Red Rocks heading to nationals

Posted at 10:39 PM, Apr 07, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-08 17:42:08-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The University of Utah women's gymnastics team will be heading to the national championship for a record 37th time after winning the Salt Lake City regional competition Saturday night.

The eighth-ranked Red Rocks were strong throughout the night, hitting 24-of-24 routines, winning three of four events and finishing with a 196.825. Freshman Georgia Dabritz won bars with a 9.90 and red shirt senior Kyndal Robarts captured the floor title with a 9.90. Freshmen Kailah Delaney and Kassandra Lopez added second place finishes on vault (9.90) and bars (9.875), respectively.

The win comes two weeks after the Red Rocks had to count a fall on beam, costing them the Pac-12 championship as UCLA recorded a 197.425, barely topping the Utes' 197.375.

"I think for this team, this is really a special night. They needed to put an entire meet together and to get to do it at home, with their fans here, I feel like our fans really hung in there with us," said Megan Marsden, Utes gymnastics coach. "Tonight was really gratifying for the whole team."

Utah faced fifth-ranked Nebraska for the second time this season. The Huskers edged out the Red Rocks 197.60 - 197.450 last time, but a fall on bars and struggles throughout the night kept the top spot out of reach as Nebraska finished second with a 196.525.

The Huskers will join the Red Rocks at the national championship in Duluth, Georgia, on April 20-22.

"I think we have a shot of doing really well and some damage at nationals, so I'm glad I get to be a part of that," said Robarts.

Utah will compete against UCLA, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Stanford and LSU in the first semi-final for a chance at the Super Six and the championship. Utah has already competed against three of the six teams twice this season; UCLA and Stanford in the regular season and the Pac-12 Championship and Nebraska in the regular season and in the Salt Lake City regional competition.

The other teams competing are:

Semifinal Group 1:
1. Florida (197.325, 394.77)*
4. Alabama (197.025, 394.27)
5. Georgia (197.10, 394.095)
8. Arkansas (196.825, 393.37)
9. Oregon State (196.450, 393.21)
12. Ohio State (196.225, 392.47)

Semifinal Group 2:
2. UCLA (197.225, 394.495)
3. Oklahoma (197.025, 394.385)
6. Nebraska (196.525, 393.555)
7. Utah (196.825, 393.53)
10. Stanford (196.675, 393.085)
11. LSU (196.075, 392.645)

The top three teams from each semifinal will advance to the Super Six championship

* (regional score, championship qualifying score).