“I don’t know what to say,” said a frustrated coach Greg Marsden after seeing his team implode on the beam in a performance reminiscent of last season. “Are we really going to do this again this year? It was a complete meltdown in a meet where we had a chance to go to beam and win it.”
The coaches inserted Georgia Dabritz into the beam lineup at the last minute in place of Breanna Hughes in search of a big score.
“We knew we were eventually going to put Georgia in the beam lineup, because when she hits, it’s a big score and we thought we’d need it to win this one,” said Marsden about the last-minute lineup change.
Dabritz didn’t fall but a near fall resulted in a 9.65 and the only blemish on an otherwise spectacular meet for the junior All-American, who won both bars (9.925) and floor (9.975), while placing third on vault (9.875).
“We’re a great three-event team. Then we go over to beam and try too hard and that doesn’t work,” said Marsden. “It’s our job as coaches to help them get better (on beam) and obviously we haven’t done it. There’s enough blame for all of us. Nobody did what they are trained to do and what they do in the gym every day.”
Utah had seen some of its lead dwindle away by the time Mary Beth Lofgren and Kailah Delaney fell on back-to-back routines that clinched the loss.
The finish was nothing like the start for the Utes, where Dabritz improved her record on the bars to 6-0 with a 9.925 routine, Nansy Damianova scored a 9.90 and Utah jumped to a 49.350-49.100 lead after one rotation.
The Utes and Cardinal went toe-to-toe in round two, with Utah scoring a 49.425 on vault and Stanford matching it on the bars. Kailah Delaney (9.95) and Tory Wilson (9.925) placed 1-2 and showed why they might be the best back-to-back vaulters in the country, while Dabritz took third place with a 9.875. At the midway point, Utah led 98.775-98.525.
Utah expanded its lead to 147.225-147.775 in round three, despite missing high-scoring All-American Becky Tutka in the floor lineup. A sore Achilles will likely keep Tutka out of the lineup Saturday against Oregon State as well. Mary Beth Lofgren (9.825) stepped back into the lineup in Tutka’s place after briefly losing her spot to Delaney before Tutka’s injury. Delaney, in her second start on floor, also scored a 9.825.
The back of the floor lineup came up huge with Wilson scoring a 9.90, Dabritz barely missing out on the team’s first 10.0 of the season with a 9.975 and Damianova finishing off a 49.350 set with a 9.925.
Utah won three of the four event titles, with Dabritz taking on bars (9.925) and floor (9.975), and Delaney winning vault (9.95). In her first all-around of the season, Dabritz tied for second with Wilson, both with a 39.425 score.
Utah has a quick turnaround, returning home to face No. 11 Oregon State Saturday at 6 p.m. in the Huntsman Center.