Gymnastics: Utes err on the side of caution against UCLA

Gymnastics: Utes err on the side of caution against UCLA

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After competing in three events (vault, balance beam and floor) in the Utes’ first two meets of the season, freshman Kari Lee only saw the balance beam Friday against UCLA.

“The attachment of her Achilles was bothering her this week, and rather than push that and risk further injury we held her out of the leg events [to] see if we could get that calmed down.” said Utah co-head coach Greg Marsden.

Lee has performed well this season, scoring over 9.80 in five of her six events heading into Friday night’s meet, and even though she only performed on the beam, her streak of high scores continued against the Bruins.

The freshman scored a team-high 9.90 on the apparatus, reaching that mark for the first time as a Ute.

Marsden said holding Lee out of her other events was just a precaution and he expects her back to competing in all three soon.

“If it would have been the national championships, we would have gone, but the third meet of the season and we have other good options, there is just no reason to do that,” he said. “So once we get that calmed down she will be back in all three of those events.”

Rowe leaves meet early

Sophomore Baely Rowe fought through sickness for three events before Marsden pulled her out of the meet following a fall on beam.

“She thought she could go, but I think she got a little gassed at the end of her bar set,” Marsden said. “Then obviously she had an uncharacteristic miss on balance beam.”

Marsden said Rowe was struggling catching her breath, so after the fall, he thought he should err on the side of caution and just pull her out of the floor exercise.

Breanna Hughes replaced Rowe in the lineup and scored a 9.800, while displaying the Utes’ depth.

“Tonight is exactly why you need that,” Marsden said about the depth of his squad. “There will be times when kids get sick or are nursing a little injury. It’s a nice luxury to have and hope that we can continue to have.”

Tutka returns

After missing the first two meets of the year with an arm injury, senior Becky Tutka made her season debut Friday night on floor.

“It was really fun [to have her out there again], but talk about somebody gassed at the end,” Marsden said. “She is a senior and we only have five of these meets and she already missed the first one. If she felt at all like she was even marginally ready to go, we were going to give her that shot.”

Marsden said Tutka may have been a little too excited out of the gate and burned herself out at the start of her floor performance, evidenced by how she under-rotated on her last flip of a tumbling sequence near the end of her routine. Tutka received a 9.600 score for her performance.

“She was a little gassed at the end, but that’s her first meet, so she’ll learn something from that and do better,” Marsden said. “But it’s great to have Becky back in the lineup on the floor.”

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