Down the stretch they tumble: No. 3 Red Rocks prepare for final four meets

It’s time for the stretch run in college gymnastics and the Red Rocks are four meets away from the regionals.

The U is coming off a two meet road swing, in which they lost both meets, but the team looked very good last week at Georgia.

“You never like a loss,” U gymnastics coach Greg Marsden said. “I hate to lose and [the players] hate to lose, but we feel pretty good at what we accomplished.”

Although the team struggled against Nebraska, the U still managed to score 196.5. Later, the Red Rocks scored a scintillating 197.15 against Georgia.

Marsden is always looking to get better, however, especially at this point in the season, and is working on some of the issues the Utes had last weekend.

The main fallback the Utes had happened in their first event-the bars.

Dominique D’Oliveira fell off the bars, leaving the Utes in a tight position, as a bad routine after the fall would count on the actual score.

“That hurt us-no question. We dug ourselves in a bit of a hole,” Marsden said. “We also had one landing that we had a couple steps on, which means we had to take the lower score.”

In regards to fixing the aggressiveness after a fall issue, the onus has to fall on the gymnasts.

“I think it just takes them understanding what they have to do, practicing it a little bit in practice and applying it in a meet situation,” Marsden said.

Stronger starts will be a requirement come NCAA championship time.

“We talked a little bit about starting stronger and really setting the tone for the rest of the meet,” Marsden said.

Marsden was happy, however, with the way the team finished.

“Although we did OK at Nebraska with it, we didn’t do quite the job I wanted to do,” Marsden said.

“In Georgia we were absolutely brilliant and gave ourselves a chance to win the meet.”

Even after the two losses, the team is still confident.

“I think we are at a very good place and I think they are very confident,” Marsden said.

Even though the team has been nursing injuries in the early part of the season, everyone is ready to go for the stretch run.

“We are in pretty good shape,” Marsden said.

“Just like everybody else, we have different people dealing with different things, but that is the nature of most sports. We are managing all those injuries and everyone is available to us and has been that way for the past couple weeks.”

With all the players available to Marsden, the gymnasts have been able to upgrade their routines and are very close to where they want to be for nationals.

“There are some things we are looking to upgrade and we are very close to those,” Marsden said. “We are getting close to doing everything we can possibly do.”

This week will be a good barometer of where the Utes are at, in relation to some of the top teams in the nation.

The Red Rocks will compete in a quadrangular meet against Florida, Stanford and Cal in the Huntsman Center.

Both Florida and Stanford were in the super six last season.

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