Gymnastics: Dabritz’s 10 on bars helps seal win

Georgia Dabritz celebrates her perfect 10.0 on the bars Saturday. Michael Sygnatowicz / The Daily Utah Chronicle
Georgia Dabritz celebrates her perfect 10.0 on the bars Saturday.
Michael Sygnatowicz / The Daily Utah Chronicle

For a moment Saturday night, it appeared Utah’s best wouldn’t be good enough to beat No. 2 Florida. The Utes had produced one of their best vault scores of the year but still trailed the Gators by a 10th of a point after the first rotation.
Then Utah got on bars.
Georgia Dabritz earned a perfect 10 in the anchor spot, which helped push the Utes to a 49.6, far and away from their best bars score this season. That turned their deficit into a narrow lead, which they never relinquished as they beat Florida 198.125-197.875 in their home finale at the Huntsman Center.
“That’s the bar team that I see in the gym all the time,” said co-head coach Greg Marsden. “They just wanted it so badly. They seemed much more relaxed and much more confident tonight and I hope we can continue that.”
The Utes’ final tally was by far their highest of the season and made them just the third team this year to eclipse the 198 mark, along with Florida and Oklahoma.
Although Utah had a great night as a team, it was Dabritz who stole the show. The 10 was the first of her career and the third for the Utes this season, all of which have come on different events. She nearly scored another 10 with a stellar floor routine, but one judge graded her at a 9.95. Her 9.975 official score helped propel her to a tie with Florida’s Bridget Sloan in the all-around. Dabritz’s final all-around score of 39.7 was another career high for her.
“I didn’t really feel like there was any pressure on me. I just went out there and I did what I do in the gym,” Dabritz said of her bars routine. “When I hit the ground I was like, ‘That’s probably my best one yet.’ ”
Utah started the meet strong, earning its second-best vault score of the year, but still trailed Florida 49.45-49.55 after one rotation. That meant rotation number two would be a pivotal moment for the Utes.
Tory Wilson jump-started the team with a career-high 9.9 on bars, one of three such scores for her on the night. After Wilson set the standard, Breanna Hughes matched her and set a new career high in the process. Then Hailee Hansen and Kassandra Lopez echoed their teammates’ effort to give Utah four straight 9.9s to start what has been one of Utah’s weaker events. After Nansy Damianova fell, it was Dabritz’s job to get her team back on track and she did just that.
“She does a lot of routines that could be 10s,” Wilson said. “She finally got what she deserves and what we all knew was coming.”
Utah kept that momentum going for the rest of the night as it also set season-highs on beam and floor with scores of 49.425 and 49.65, respectively. The Utes widened their lead over the Gators after the third rotation, yet Florida was never out of striking distance.
But Becky Tutka and Dabritz both scored 9.975s on floor as Utah’s last two performers of the night to seal the deal and make the Utes just the second team this season to beat Florida head to head.
“Throughout the meet I just kept telling myself, ‘This is great college gymnastics,’ ” Marsden said. “This is why the fans come. It was just a great experience, hopefully for everyone.”