Freshmen Red Rocks shine early in the season

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Tory Wilson competes on bars at the Huntsman Center during a meet against Washington on Feb. 28. Photo by Chris Ayers.
Photo by Chris Ayers.

In most cases the freshmen are the ones learning from the upperclassman, but two Red Rock newcomers are doing some teaching of their own.

It’s no secret Utah needed to improve on the beam, and aided by the efforts of freshmen Kari Lee and Maddy Stover, the Utes appear to have done just that.

Utah scored a 49.200 on the beam Friday night against BYU, and co-head coach Megan Marsden said her team’s performance can be partially credited to the freshmen — and not just because of their individual routines.

“I will give our freshmen some credit for coming and raising the bar a little bit, and also providing some example of how to train beam with more confidence under pressure,” Marsden said. “Both Kari and Maddy do that very well, and our returning girls are learning a little bit from them.”

Marsden said Stover and Lee both rise to the occasion well and that’s something that has rubbed off on the rest of the team.

“What I liked seeing was some of my returning girls looking more comfortable and confident up there,” Marsden said. “I felt like Tory [Wilson], Kailah [Delaney] and Baely [Rowe] — my first three people up — competed better than they have up to this point, and I liked that.”

Though the two freshmen have helped set a new tone this young season, they still have plenty to learn.

“The freshmen are constantly giving the upperclassman kudos for helping them through this new game they’re in,” Marsden said. “I think it’s working both ways.”

 

Room to improve

The Red Rocks left Provo with their highest opening meet score since 2005 (196.900), but not all the Utes returned home happy about their performance.

“I promise you that there were some girls not exactly pleased with how they did,” Marsden said. “I know Corrie Lothrop, she is capable of a much better all-around night, and that doesn’t rest well with her when she’s not at her absolute best every week. So I know that she will make some improvements.”

Lothrop was the sole Ute to fall in competition Friday, losing her grip on the bars. Utah had a near fall on the beam when Stover lost her balance mid-way through her routine, but she managed to remain on the apparatus.

“Those are two examples of people that I think came home with not a lot they were really proud of,” Marsden said. “I think most of the girls had places they could hang their hat, but also places … they are still trying to improve.”

Marsden considers the fact that Utah has plenty of places to improve on coming out of such a high-scoring first meet a very good thing.

“The girls are motivated to improve on a 196.900, when in the past we were coming in and trying to improve on a 195-something. So that’s exciting, a 196.900 and still many things to improve on,” she said.

 

Wilson nabs gymnast of the week honors

Following her all-around victory Friday at BYU, senior Tory Wilson was named the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week. Besides winning the all-around with a score of 39.450, Wilson also won vault (9.925) and floor (9.900) at the meet.

 

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