Dabritz loses all-around to UCLA’s Peszek, but Utah takes the win

Georgia Dabritz competes on bars, Friday night against UCLA.

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Georgia Dabritz competes on bars, Friday night against UCLA.

Dabritz on bars
Georgia Dabritz competes on bars, Friday night against UCLA.

To start the 2013 season the Red Rocks traveled to UCLA and doomed themselves with a disastrous start. The Bruins returned the favor Friday night.

UCLA counted two misses on its first event, the uneven bars, and Utah coasted to an easy 196.725 – 194.725 victory over the Bruins on Friday night at the Huntsman Center.

UCLA’s start was familiar to Utah co-head coach Greg Marsden. Two seasons ago he saw his team fall three times on uneven bars against the Bruins in Pauley Pavilion.

“We went there, first meet of the season, and we started on bars, student section right there, and missed [three] out of six routines,” Marsden said. “[UCLA] just started with a bad start and it kind of snowballed on them.”

The meet wasn’t without excitement, though, or even controversy.

Coming into Friday night Utah’s Georgia Dabritz and UCLA’s Samantha Peszek were ranked as the top two all-around gymnasts in the country. And they battled it out to the very end.

Dabritz took the advantage early with a 9.950 score on the vault, besting the 9.90 score Peszek put up on the uneven bars.

In the second event of the night, controversy struck. Dabritz delivered what to many, including one judge, was a near-flawless routine. The other judge, however, didn’t think so highly of it.

Dabritz received scores of 9.95 and 9.80 from the two judges on her bars performance and had to settle for a 9.875 combined score on the event. Utah inquired on the judging and the judge who rewarded the 9.80 said she saw four deductions in the performance.

“I know where my mistakes were tonight,” Dabritz said when asked about the judging. “It was a little bit uncharacteristic of me, so it’s definitely an easy fix for me, but I know where they took them for sure.”

Her coach also said, “About the judging, we can certainly do some things better. I thought the judges were taking deductions tonight, and I thought they were taking them on both teams, so it’s hard to complain. Within this meet, I thought it was fair.”

As controversy was happening on the bars, Peszek was inching closer to Dabritz in the all-around by posting a 9.90 vault, and after two events Dabritz held a 19.825 – 19.800 advantage.

From there Dabritz went to the beam, while Peszek headed for the floor.

The beam has been a challenge for Dabritz in the past, but for the second straight week she stayed on the apparatus and scored a 9.825.

Dabritz on beam
Georgia Dabritz competes on the balance beam, Friday against UCLA.

“It’s no secret that I’ve struggled in the past with that, so it’s really nice to go out there and hit it again,” Dabritz said. “It was a little bit of a confidence-booster.”

The performance wasn’t good enough to keep the lead over Peszek, however, as the Bruin gymnast scored a 9.875 on her floor routine to take a .025 lead into the final event.

Dabritz headed to the floor where she’d scored a 9.950 a week prior, but she didn’t quite reach those heights on Friday. Dabrtiz scored a 9.925, but it wasn’t good enough to over take Peszek.

Going after Dabrtiz’s performance, Peszek put on dazzling display on the beam, scoring a 9.950 to clinch the all-around win, 39.625 – 39.575.

Dabritz said that even though she didn’t win the all-around, she still thought of the meet as a success.

“I don’t really pay too much attention to the scores throughout the meet. I was just glad that I was back in the all-around, hit four-for-four again,” Dabritz said. “That’s a big step forward for me.”

As a team, though, Marsden still wants more.

“I’m going to sound a little bit like broken record: There was some mighty good things, but I keep waiting for us to put it all together, and we just haven’t gotten that done yet,” he said.

Utah will get another crack at it next Saturday when it heads to Tucson to square off against Arizona.

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