Red Rocks take on Huskies

By Bryan Chouinard, Staff Writer

Nina Kim and the Red Rocks were one event away from walking out of Athens, Ga., with a win Monday.

With three events in the books, and the teams tied, it came down to the final event8212;and the Gym Dogs defended their turf and edged out the Red Rocks for the win.

“(Losing to Georgia) is always disappointing,” Kim said. “But we’re all really happy about the improvements we made from the UCLA meet.”

Even though Greg Marsden and his team returned to Salt Lake City with their first loss of the season, there were still many positives to take away from the Athens meet. Although the Utes fell short against Georgia, they scored higher as a team than they did against UCLA in the season opener and did not count a single fall against the Gym Dogs.

“I really think we did what we were trying to do,” said Utah junior Jamie Deetscreek. “We all made our routines, I just don’t think the scores really reflected that. But we’ve put it behind us now. We’re just focusing on the next meet8212;there’s nothing we can do to change it.”

And there’s no time to waste for the Red Rocks, who, after returning home Tuesday afternoon, have had a short week to prepare to host Washington in the Huntsman Center tonight at 7 p.m.

“It’s really a mental thing,” Deetscreek said. “We really only had one day of gymnastics to get ready so we couldn’t make major changes from Monday to Friday. We just do the little things to improve.”

With such a short amount of time between meets, Marsden has not made major changes in routines or lineups from Monday afternoon to Friday night. As of Thursday afternoon, it seemed that Utah sophomore Kyndal Robarts will miss the third meet of the season, as she’s still recovering from torn cartilage in her shoulder. Because of Robarts’ absence, Marsden will keep a similar lineup to the Georgia meet in order to keep his gymnasts comfortable in their roles. Sophomore Gael Mackie will most likely lead off on beam8212;the most nerve-wracking of the four leadoff spots8212;for the second time in her career, the first time having come Monday in Athens.

But it’s not nerves that has Marsden worried.

“From a coach’s perspective, the concern is it was a long trip and a tough meet against a major rival, so the natural tendency is to watch for a letdown against an improving Washington team8212;so that’s what we need to guard against,” he said.

Years ago, the University of Washington might have been an easy “W” for the Red Rocks, but Marsden knows that’s no longer the case.

“(Washington) is a team that is getting better every year and every week,” he said. “It’s a program that is on the rise and getting better, so that’s my biggest concern, that we just don’t take anything for granted.”

Friday’s meet has been named the “Power of Pink” meet. In order to raise awareness for breast cancer, everyone wearing pink to the meet will receive free general admission.

“We’re really excited for the breast cancer awareness meet,” Kim said. “It’s great that we can get together and do this for a good cause.”

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Erik Daenitz

Kristina Baskett looks to help the Red Rocks rebound from a disappointing loss at Georgia with a strong performance in the all-around.

Lucas Isley

Despite a loss at No. 1 Georgia and a short week of preparations, Gael Mackie and the Red Rocks remain confident heading into today?s meet against Washington.