercise vs. Oregon State, with a season-best 9.925 and placed second on vault (9.80). The two-time balance beam All-American has scored a 9.925 or better on the beam in three of her last four tries, winning those three. Sommer, who has missed two meets with injuries (knee, back) this year, has hit every routine except her first beam routine. Although she has not cracked the bar lineup this year, Sommer has a fine all-around history: She has 18 career 39.00 all-arounds and owns the fifth-best score in history (39.70, Mar. 7, 1997). In her career, she has "hit" 153 of 172 routines (89%). Her breakdown by year: 46-51 (1995), 42-47 (1996), 45-53 (1997), 20-21 (1998).
ALL-AMERICA ANGIE Junior All-American Angie Leonard starts the week as the nation's third ranked all-arounder (39.169 RQS). The March 10 rankings also listed her at No. 7 (tie) on the bars (9.894 RQS). Leonard won her third all-around of the year last weekend against Oregon State, scoring a 39.150. She also tied for first on bars with a 9.85. Leonard, a two-time All-American, is having another huge year for the Utes. She is tied for the team lead in wins, with 13, and her 39.60 all-around score against Utah State on Feb. 27 is tied for the best score of the year by a Ute and the eighth-best score in school history. Her six 39.00 or better all-around scores is best on the team. She has 14 career 39.00 all-around scores. Her five bar victories this year is the most on a single event by a Ute. In her career, she has 16 wins on the bars. Her victory breakdown this season: bars (5), all-around (3), vault (2), floor (2), beam (1). Utah's most consistent upper-class all-arounder, Leonard has hit 117 of 129 (91%) routines in her career. On bars, she is a near-perfect 34 of 35. She has not missed a bar routine since her freshman year. On all events this season, she is 32 of 36.
SHANNON SHINES Freshman sensation Shannon Bowles cracked the national all-around rankings in the March 10 poll. She ranked fifth with a 39.131 RQS. Bowles is tied for the team lead in victories, with 13, and all-around wins (4). Her five 39.00 or better all-around scores ranks second. The current U.S. National Team member tied the eighth highest all-around score in school history with her 39.60 against BYU on Feb. 6. She followed with a 39.50 against Minnesota on Feb. 13. Bowles is one of just two Utes to score a 10.0 this year (Traci Sommer is the other). She and Sommer (now a senior) are the only Utes ever to score a 10.0 as freshmen. Bowles has won at least one event in six of nine meets. She has gone all-around in seven meets, going three events in the season-opener and competing only on bars at Washington, due to a foot injury. Bowles' individual victory breakdown follows: beam (4), all-around (3), vault (3), floor (2), bars (1). She won her collegiate all-around debut on January 23 at Michigan, scoring a 39.25. She has the most 9.875-or-better scores on the team (14): 5 on beam, 5 on bars, 3 on vault, 1 on floor. The rookie has hit 30 of 32 routines this season.
MORE ON THE UTES
Marilyn Ekdahl-Freshman has competed in every meet on bars and in five meets on vault ... she could return to the vault lineup in place of injured Sarah Northrop this Saturday ... broke career uneven bar high two weeks running: then-best 9.85 at Washington on Feb. 20 and new high 9.875 against Utah State on Feb. 27 ... on vault has twice scored 9.75 (vs. Arizona and Minnesota) ... had great collegiate start, tying for second on both vault (9.75) and bars (9.75) against Arizona ... has hit 13 of 14 routines.
Denise Jones-Second-year all-arounder is becoming more consistent as season progresses ... has two straight 39.00 all-arounds and three total ... all-around runner-up in last two meets-Stanford (39.00) and Oregon State (39.125) ... best meet was on Feb. 6 against BYU, when she set career bests in the all-around (39.25) and on bars (9.90) ... season-best 9.775 on vault was also on Feb. 6 ... tied career high on floor on Feb. 27 (9.85) ... 9.825 beam score at Washington on Feb. 20 and at Stanford on Mar. 6 ... second all-around against Minnesota (38.80) ... has two wins this year-both on bars (BYU and OSU, tie) ... has hit 30 of 36 routines ... 77 of 86 (90%) in her career.
Ashley Kever-Has made floor lineup every meet, with season-best 9.85 against USU on Feb. 27 ... 9.80 floor scores against Michigan (Jan. 23), Washington (Feb. 20) and Oregon State (Mar. 14) ... since 9.65 season-opener, has scored 9.70 or better in every meet on floor ... vying for full-time spot in beam lineup where she was one of Utah's best last year, but is 1-3 in '98 ... season-best 9.725 as lead-off on beam at Stanford.
Molly Northrop-Regular on bars and beam is likely to compete both events this Saturday at BYU ... only fall this year was on beam (Feb. 27) ... returned to beam lineup after one-meet absence last week and posted 9.775 score ... 1997 second-team beam All-American has 9.80 season best and has scored 9.70 or better in five meets ... hit all 9 bar routines this year ... has moved down to No. 4 in the bar lineup, where she has three 9.85 or better scores, including career-best 9.90 on Feb. 6 ... won first event of career on Feb. 6, when she tied for first on bars ... is 16 of 17 this season.
Sarah Northrop-Two-event (vault, bars) regular will likely miss this week's meet after spraining both knees last week against OSU ... injuries came on first vault ... cracked lineup in fourth meet of season ... 9.80 on both vault and bars on Feb. 6 in first competitive routines of season ... has done both vault and bars in three meets ... both misses this year are on vault ... has competed in five meets (missed Feb. 20 meet at Washington because of illness) ... season best 9.70 on vault on Feb. 27 ... best bar score of 9.85 on Feb. 13.
Angelika Schatton-One of team's best vaulters is averaging a 9.75 through nine meets ... career-best 9.80 vault against both Michigan (Jan. 23) and BYU (Feb. 6) ... competed on floor four times (Arizona, Minnesota, Washington and Oregon State) ... career-best 9.75 on floor vs. OSU ... 9.80 in first beam to "count" on Feb. 13 ... has made beam lineup twice this year.
Jenny Schmidt-Surgery on Dec. 27 to repair patellar tendon in her right knee ... injured while training uneven bars prior to Christmas ... was coming back from season-ending knee surgery last year (Mar. 7, same knee) ... will miss entire 1998 season.
Theresa Wolf-Missed last week's meet and is questionable again this week due to heel contusion suffered at Stanford on Mar. 6 ... career-best 39.175 all-around at Washington on Feb. 20 ... also had "bests" on vault (9.725, tie) and beam (9.85, tie) in Washington meet ... personal best 9.90 on floor against USU on Feb. 27 ... has received 9.80 or better on floor all six attempts (missed Minnesota meet with flu amd OSU meet with foot injury) ... 9.875 on floor was Utah's top score on any event at Stanford ... won two straight floor competitions (Utah State, Feb. 2 and BYU, Feb. 6) ... also went all-around at Michigan, scoring 38.60 ... has hit 18 of 22 routines.
6-3 ... high score of 194.875 was against Utah on Feb. 6 in Salt Lake City ... Angela Anderson (39.45) is top all-arounder ... Anderson won the all-around (39.45) against Oregon State last Friday to lead BYU to a 194.450-190.825 victory ... Cougars have lost three gymnasts for the season to injury ... best event is floor (49.325 best).
"We want to go down to Provo and have a good road meet. It's going to be tough because it's finals week and we don't have much training time. We need to try and build confidence as we go into the postseason ... Hopefully we'll be up for the meet this Saturday. It's our rival and they (the Cougars) have the best team they've had in awhile. We'll need to be very good to win. They're undefeated at home and we, at times, have been very average on the road ... From the meet the other night (Mar. 14), I liked that we made the upgrades that we wanted to on floor and did a good job with those. I think we're where we want to be in terms of composition of routines. Now we really need to emphasize execution and consistency."