Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Ute Gymnasts Prepare for NCAA Regional April 5

Two members of Utah's coaching staff have Arkansas ties. Greg Marsden (middle), an Arkansas native, will return to his home state for the first time in 40 years. Tom Farden was an Arkansas assistant in 2010.

Two members of Utah's coaching staff have Arkansas ties. Greg Marsden (middle), an Arkansas native, will return to his home state for the first time in 40 years. Tom Farden was an Arkansas assistant in 2010.

March 28, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY--

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NCAA REGIONALS ARE APRIL 5

The Utah gymnastics team has earned the top seed in the NCAA Fayetteville Regional, Saturday, Apr. 5 in Fayetteville, Ark. The meet starts at 4 p.m. CDT (3 p.m. MDT) in Barnhill Arena, home to host Arkansas. The teams in the Fayetteville Regional are No. 5 Utah, No. 8 UCLA, No. 17 Arkansas, No. 24 Arizona State, Utah State and UC-Davis. Utah must finish in the top two to advance to a record 39th-straight national championship and 33rd-straight NCAA Championship. The 2014 NCAA Championships are Apr. 18-20 in Birmingham, Ala. Arkansas will provide a free live video stream and live scores on arkansasrazorbacks.com. There will also be Live Utah updates on Twitter.

CONNECTIONS

Utah head coach Greg Marsden grew up 90 miles from Fayetteville in Clarksville, Ark. After earning a bachelor's degree from Central Arkansas (1972) and a master's from Arkansas State (1973), he taught world history and physical education at a high school in West Helena, Ark., for one year (1973-74). He moved to Utah in the fall of 1974 as a graduate assistant doctoral candidate and was named Utah's first gymnastics coach the next year. The regional championships will mark Marsden's first visit to Arkansas in 40 years. Tom Farden, now in his fourth season at Utah, was an assistant coach at Arkansas in 2010.

HIGH STAKES

For the first time in seven years, Utah, UCLA and Arkansas will not all make the NCAA Championships since only two teams qualify from regionals. Utah is the only program in the country to qualify for all 32 NCAA Championships to date, while UCLA has qualified 31 times and Arkansas has seven appearances in its brief 12-year history. The only year UCLA failed to qualify was in 2006, when the No. 2 seed Bruins were upset by host and No. 3 seed Arkansas in the Fayetteville Regional.

REGION ROUNDUP

The Utes will board the team bus at 4:00 a.m. on Thursday, Apr. 3 for a 6 a.m. flight out of Salt Lake City. On Friday, the Utes will train in Barnhill Arena from 4:00-5:40 p.m. CDT ... Utah's rotation order is the same as it was last at year's regional: bye, bars, beam, bye, floor, vault. For complete rotation orders, see the bottom of page 1 ... Utah has won 27 regional titles (including 24 of 32 NCAA) and finished second the other 11 years. Last year, the Utes placed second to Alabama at the Tuscaloosa Regional ... Utah has three NCAA regional champs on its squad: Georgia Dabritz (bars 2012, 2013; vault 2013); Nansy Damianova (floor 2011, 2013) and Tory Wilson (vault 2013) ... Utah has faced UCLA three times already this season, and is 2-1 against the Bruins. The Utes have met Arizona State twice (2-0). Utah has not seen the other three teams in the regional this season and has never competed against UC-Davis. For series records and capsules on each team, please see page 5 of this release ... Rotating with the Utes will be at-large all-arounder Catherine Dion of Illinois-Chicago ... Information on the six teams in the Fayetteville NCAA Regional can be found in the sidebar on page 4.

FOR THE RECORD

Utah won the Pac-12 Championships in Berkeley, Calif., on Mar. 22, scoring a 197.925 to beat runner-up Stanford (197.175) ... 17-3 overall record includes a 10-3 regular-season mark (6-1 Pac-12) and a 7-0 mark at the Pac-12 Championships ... Utah gymnastics led all women's sports in attendance this season, averaging an NCAA gymnastics-record 14,376 to its home meets to finish ahead of Alabama gymnastics (12,826) and Tennessee women's basketball (11,600). It is Utah's fourth all-sports women's attendance title (the Utes also won in 2010, 2011 and 2013) and its 30th gymnastics attendance championship.

LEADERS OF THE PAC

Utah cleaned up in its third season in the Pac-12, winning the Pac-12 Championship, capturing three individual titles and the all-around, and sweeping the major awards. Coaches Greg and Megan Marsden were named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year, Tory Wilson was the Gymnast of the Year and Georgia Dabritz the Specialist of the Year. Wilson won the all-around at the Pac-12 Championships, and Dabritz won vault and bars and tied for first on floor with Nansy Damianova. Wilson, Dabritz, Damianova and Kailah Delaney were named first-team all-conference, and Corrie Lothrop and Becky Tutka earned second-team honors. Wilson, Dabritz, Damianova, Delaney and Becky Tutka were also named NACGCW Regular Season All-Americans. For Utah's complete Pac-12 and All-America honors, please see sidebars on page 2 of this release.

RANK THIS

Utah finished No. 5 in the final national poll with a 197.575 regional qualifying score. The Utes go into postseason play ranked No. 1 on floor (49.565 RQS), No. 3 on vault (49.510), No. 4 on bars (49.435) and tied for No. 9 on beam (49.175) ... Georgia Dabritz is ranked No. 1 nationally on the uneven bars (9.95 RQS). Dabritz has been ranked No. 1 on bars in seven of the 11 weekly polls ... After three-straight weeks tied as the country's No. 1 vaulters, Tory Wilson and Kailah Delaney are No. 2 in the final rankings (9.945 RQS). Wilson has been ranked No. 1 on vault five weeks this season and Delaney four times.

CHALK TALK

Utah scored a season-high 198.025 in a win over Georgia (197.600) on Mar. 15 ... The Utes have improved 14 places in the balance beam rankings since Mar. 3--from No. 23 to No. 9 ... 2014 Ute individual winners: Dabritz (22), Wilson (12), Kailah Delaney (7), Damianova (5), Mary Beth Lofgren (3), Corrie Lothrop (2) and Del Priore (1) ... The Utes have hit 24-of-24 routines three times (on Feb. 22 vs. Oregon State, Mar. 15 vs. Georgia and Mar. 22 at the Pac-12 Championships) ... The Utes have completed 249-264 routines without a fall. Gymnasts who have hit every routine are Dabritz (35-35), Becky Tutka (23-23) and Lia Del Priore (12-12).

UTE INSIDER

A Ute has won or tied for first in every uneven bar and floor exercise competition so far this season and in 10-of-11 vault competitions. Georgia Dabritz has won or tied for first on bars in 10-of-11 meets, including the Pac-12 Championship, and Nansy Damianova won the other bar competition. On floor, Dabritz has seven wins (including the Pac-12 title), Damianova four and Lia Del Priore one. On vault, Kailah Delaney leads the way with six wins or ties, followed by Tory Wilson (4) and Dabritz (4, including the Pac-12 title) ... Utah has 10 scores of 9.975 or better this season--seven from Dabritz, two from Wilson and one from Nansy Damianova. Utah has three 10.0's: Dabritz (bars and floor) and Damianova (floor). Both of Dabritz's perfect scores came on the road.

UTAH CO-COACHES

The first 1,000-win coach in NCAA gymnastics history, Greg Marsden is 1,011-202-7 in a 39-year career spent entirely at Utah. He has won 10 national championships, which is tied for the most in the country. He has a regular season record of 474-81-3. He was voted the 2014 Pac-12 Coach of the Year along with Megan Marsden, now in her fifth year as the co-head coach and 30th year overall. Megan Marsden has a 95-41-1 career record.

 

 

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