The University of Utah gymnastics team will head to Stanford, Calif., to compete in the Pac-12 Championships on Saturday, March 18. The Red Rocks are competing in the second session, and they are starting their first rotation on bars.
Utah finished its regular season on a low note after taking a loss at Georgia this past weekend. Co-head coach Megan Marsden felt like the team did not start off great. They were tight on bars, and they had landing problems on vault which was frustrating.
Marsden added that her team has to continue to grow in some places, but despite the outcome of the meet, she liked the fight the Red Rocks put up, and she thinks it will help them stay confident in postseason.
Marsden mentioned that at last year’s Pac-12 Championships, the Red Rocks struggled on their first event. With some mishaps on beam, the Red Rocks fell behind Oregon State, UCLA and Cal, but what Marsden was most impressed with was that her team didn’t give up even though it felt like it was over for them at one point.
“We always talk about how in gymnastics, you just don’t know what could happen,” Marsden said. “We had been at beam first, and others could have come to that event and have trouble as well. It’s not like we were the only team that might have had a problem on beam, so I felt like the girls kept that in their heads.”
After a comeback on the floor exercise, the Red Rocks fought until the end, making it a close meet, and they finished second out of eight teams. Although it doesn’t change the outcome in terms of placement, Marsden felt the gratification of their fight.
“On the award stand we turned up on some individual honors,” Marsden said. “Utah was all over the podium in the end. Not a lot of action on beam, but in other events we had people representing Utah in a variety of placements. There were some great things and people who did rise to the occasion on that night.”
Keeping last year’s mistakes and personal victories on their mind, sophomore Kari Lee knows it is going to be a tough competition. While the Pac-12 schools always bring competitiveness, Lee said that it helps them prepare for regionals and nationals because of the high-level intensity of competing day in and day out.
“Just going into this weekend we are just taking things one step at a time and being grateful for all these opportunities that we have been given,” Lee said. “I think that we have have a chance of winning if we put all the routines together. If we compete an average day, hopefully we will take the title.”
Both Lee and Marsden are looking forward to Saturday’s meet. With a history of competing well at Stanford, Marsden thinks her team’s confidence will be high.
“I do think they are coming into the time of year that they have been waiting for,” Marsden said. “I look forward to helping them reach their dreams if we can. We will get comfortable on the arena floor on Friday and try to have the girls ready and fresh-legged on Saturday.”
The second session is set to begin at 7 p.m. MT.