A poor performance on the floor routine doomed the No. 4 Red Rocks (11-1, 6-0 Pac-12) at No. 10 Georgia (5-6, 3-4 SEC), causing them to fall 197.450-197.275. Georgia's 197.450 was their highest score on the season, topping their previous best of 196.975.
"It's hard to win a meet when you only show up for three events," lamented head coach Greg Marsden. "I have no idea what happened on floor. It's been a great event for us all year, so I guess we'll just write it off to a fluky night."
The flukiest mistake came from senior Tory Wilson, who appeared to pull up short rather than perform her final tumbling pass to its completion.
"Tory just tripped!" said Marsden. "I told her afterwards that she'd given me another first. In 40 years, I've never seen that."
While Wilson's was the strangest, mistakes came throughout the floor lineup. Georgia Dabritz mishandled her first tumbling pass and Corrie Lothrop stepped out of bounds. Only Kari Lee (9.875) and Becky Tutka (9.925) appeared unaffected by their teammates' struggles. Tutka tied for first on the event for her first win of the year.
"I would have no complaints about this meet if it weren't for the fluky night on floor," said Marsden. "I was especially pleased with how we came back on beam."
While Wilson's was the strangest, mistakes came throughout the floor lineup. Georgia Dabritz mishandled her first tumbling pass and Corrie Lothrop stepped out of bounds. Only Kari Lee (9.875) and Becky Tutka (9.925) appeared unaffected by their teammates' struggles. Tutka tied for first on the event for her first win of the year. All of the mistakes led to only a 49.050 for the floor.
Utah started out strong on bars, posting a 49.500, while Georgia only posted a 49.175 on vault.But the Gym Dogs roared back on their turn at bars, cutting Utah's lead to less than two tenths of a point, 98.875-98.750. Lee won the vault for the second-straight week with her second-straight career-tying 9.925. Wilson and Kailah Delaney both scored 9.90s, sandwiched by a rare fall on the event by Dabritz.
"Georgia just wasn't herself tonight," said Marsden, bars (9.975) and beam (9.80) notwithstanding. She only posted a 38.825 in the all-around.
The Gym Dogs assumed the lead on the third rotation, 147.950-147.925, thanks to Utah's troubles on floor and a good performance for Georgia on the beam. With a Senior Night home crowd behind them, the Gym Dogs had an even bigger advantage than their razor-thin scoring lead showed heading into the floor exercise.
The Red Rocks did not go down without a fight, posting a 49.350 on beam and positioned themselves to take the lead if UGA had any missteps. Utah's 49.350 set tied its second-best beam score of the year and featured 9.90 routines from Maddy Stover and Rowe, who tied for first on the event. It was the first win of Stover's career. All six Utes walked through their routines without a hitch. Georgia however did not make a mistake on the floor, posting 49.500 to take the win.
"I was proud of how Tory and Georgia came back on beam after their problems on floor," said Marsden.
Despite the loss, Utah won or tied for the win in every individual event (and the all-around though Georgia did not have a gymnast compete for it).
"We really handled that situation well," said co-head coach and beam coach Megan Marsden. "Under difficult circumstances, we could have gotten tentative, but we didn't. We had some really great performances on the beam."
Up next for Utah is the Pac-12 Championship in Salt Lake City. The Utes will hold the No. 1 seed and will compete in the evening session. Tickets are on sale at UtahUtes.com and 801-581-3511.