Gymnastics: Red Rocks post 10th highest score in team history

By By Jon Gilbert

By Jon Gilbert

After the first meet of the season, Georgia head coach Suzanne Yoculan complimented the U gymnastics team on its one-two punch of Ashley Postell and Kristina Baskett. However, she went on to remind everyone that it takes more than that to win a national championship — it takes a full lineup.

The Red Rocks provided evidence that a full lineup is exactly what they have when they scorched the Minnesota Golden Gophers 197.750-194.100 in the Huntsman Center Friday night.

Both Postell and Nina Kim posted career-high all-around performances and did their part to lead the Utes to the 10th-best team score in school history.

Postell’s night started with a bang when her flawless vault routine earned her a perfect 10.0 and brought the crowd to its feet. She ended the night with a 39.80 and her fourth all-around title in four meets this season.

Postell’s 10.0 — the first perfect score of her career on vault — ended a span of nearly three years without a perfect score for Utah. Postell and Annabeth Eberle achieved the last two perfect scores on March 18, 2005. Postell earned hers on the balance beam while Eberle achieved it during the floor exercise.

Kim’s all-around performance spoke to Utah’s depth. She had not competed in all four events since the 2006 NCAA Championships. She bounced back from her hiatus with a 39.550.

“I’m excited that (Utah head coach) Greg (Marsden) gave me the opportunity to be in the all-around,” Kim said.

She turned down the opportunity last week because she didn’t feel she was quite ready.

On Friday, every Utah gymnast seemed ready to compete.

“Not only are the people in the lineup doing a great job, but the people in exhibition are doing a great job,” Marsden said.

The lineup has changed with each meet this season. Four different gymnasts (Kristina Baskett, Daria Bijak, Kim and Postell) have competed in the all-around. Baskett took second in the all-around competition with a 39.600.

Sophomore Jamie Deetscreek earned a career-high 9.875 on the balance beam, an improvement on the 9.825 she scored against Nebraska earlier this year.

Five out of the six gymnasts that competed on the vault for Utah achieved season highs. Joining Baskett, Kim and Postell were Annie DiLuzio (9.85) and Kyndal Robarts (9.875).

“It’s just a group that seems very determined to get better,” Marsden said.

As “on” as Utah was, Minnesota was just as “off.”

Jade Beattie started the Golden Gophers off with a fall on the uneven bars, and the team never got back in sync after a poor first event. Minnesota stepped on many landings and had difficulty on every event. Minnesota’s highest score was a 9.850 floor routine by Amanda Miles.

Regardless of how well or poorly Minnesota performed, it had no effect on the Red Rocks.

“We talked earlier this week that we have to get to the point that it’s not about the other team,” Marsden said. “It’s about our team and what we’re doing.”

What the Red Rocks are doing is moving in the right direction. Each week has resulted in a new season high, and each week someone new emerges for Utah to look to when they need a high score.

“We’re a quarter of the way through the regular season, and I think this is ideal,” Marsden said.

But the Red Rocks say they aren’t done yet.

“I think we’re growing in depth still,” Postell said.

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Lennie Mahler

With a flawless routine on the vault, Ashley Postell posted her first 10.00 of the season.