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UTES SHATTER 197.0 BARRIER AGAINST COUGS

Unless Alabama and Georgia did the same thing Saturday night in their meet in Tuscaloosa, the Utah/Iowa at Brigham Young gymnastics meet may have been the best women's meet the country's ever seen.

Top-ranked Utah hit what is probably an NCAA record (pending Alabama/Georgia results) 197.0 team score, and an amazing five all-arounders from Utah and BYU met or beat the magic 39.0 total led by Missy Marlowe's 39.5 and 39.45s from fellow Utes Shelly Schaerrer and Kristen Kenoyer.For Schaerrer, whose hometown is nearby Orem, the all-around total beat her career high by .2, and she scored the first 9.9 vault of her career.

BYU finished second in team scoring with 194.2, .1 behind its school record set last week, and sophomore Christy McAdams had her first 39 meet, totaling 39.05 to beat senior Korie Jackman's 39.0.

Iowa's total was 188.1.

Between them, Utah and BYU totaled 12 scores of 9.9 or better, 10 by the Utes and two by the Cougars. There were no 10s, but Marlowe scored 9.95 on floor.

"Our three all-arounders finally put it all together at once. It was real exciting," said Kenoyer, a junior.

"We were so focused in as a team," added Schaerrer.

"We hit 24 of 24 routines," said Marlowe. "You hope that happens once a season. This was the meet we've been waiting for."

It didn't start that way for either Utah or BYU. The Cougars couldn't stick dismounts on their vaults in their first event, and coach Brad Cattermole thought they were underscored in spots on their second event, bars. Still, he said, feet separations and the like can't be tolerated, and there were some of those on bars.

BYU, in the last regular-season home meet for four seniors, came back with school-record totals on beam (48.9) and floor (49.0, the highest event score in Cougar history).

Utah opened on bars and had three or four minor mistakes after freshmen Kelli Wolsey and Aimee Trepanier had set up the rest of the lineup for high scores with 9.8s. The Utes weren't sharp on beam, either, Marlowe having enough trouble that she had to go with an easy dismount.

It was, however, the kind of beginning coach Greg Marsden was expecting, since his team had practiced just twice during the week because of final exams. The Utes had about 12 days between meets after setting their old school record of 196.75 on March 9. The previous NCAA record was 196.9 by Georgia Feb. 1.

He figured they'd either be rusty from not practicing or fresh, if they got enough sleep during the time off. It turned out, they were both.

When the Utes went to their third event, floor, Jenny Donaldson opened with 9.8. "You can't ask for better than that," said Kenoyer.

"Each event got stronger," said Marsden. "The freshness began to pay off. The confidence began to build, and we got stronger and stronger."

Every Ute on floor after that scored at least 9.9 - four 9.9s and Marlowe's 9.95 - for a team record 49.55. No Ute team has ever scored five 9.9s in an event. Coupled with a school-record 49.35 in vault, the Utes' final event, it had the U. gymnasts wondering what their overall total was.

"We held our breath from the minute vault was over until now (when they heard the score)," said Marlowe.

She said they initially thought the score might have been 196.95, which would have beaten Georgia's record, but Schaerrer was disappointed it wasn't 197 - new territory. It was, officially.

And it was for BYU, too. Two all-arounders scoring 39+ in the same meet is "a record for us," said Cattermole, most happy for McAdams. "Christy's been struggling to hit all of her events, and she's been doing a real good job."

Jackman, who scored a school-record 39.25 in her last meet, has now hit 39 twice in a row for the first time. She is not yet satisfied, and she said the Cougs didn't get sentimental about their final home regular-season meet because there's still the WAC championships in the Marriott Center next week. Plus the NCAA Midwest Regional at Utah and then nationals in Minnesota. Jackman said seventh-ranked BYU plans to go to all three, just like last year. "Yeah, you can't think this is the last one," she said. "We have three more (meets)."

She was happy with the 9.9 she scored on beam - without her unique cross-aerial - but, she said, "I want a 10."