Red Rocks post season-high against Dawgs

By Bryan Chouinard, Staff Writer

Gymnastics head coach Greg Marsden was concerned about the possibility of a letdown after a cross-country trip to Georgia left Utah empty-handed Jan. 19. The Utes responded Saturday with their best scoring night of the season.

After a nail-biting loss against Georgia, the Red Rocks showed their resiliency and ability to bounce back Friday night when they sent the University of Washington back to Seattle with a 196.850-to-193.450 loss

“For the last three meets we have increased our team score,” said senior Kristina Baskett. “And that was one of our goals. We still had a few little mistakes, but those were early season mistakes and we didn’t have to count a fall so that was good.”

Baskett led the way for Utah, winning her first all-around title of the season with a cumulative score of 39.625.

“I feel really confident in my gymnastics right now,” Baskett said. “It just feels good to be confident in what I’ve been training at, so I have felt very at ease with what I’m doing out on the competition floor right now.”

The Red Rocks handled Washington from wire to wire, getting the best of the Gym Dawgs in all four events as well as sweeping the top three all-around spots.

Another top performer for Utah was junior Daria Bijak who tied two career highs, first on bars with a score of 9.925 and then again on floor with a 9.90.

“When I went into warm-ups I just felt like today was my day,” Bijak said. “I just relaxed and really wanted to do good. There’s days you’re ready and there’s days you feel like crap.”

“Daria is going to be that next person for us,” Marsden said. “Because her gymnastics are of that quality, I mean her gymnastics looks different from everyone else’s out there so it’s good that she’s emerging in that role.”

With this being the second meet of the week for Marsden and the Red Rocks, there were concerns about how ready Utah would be. But after Friday night, Baskett stressed the importance of weeks like these during the regular season.

“It’s good to have the Monday and Friday meets every once and a while,” Baskett said. “It helps prepare you for nationals when you have to compete three nights in a row8212;it’s really hard on your body. So having the two meets in a week is good training for our bodies for nationals.”

Although the team score has improved week after week and Utah earned its second win of the season, Marsden knows there is still plenty of room for improvement.

“There certainly wasn’t the electricity tonight like there was Monday at Georgia,” Marsden said. “Or like there was a couple of Fridays ago against UCLA, at least for me.”

The Red Rocks will travel to Corvallis, Ore., next week to take on Oregon State.

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Tyler Cobb

Jamie Deetscreek transfers to the high bar Friday night in the meet against Washington. The Red Rocks earned their highest score of the season in their 196.850 to 193.450 win over Wadhington.