Gymnastics: Meet versus Washington a homecoming for Baskett

By By Jon Gilbert

By Jon Gilbert

Kristina Baskett hopes to make Utah’s meet at Washington on Saturday feel like a home meet as much as possible.

Baskett grew up just outside of Seattle in Normandy Park, Wash. She decided to attend Utah because of the program’s prestige, she said. But her family and friends still follow her gymnastics closely from a distance.

“I’ll have a lot of family and friends there to watch,” Baskett said. “They’ve turned into huge Utah fans.”

The junior spent the week scrounging tickets for her friends. Each U gymnast is allotted four tickets for family and friends, so Baskett has been gathering spare tickets from teammates and hopes she has enough come Saturday.

She also hopes to perform better for her hometown than she did at BYU last week. She tied her season low in the all-around competition with a 39.1. Although not entirely upset with her performance, she knows she is capable of more.

“There wasn’t anything particular (that was wrong),” she said. “It was just kind of an off night for me.”

Baskett stepped out of bounds on her floor routine — her second foot fault of the season — but hopes to upgrade this week on her first pass. She has been performing a double pike but wants to add a full twist, making the maneuver a full-in.

She warmed it up last week but “crunched” her ankles on a landing and decided to wait another week.

With an extra day to train this week and a return trip home, Baskett hopes to have the move ready.

Since the meet is Saturday instead of the usual Friday, the Red Rocks had more time to play with this week. Head coach Greg Marsden wants to use the extra time judicially.

“We won’t overdo it but we’ll do a little more than we usually do on a Thursday,” Marsden said. Friday will be a travel day after all the girls get out of classes.

On Saturday, Utah hopes to be as deep as possible. A stomach flu kept Ashley Postell out of the all-around competition last week, but she has returned to full strength. Daria Bijak thought she got the same bug last Friday but is feeling fine this week. Marsden said she had a good week of workouts.

Katie Kivisto, however, missed training on Monday and Tuesday with the bug and Marsden isn’t sure the senior will compete.

Stephanie Neff is out indefinitely after injuring her achilles in practice last week. The worst news came Wednesday when the team learned Jacq Johnson could be out all season. The freshman hurt her foot while warming up at BYU but doesn’t know how. An MRI on Wednesday showed a fracture in her foot. Marsden said she’ll be in a boot cast for a couple weeks.

With Postell feeling well again, this could be the week the senior unveils her double Arabian on the first pass of her floor routine. The move was first contemplated two weeks ago against Minnesota but was left out. She didn’t perform floor last week so Saturday is her next opportunity.

“We’re going to wait to see what the floor feels like when we get up there,” Marsden said.

No matter what the floor feels like, Baskett is pretty sure about the weather forecast. Having lived in the Seattle area for 18 years, she said, “it will probably be raining. What a surprise.”

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Tyler Cobb

Having grown up just outside of Seattle, in Normandy Park, Wash., Kristina Baskett will have plenty of fans and friends on hand when Utah takes on Washington tomorrow night.