Utah clinches Pac-12 Championship after Wilson suffers devastating injury
SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah gymnastics raced to a huge three-event advantage and withstood a heartbreaking injury on its final event Sunday to win its second consecutive Pac-12 Championship running away. The Utes scored a 198.150 to finish ahead of UCLA (197.375), Stanford (197.175), Oregon State (196.900), Arizona (196.225), California (196.150), Washington (196.000) and Arizona State (192.700).
With the win came a devastating blow for the Utes, who lost senior All-American and 2014 Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year Tory Wilson for the remainder of the season to an injury. Wilson, who had won vault with a perfect 10.0 and scored a 9.90 on bars and a 9.875 on beam, tore her Achilles tendon and suffered damage to the foot on her other leg during her floor routine.
"I'm happy for our team and happy for our fans, but I am devastated for Tory," Utah coach Greg Marsden said. Marsden was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year, along with co-head coach Megan Marsden, for the second consecutive season.
"It was a great team effort tonight -- what I consider a peak effort right up until Tory's accident," Marsden said.
Fittingly, Utah's senior captains Wilson, Georgia Dabritz and Corrie Lothrop led the team to victory. Joining Wilson in the victory column were Dabritz on floor (9.95) and in the all-around (39.775), and Lothrop on bars (9.95).
Dabritz, who Saturday was named the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, was announced Sunday as the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year. The award is voted on by the league's coaches. Dabritz joins Lothrop (2012) and Wilson (2014) as a Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year and a Pac-12 all-around champion. Her 39.775 winning all-around score was a career best and ties the fifth-best score in school history.
The spectacular senior has now won every major Pac-12 gymnastics award in her Utah career. In 2012, Dabritz was named Freshman of the Year. In 2014, she was Specialist of the Year. This season, she was named Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Gymnast of the Year.
Dabritz, Lothrop and Utah's other senior All-American Becky Tutka were left to clinch the meet for the Utes after Wilson's aborted floor routine. Visibly shaken by the loss of their teammate, they nonetheless wrapped up the win with a 9.90 from Lothrop, a 9.95 from Dabritz and a 9.925 from Tutka.
What happened to Tory is "every gymnast's nightmare," Marsden said. "But give the [other seniors] credit. They went out and performed as well as they possibly could under those circumstances."