Huntsman record crowd says goodbye to seniors in Utah’s win over Michigan

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On four separate occasions, the Huntsman Center crowd rose to its feet to say good-bye to Utah’s four seniors.

In their last regular season meet at the Huntsman Center, Utah’s seniors — Tory Wilson, Corrie Lothrop, Georgia Dabritz, and Becky Tutka — performed all in a row on floor to close out the meet, and they didn’t disappoint.

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At the completion of each of their routines, the Huntsman Center record crowd of 16,019 gave a standing ovation, and the seniors deserved every bit of the applause.

All four scored at least a 9.925, launching No. 4 Utah to a 198.250-197.675 victory over No. 5 Michigan and to its third best score in its history.

“It was everything we could have hoped for in our last home meet of the regular season,” Wilson said. “We really just wanted to go out and hit everything they way we knew we can and we did and it was a lot of fun.”

The fun started right away. Corrie Lothrop made her reappearance in the vault lineup and stuck a Yurchenko full.Lothrop jumped, smiled and skipped her way towards her teammates as they ran to meet her on the vault runway.

“I haven’t stuck the Yurchenko full since I was a sophomore so I was really excited,” Lothrop said. “I was a little surprised, because I knew I had it, but then it was actually there, so I was extra surprised, and I didn’t know what to do.”

Lothrop was given a 9.90 for her vault, just one of four Utes to post a 9.90 or higher in the event.

The next person to get really excited was assistant coach Tom Farden.

With Dabritz standing with arms raised after sticking her dismount on bars, Farden jumped high and flashed ten fingers over and over to the Huntsman Crowd, who quickly joined in.

For the fifth time this season, and second time on bars, Dabritz was given a 10.00, ending the Utes bar set on a high note.

The Red Rocks have had big scores on vault and bars before but haven’t really been able to follow those up with high totals on all four events. That changed Friday night.

After falling twice on beam last week at Oregon State, the Utes rebounded for their best beam performance of the season.

Utah posted scores over 9.90, with freshman Kari Lee topping all gymnasts with a 9,975, which included a 10.00 from one judge, and Dabritz tied her career high with a 9.90.

The big scores were needed because across the gym Michigan was going toe-to-toe with Utah and kept within striking distance for the entire meet. Utah led by just .400 heading into the final event of the night to set up the seniors’ heroics.

Baely Rowe and Lee went first on floor, allowing the four seniors to close out their last home meet going back-to-back.

Before each of their routines, Utah coaches reminded the seniors to not do anything different than normal.

The crowd didn’t follow that advice though.

Wilson went first out of the group, posting a 9.950, and the crowd stood in applause. Lothrop went next, hitting a 9.925, then Dabritz who scored a 9.950 and finally Tutka.

Utah co-head coach Greg Marsden informed Tutka she would be going last late this week, and asked her if she was going to be able to handle the emotion of it all. She claimed she would and she came through with her best routine of the year, scoring a 9.925 and securing the win for Utah.

After the routines, though, the emotions took over.

“It didn’t hit me until after floor,” said Lothrop who had to fan her eyes during the event. “I thought I was going to be bawling my eyes out during the introduction and I was like, ‘why aren’t I more emotional?’ After floor it hit me, and I was like ‘aww’ and I couldn’t control it. All the energy and emotion was pretty heavy. Just the crowd standing up was so overwhelming. It was so cool.”

Individual winners:

Vault: Kari Lee (Utah), Kailah Delaney (Utah), Tory Wilson (Utah) — 9.925

Bars: Georgia Dabritz (Utah) — 10.00

Beam: Kari Lee (Utah), Talia Chiarelli (Michigan) — 9.975

Floor: Tory Wilson (Utah), Georgia Dabritz (Utah) — 9.950

All-Around: Georgia Dabritz (Utah) — 39.700