TEMPE, Ariz. — No. 1 Utah overcame an uncharacteristically bad day on the floor exercise to beat No. 25 Arizona State 196.150-194.000 and improve to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-12. While the Utes won the meet, they will lose their No. 1 national ranking — overall and on the floor exercise — when the new rankings come out Monday.
“We’re back to planet earth,” said coach Greg Marsden, “Although floor was the only event where we did poorly. “We’re still learning. We need to do a better job of adjusting to the equipment on the road.”
Leading the way for Utah was sophomore Corrie Lothrop, a triple-winner for the second consecutive week. Lothrop won the all-around with a 39.40, beam (9.9) and floor (9.9). Utah swept the individual prizes with Georgia Dabritz winning vault (9.9) and Stephanie McAllister the bars (9.875).
After taking a comfortable lead on the first two rotations (98.30-96.85), Utah was set to put the meet out of reach heading into its best event. Instead, the Utes opened the door for the Sun Devils on the floor. Utah’s troubles came from unexpected sources as Dabritz and McAllister, tied for third in the nation entering the meet, both hit the mat. Marsden took the blame for Dabritz’s troubles (she also struggled on bars), saying she had been sick during the week and he probably should have pulled her from the lineup. As for McAllister, that one was a fluke said her coach. “I’ve never seen Steph miss that (move) in practice or competition.”
McAllister rarely falls on anything in fact. She had hit 18-of-18 routines this season before the floor fall, and had fallen just twice in her last 103 routines. She, along with her teammates, bounced back to finish strong on the balance beam, although that event too got off to a rocky start when leadoff competitor Kassandra Lopez suffered her first fall.
McAllister quickly stopped the bleeding, with a 9.80 and Mary Beth Lofgren (season-high 9.875), Lothrop (9.90), Cortni Beers (9.85) and Kyndal Robarts (9.875) made sure Lopez’ score didn’t count.
“We have a very mentally tough team,” said Marsden of his team’s clutch performance on the balance beam. “We will learn and get better.”