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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Adams: No matter what happens at Nationals, Dabritz an all-time great

Adams: No matter what happens at Nationals, Dabritz an all-time great

dabritz 1.jpg

The Red Rocks are no secret here in Salt Lake City.

The Utah gymnastics team has seen more success than any other Utah athletic team, and chances are if you go to this school, you’ll find there is an odd obsession over this team.

But the obsession is warranted, as the Red Rocks have won a total of 10 national championships in their time, something not many athletic programs in the country can say. With a program as prestigious as Utah gymnastics, head coach Greg Marsden has had his fair share of top gymnasts come through the Dumke Gymnastics Center.

Ashley Postell, Kristen Kenoyer, Theresa Kulikowski, Missy Marlowe.

Those are just a few names that have donned the Ute leotard, and each of them was at the top of their sport in terms of accolades. Postell was a 20-time All-American (the most possible times she could be named an All-American) and still holds a number of Utah records, such as season and career total wins. Kenoyer boasts all-around scores that rank second and fourth in Utah’s history. Kulikowski registered the coveted perfect score of 10.0 on 11 separate occasions and Marlowe competed in the Olympics for Team USA before even stepping foot on the mat for Utah.

The Red Rock history is rich with a tradition of excellence — the team has adopted that saying into its motto. But move over former Red Rocks, we need to add another face to the Utah gymnastics “Mount Rushmore” — Georgia Dabritz.

The senior from Massachusetts has had a decorated career that will come to a close this weekend at the NCAA national meet — the 40th straight appearance for this Utah program. At this moment, Dabritz is a 13-time All-American, which is tied for fourth most in Utah’s history.

Regular season All-American awards just became a thing in 2013, so the former Utah greats never had the same amount of opportunities as Dabritz does to be named an All-American. Even so, Dabritz still was named an All-American five times at the NCAA meet, and she can add up to five more All-American titles to her total this weekend.

Additionally, it was announced on Wednesday that Dabritz was given the AAI Award, given to the nation’s top senior gymnast. According to a press release written by Utah Athletics, this award is basically the Heisman of collegiate gymnastics. While the award only considers seniors, make no mistake — Dabritz is hands-down the best gymnast in the country.

The only other Utah gymnasts to win the award? Marlowe, Kulikowski and Postell.

From a numbers standpoint, Dabritz has easily solidified her legacy here at Utah, but when looking at the bigger picture, what Dabritz has done here in Salt Lake City is even more impressive.

The senior has gone through some trying times throughout her collegiate career, specifically this season. At the halfway point, Dabritz learned that her long-time club coach passed away from cancer, and anyone who has lost a loved one will understand that it is hard to go about a normal routine of life when something like that happens.

Throw in the fact that Dabritz watched her fellow senior Tory Wilson’s season, and career, come to an end in the Pac-12 Championships, and this has been a rough season for Dabritz to endure.

How did the senior respond? In her first event after the death of her coach, Dabritz registered a perfect 10 on the vault, and following Wilson’s injury, she won every event at the NCAA Regional competition.

All of these things lead me to believe two things. One, Dabritz is cold-blooded. No matter what is thrown her way, you can count on Dabritz to come through in the clutch. We all saw it this season, as she added 10s to her résumé on a number of occasions, but it’s also something she has shown time after time in her four years as a Ute.

And two, Dabritz, depending on what happens this weekend, can lay claim to being the second-best gymnast to ever grace this campus (sorry, Postell still is No. 1). I’ve watched a lot of great athletes here at the U, but there’s just something special about Dabritz.

If you have a chance this weekend to watch the Red Rocks at the National Championships, I suggest you tune in, as it may just be the last time you’ll see one of the best athletes in Utah athletic history compete.

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