On the first event of the day, Utah senior Georgia Dabritz ended a superb routine by swinging off the bars and sticking her landing beautifully. Chants of ‘10, 10, 10 ,’ rang from the stands as the crowd urged the judges to reward the performance accordingly. And this wasn’t even in the Huntsman Center.
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As it turned out, Dabritz didn’t just captivate the McKale Events Center crowd with her performance, but the scorers as well, as the judges obliged the crowd, awarding Dabritz with a perfect 10.0.
It was just the start of the best performance of the year for the Red Rocks.
No. 5 Utah traveled to Tucson, Saturday and took down the No. 18 Wildcats 197.850 – 196.375. It was the Red Rocks highest score of the season, and finally left co-head coach Greg Marsden satisfied.
“This is really what I’ve been waiting for,” Marsden said. “While there are certainly some things that we can continue to work on and get better at, this was much more what we’ve been seeing in the gym. They really looked relaxed and confident tonight.”
One of the things that Marsden has been shaking his head at over the past couple of meets was his team’s landings. He had plenty to smile about on Saturday.
The Utes set the tone on the bars, nailing landing after landing as all six gymnasts in the event scored over 9.80, with three of those scoring 9.90 or above, including Dabritz’s 10.0.
“I’ve just been waiting for us to find the floor and not shuffle around and it went much better tonight,” Marsden said. “To start off doing that well and sticking so many dismounts and starting with that big score and then the snowball was rolling down the hill at that point. And it just kept rolling from event to event.”
It rolled right into the vault, where four Utes scored over 9.90.
Dabritz followed up her bar routine, with another magnificent performance on vault. Dabritz anchored the Utes lineup with a powerful vault, before seemingly landing like a feather. It wasn’t quite up to the perfection of her first event, but it was close, as the judges gave her a 9.975.
At the halfway mark, the Utes had a 99.100 score and were on pace to break 198.00 for the meet.
The Red Rocks next headed to the floor, where they once again shined. Tory Wilson and Corrie Lothrop both were nearly flawless, each scoring 9.900, but it was again Dabritz that stole the show, scoring a 9.975 to the delight of the Arizona crowd.
It was a testament to how Utah was performing that there was so little drama heading into the last event. Arizona wasn’t performing badly it just couldn’t keep up with the barrage of high scores coming from the Utes.
The only real drama heading into the last event of the night, was how exactly Dabritz was going to finish off her night.
After posting meet wins in the first three events, Dabritz couldn’t make it a clean sweep on the beam. The Utah senior had a balance check, but managed to stay on the apparatus and finished with a score of 9.750. But her coach said that mistake didn’t take anything away from her day.
“She can’t do those first three routines any better,” Marsden said. “The scores reflected that and she was just really on. On beam, she had one break in the series, but the rest of it she was beautiful. It would have been great if she would have been clean on that event, but I don’t think it diminishes the night she had.”
While Dabrtiz stumbled, other Utes stepped up on Utah’s final event. Freshman Kari Lee, returning to her home state for the first time as a collegiate gymnast, scored a 9.925 to tie Wilson for the meet high and allowed the Red Rocks to leave Arizona with their highest score of the season.
With the win, the Utes (6-0, 2-0 in the Pac-12) remain undefeated on the season, and they will try to keep that intact when they welcome in Arizona State to the Huntsman Center next Friday.