The No. 4 Utah Red Rocks (8-0, 4-0 Pac-12) host the No. 16 Stanford Cardinal (4-5, 2-3 Pac-12) on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. MT at the Huntsman Center. Utah holds a 22-6 all-time advantage (10-1 in Salt Lake City, falling in 2011).
Stanford is led by 12th year head coach Kristen Smyth. Last season, Stanford finished 9th at the NCAAs. Utah and Stanford split their two meets last year, with Stanford winning in Palo Alto, and Utah winning at the Pac-12 Championships (in Berkley). Stanford had a season-best 197.000 in a win at No. 10 Oregon State. The Cardinal were riding a four meet winning streak before falling at rival Cal on Feb. 8. Taylor Rice is the Cardinal's top all-around gymnast with a season-best 39.50 all-around score.
Utah is led by 2014 Pac-12 Coaches of the Year, co-head coaches Greg and Megan Marsden. Greg is in his 40th season at Utah and is the NCAA career leader in wins (1,026-205-7). Megan is in her sixth year as co-head coach (and 31st year on staff) and has a career record of 110-44-1. Utah's 197.025 against Washington last week was not enough to help Utah hold the No. 3 spot (they are behind Oklahoma, Florida, and LSU).
After being on the road last week against Washington, Utah will return home in front of the best NCAA gymnastics crowd at the Huntsman Center. In their first three meets, Utah has averaged 14,509 fans, with a season-high attendance of 14,873 for their Jan. 23 win over No. 9 UCLA. Utah owns every NCAA gymnastics attendance record, including the most people ever to watch a collegiate gymnastics meet (15,558 vs. Florida in 2011) and highest season attendance average (14,376 in 2014). The atmosphere at home meets is a big draw for gymnasts to come to Utah.
Utah is scheduled to have three gymnasts compete for the all-around: senior All-American Georgia Dabritz (who will anchor bars and floor) and who spent four weeks ranked first in the nation in all-around score has slipped to fourth after the Washington meet (season high of 39.70), senior All-American Tory Wilson (one all-around win on the season, season high of 39.55), and sophomore Baely Rowe (season high of 39.35. Dabritz has a team high 17 wins so far this season. Dabritz is also ranked in the top 10 on floor (No. 1T), bars (No. 3) and vault (No. 2). Utah's best event ranking is No. 4 on both vault (49.421 average) and bars (49.304 average). Utah ranks No. 5 on floor and beam. Corrie Lothrop will anchor the team on beam, an event she is an All-American on. Another All-American will anchor vault in Kailah Delaney.
After missing the last two meets with an elbow injury, junior Breanna Hughes (bars, floor) expects to return to competition against Stanford. All four Utah freshmen (Samantha Partyka, Kari Lee, Tiffani Lewis and Maddy Stover) have all competed in an event to count, after Partyka competed in vault at Washington.
The meet will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks. The meet is Utah's annual Short People Appreciation Night, meaning anyone 5 feet tall or shorter get free admission.