The No. 5 Red Rocks were in championship form at No. 18 Arizona, winning 197.850-196.375. They were led by an incredible individual performance from Georgia Dabritz, who posted a perfect 10.0 on bars and 9.975 on vault and floor, leading to an all-around score of 39.70, the eighth highest in school history.
Dabritz was not the only gymnast who had a strong showing. Corrie Lothrop posted season highs in all three of her events on the night, a 9.925 on bars, 9.90 on beam, and 9.90 on floor. Freshman Kari Lee won the beam with a season-best 9.925. She also scored personal bests on her other two events, vault (9.925) and floor (9.875).
Head coach Greg Marsden has not been happy with the team's performances in meets thus far, often talking about how they did not look as good in meets as they do practicing in the gym. All that changed yesterday afternoon.
"Finally! That's what I've been waiting for," said Marsden "I told the team after warm-ups, `You guys look like you're in a really good place. Stay right there!' And they did! The fun thing is that we can still make improvements."
Dabritz has very little that needs improvement. Her weakest event is beam, but she showed how elite she is in the other three events.
"Other than the one break on the balance beam, Georgia was pretty flawless all night. She can't get any better on those three events (bars, vault, floor)," said Marsden.
Utah started off the night incredibly strong, posting a season best 49.55 on bars, including Dabritz's 10.0, Lothrop's season best 9.925, and a 9.90 from Kassandra Lopez.
"Uneven bars set the tone for the rest of the night," said Marsden. "We were off and running after that."
Utah continued strong on vault with the momentum built from the strong bar routine. They scored a season best 49.55 on vault thanks to strong performances from Dabritz (9.975), Lee (9.925), Kailah Delaney (9.90) and Tory Wilson (9.90).
Another event, another season high, this time on floor. Utah posted a 49.45 with Dabritz again winning the event from the anchor position with a 9.975. Wilson and Lothrop both posted 9.90s as well.
Utah finished on beam, and they again posted a season high with a 49.30. Beam was the one event Dabritz did not win, posting a 9.75 (she had a balance check after her series). Lee won the event with a 9.925, and Lothrop and Baely Rowe both posted 9.90s.
"In past years, Georgia would have gone down on that balance check. She is much more confident on beam this year," said Marsden.
Utah has been strong so far this year, but they never seemed to show their true potential in a meet until this Arizona meet. They were making mistakes in meets they were not making in the gym. They finally had their breakout meet, on the road no less, especially in an environment where Arizona posted a season high.
"After the meet, I told the gymnasts, `This is what I knew you could do. This is why I've been frustrated with our other meets.' We came in and competed the way we do in the gym and making it even more impressive is it came on the road," said Marsden.
The Arizona GymCats hit the road next Saturday to take on No. 10 Oregon State in Corvallis.
Utah returns home to take on Arizona State on Friday at 6 p.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center in a meet that will honor 40 years of Utah gymnastics. The Red Rocks are 68-16-1 (33-2 in Salt Lake City) in the series against ASU, riding a 17-meet winning streak.