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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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Red Rocks battle on

After toppling No. 9 UCLA in Los Angeles last weekend, the No. 4 Ute gymnastics squad (1-0) will be looking to build on that performance when it takes on No. 18 Washington (2-3) in Seattle tonight at 7 p.m.

Although the Utes were No. 2 and UCLA was No. 3 as of last weekend’s standings, collegiate gymnastics rankings are based on overall high scores and a couple of early falls against the Bruins dropped the Utes a notch.

Nevertheless, based on the team’s improved performance after falls on the first two routines of the UCLA meet, head coach Greg Marsden said that he is confident the U’s scoring will improve in week two.

“After I got a chance to go back and watch the video from our UCLA meet, I was even more pleased than after the competition,” Marsden said. “Once I removed myself from the situation and just watched, I saw that the athletes really did a great job for the first meet. I was especially pleased that they didn’t give up after the first two routines. It demonstrated to me that this is a group that will fight back from adversity and work through problems.”

The Ute lineup will also benefit from the improved health of five-time All-American sophomore Ashley Postell, who only just completed her second week of training. Friday night’s action could also see the return of two-time All-American senior Kristen Riffanacht on the balance beam.

“The issue now with Ashley and Kristen is not their injuries,” Marsden said, “but how much training time they’ve missed. Ashley did three events last week but was only marginally ready to compete. Both of them will do better and contribute more as they get back into routine shape.”

Marsden also noted room for scoring improvements across the board, as his athletes begin to reinstall some more difficult elements of their routines.

“We need to continue to get in a little better condition specific to our routines and as soon as possible; we need to begin to add some difficulty back in (the routines) that we removed to get through the first meet or two,” Marsden said.

Friday’s meet will hold extra meaning for Normandy Park, Wash., native Kristina Baskett, who will look to improve upon her stunning debut with a solid showing in front of friends and family from home.

Live scoring and commentary for Friday’s meet can be found at during the meet.

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