Utah Gymnastics: Unexpectedly Exciting


Apr 19, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA Utah Utes gymnast Becky Tutka competes in the floor exercise during semifinals of the 2013 NCAA Women

Editors Note: Brittany G is back with an exciting new post on gymnastics.  I’d be mad at her for skipping last week, but considering she is kind enough to do this for free, and it’s wildly better than I ever could have hoped for, well I’ll just thank her profusely for doing it at all.  Once again enjoy the best gymnastics analysis going.

It’s been two weeks since my last post…starting two new jobs and getting sick means no time for fun things like writing about Utah gymnastics.

Fortunately, the news is good. Utah recorded some awesome scores because THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO COUNT A FALL ON BEAM!

Yes, you read that right. They didn’t have to count a fall. Now, the team wasn’t flawless. There was one fall on beam in each meet. But we can handle one fall. Not as good as no falls, but infinitely better than two.

And those who didn’t fall mostly got in the 9.80 and 9.85 range, which is still lower than you’ll see in every other event, but it adds up to at least a 49.00 and puts Utah in the total score range they’ll need to compete at nationals.

Two weeks ago at Arizona State, Utah consistently got lower scores than they deserved. I’m not a gymnastics expert (I can’t even cartwheel without injuring myself), but after more than 15 years of season tickets to Utah gymnastics meets, I have an idea of what kind of scores gymnasts will receive. And two weeks ago, they deserved more points than they received.

But no worries! Utah came back to the Huntsman Center two weeks ago, celebrated Greg Marsden’s 1000th win (HOLY GUACAMOLE 1000 WINS IS INSANE FOR A GYMNASTICS COACH!) and achieved their season-high score.

Utah has three gymnasts in the top ten for vault –Tory Wilson (2), Kailah Delaney (4) and Georgia Dabritz (6) – which of course puts the team in first place. I love watching Utah’s vault, and seeing other teams compete reminds me how great the team is. Powerful, technically perfect and stuck landings. Greg Marsden has done a great job of coaching the event.

Assistant coach Tom Farden is the bars coach, and it’s another great event (as an aside, if the Marsdens were ever to stop coaching, I’m all for Farden as new HC). Again, difficult routines that are well-executed. Georgia Dabritz is in first place on this event because Georgia Dabritz is awesome.

Speaking of Georgia Dabritz, she is the hands-down winner of the “Most 9.975s That Totally Deserved to be 10s” Award. I’m sure she’ll eventually get a 10 because my GOD she deserves it.

Dabritz competed as exhibition on beam this week, scoring a 9.825, which is a little low, I thought. It was executed well without any major wobbles. I suspect she scored lower because she was only exhibition. But I think we’ll be seeing her in the beam lineup this season. (By the way, had she competed in beam, she would have received a 39.700 all-around score (9.925, 9.975, 9.825 and 9.975).

It was nice to see beam this week. Definitely not perfect – there were wobbles and Kailah Delaney fell (she just seemed to give up and kind of hop off…I don’t get that) – but there was definite determination to stay on the beam, and it showed.

Mary Beth Lofgren scored an (I think) career best 9.925 in a great routine. And I’d like to thank myself because she suddenly stopped falling the week after I booed her for falling over and over. This is clearly a cause-and-effect event and I deserve a reward.

Utah’s floor was AWESOME! Friday night was a fantastic meet. Good vault and bars, only one fall on beam and a 49.725 on floor, which is one of the highest scores I’ve seen Utah grab in quite awhile. Three 9.95s and a 9.975s, some of which could have easily scored 10s. I’d imagine it was as good as that 49.875 Florida got a few weeks ago except, you know, not the SEC.

Not surprisingly, Utah is first in the nation on floor (with Georgia Dabritz in second place individually).

The team is 4th overall, but I expect that will rise later in the season when high and low scores are dropped. There will also be a rise in bars position. Beam…hey, you take what you can get.

I have to say I am really excited about the team this year. I have had low expectations over the last few seasons, and I had low expectations this season. They’ve been met and surpassed. I can honestly say that I am really enjoying this team. And if you know me, you know it’s rare for me to be really excited about any Utah athletic team.