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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Twin-City triumph

The No. 1 U gymnastics team went to Minnesota with all four of its superstar gymnasts healthy and ready to compete in the all-around. Before the meet, however, Nicolle Ford bruised her knee in a warmup exercise on the vault and could compete only on the bars instead of the all-around.

Even without Ford, the Utes took care of business and defeated the No. 25 Minnesota Gophers, 195.275-to-194.450. Although the low team score from the Utes made it seem like they had an average meet, Ute coach Marsden thought it was a function of the judging.

“I thought we did a great job other than the obvious mistakes,” Marsden said. “The scoring was very tight. There wasn’t a 9.9 all night and some of our routines were the best we’ve done all year. I’m not complaining at all. It is just an observation about the quality of our routines overall.”

The lineups looked very different with injuries to not only Ford, but also Gabriella Onodi and Natalie Nicoloff. Onodi’s ankle swelled up earlier in the week, while Nicoloff sprained her elbow in the previous meet against Michigan.

Freshman Katie Kivisto competed in three events in the stead of Ford, Onodi and Nicoloff, while Kristen Riffanacht came off her hamstring injury to compete on the vault, beam and the floor.

Freshman Jessica Duke also got into the mix, as she competed on the vault.

The Utes began the competition on the bars and freshman Kivisto was the first competitor to go. She scored a 9.750 and Dominique D’Oliveira followed Kivisto and had some troubles, scoring a 9.625.

Ashley Postell and Nicolle Ford picked up the slack and had solid scores of 9.825, the highest score on bars for both teams.

The Utes were up on the Gophers by a couple tenths of a point after the first event, but really extended that lead after the second.

The Gophers struggled on the bars. Kim Womack scored a 9.150 to lead off the event and all of the other competitors scored below 9.7.

The Utes, however, did well enough on the vault to take advantage of the low Gopher bar scores. Duke, who was competing in her only event, scored a 9.750, while Tidd and Eberle both scored 9.85s, the highest scores on the night.

The Utes had more than a full-point’s lead heading into the second-half of the competition and had another solid event on the floor.

Eberle won her second event of the night with a 9.85 and Ashley Postell was right behind her with a 9.825. The Gophers did not struggle too much on the beam, except for one fall from Amanda Miles, who ended up with a 9.100.

The Utes had won the meet heading into the last event, but Kivisto and Hofmann showed their inexperience on the beam.

Both fell and scored 9.3s, while Rachel Tidd won the event with a 9.825.

Although the Utes did not score very well, the depth they proved to have pleased Marsden.

“We have to be able to use different lineups and still win,” Marsden said. “We haven’t had this kind of depth in the past years and that has hurt us.”

Postell took the all around with a 39.25, and the Utes are now 5-0 on the season.

The Red Rocks will now return home to face rival BYU before going back on the road for two straight weeks to face Nebraska and Georgia.

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