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Go Utes!
Gymnasts Picked Sixth in Preseason Coaches' Poll

Nansy Damianova is one of a record nine All-Americans returning for Utah.

Nansy Damianova is one of a record nine All-Americans returning for Utah.

Dec. 12, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY--


The Utah gymnastics team was picked sixth in the preseason coaches' poll released today and all eight Pac-12 schools that sponsor gymnastics were ranked in the top 25. The Utes received 596 total votes and two first-place votes.

"Our gymnasts have such high expectations this season that I'm sure they are anxious to prove they are better than predicted, but I think our ranking is as good as we can expect given our finish last year," said coach Greg Marsden. "That the other coaches recognize the talent we have on our team is reflected in the fact that they ranked us in the top six after our ninth-place finish last year."

After advancing into the Super Six for 13 straight years, the 2013 Utes were less than a tenth of a point out of first place entering their final event in the NCAA semifinals when a disastrous beam performance ended their remarkable run. Help is on the way on the beam, however, with the return of injured All-Americans Corrie Lothrop and Kailah Delaney.

In addition to Lothrop (a five-time All-American and the 2012 Pac-12 all-around champion) and Delaney, the Utes return all 24 routines from last year's NCAA team, which did not have a single senior on the roster. There are a school-record nine All-Americans on the current roster, including 2013 NCAA uneven bar runner-up Georgia Dabritz. The team's only freshman, Baely Rowe, was the 2013 Junior Olympic all-around champion.

Defending NCAA champion Florida was ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll, followed by Alabama, Oklahoma, UCLA, LSU and Utah. All eight Pac-12 teams made the top 25: No. 4 UCLA, No. 6 Utah, No. 9 Stanford, No. 12 Oregon State, No. 17 Arizona, No. 20 Washington, No. 22 California and No. 25 Arizona State. Other ranked teams on Utah's schedule are No. 7 Michigan, No. 8 Georgia and No. 23 Boise State. Complete Preseason Poll.

 

 

Fans will get their first look at a team Marsden terms "talented, experienced, deep and highly motivated," this Friday at the Red Rocks Preview. The popular preseason intra-squad meet will start at 7 p.m. in the Huntsman Center and parking and admission are free.

The regular season begins with a quad meet against BYU, Southern Utah and Boise State in the Huntsman Center on Saturday, Jan. 11. Other home opponents are UCLA (Jan. 25), Arizona (Feb. 7), Oregon State (Feb. 22), Washington (Feb. 28) and Georgia (Mar. 15). Utah's road schedule features meets at California (Jan. 17), Arizona State (Feb. 1), Stanford (Feb. 17) and Michigan (with UCLA, Mar. 7).

The entire postseason will take place on the road, with the Pac-12 Championships at Cal (Mar. 22), NCAA Regionals at a site to be determined (Apr. 5) and the NCAA Championships in Birmingham, Ala. (Apr. 19-20).

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