Red Rocks stay strong on road

By Bryan Chouinard, Staff Writer

Friday the 13th proved to be unlucky for the No. 12 Nebraska Cornhuskers, who fell to the U gymnastics team after another strong showing on the road.

The Red Rocks, who are poising themselves for a strong post-season run with another solid road effort, managed to get their second win in Lincoln since 1995, a 196.525 to 195.725 victory Friday behind an inspired performance by senior Nina Kim, who tied her season high with a 39.500 in the all-around.

“It’s just been fun,” said head coach Greg Marsden. “I always talk to every team each year about (how) what kind of team we are will be determined more on the road than at home. This year, they’ve really taken that to heart.”

It was Kim’s first all-around title of the season, but it was her performance on beam that stood out. After an uncharacteristic fall by Kyndal Robarts leading off on beam, Kim sealed the victory for Utah with a career best 9.925 on Utah’s final routine of the night. Kim finished the meet as Utah’s top performer on each event except bars.

“That’s why she’s at the end of the lineup,” Marsden said about Kim on beam. “She likes that spot and has done well there.”

Kim was one of five gymnasts that Marsden chose to have compete in the all-around, alongside Kristina Baskett, Daria Bijak, Jamie Deetscreek and Gael Mackie. Baskett finished second behind Kim with a score of 39.30, despite a near fall on beam, while Deetscreek and Bijak tied for third, each with scores of 39.225. Mackie finished seventh with a score of 38.500, because of a fall on floor.

Friday marked the second time both Bijak and Mackie performed in the all-around this season. Mackie was able to bounce back after the fall and scored a 9.725 when it mattered most on beam to get the Utes back on track. For only the second time this year, Utah managed to score at least a 49 or higher on each of the four events. However, the final score of 196.525 was the lowest for Utah since the season-opener against UCLA and lowest on the road this season.

Baskett, who was coming off back-to-back all-around wins, had her lowest score of the season on beam, scoring 9.650 after nearly falling but making a save to extend Utah’s streak of not having to count a fall on the road this season. Baskett managed a 9.90 on bars.

“This team has been good about not getting cautious when somebody makes a mistake,” Marsden said. “It doesn’t seem to affect them in a negative way. They just keep going about it as if nothing has happened.”

Annie DiLuzio, who is ranked third in the country on floor, had her lowest score of the season on the event, posting a 9.850 to go along with her 9.875 on vault.

Friday was the culmination of a tough stretch for Utah, which had three meets in a week. The Red Rocks now have a full week to rest and get ready before they return home Friday. Utah has a three-meet home stretch where it will face Michigan, Arizona State and Florida, all of which are ranked.

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Lennie Mahler

Nina Kim tied her season-high all-around score of 39.500 Friday night in Lincoln Neb. The Red Rocks defeated Nebraska 196.525 to 195.725.