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The University of Utah gymnastics team began its meet with sixth-ranked Michigan in its usual fashion - falling off bars and giving the Wolverines a huge lead right off the bat.

This time, though, there was no miracle comeback for the Utes, who suffered their first loss of the season. Michigan, bolstered by the second-best score in school history, held on for a 196.575-194.725 win."It finally caught up with us," said Ute Coach Greg Marsden.

"Michigan has a good team. We knew that coming into the meet and knew we had to do a good job on all four events to win. Again, it's a mixed bag.

"We have that one glaring thing (bars) that's not getting done, but some people really stepped up. We had two people out with the flu (Summer Reid and Molly Northrop), and Traci Sommer (who missed Monday's meet with the flu and didn't practice all week) probably shouldn't have competed."

Utah fell behind by a point after the first event (48.95-47.80), when Alysa Frenz and Kelley Delaney both fell. Sandy Woolsey was Utah's bright spot -winning bars for the fourth time of the season with a 9.925.

Utah righted itself somewhat on vault, with a solid 48.90, led by Megan Caudle's winning 9.90 vault. Her vault created a problem though. Caudle, who injured her foot in Monday's meet with Oregon State and did not tumble for the rest of the week in practice, aggravated the injury on vault and was forced to skip her floor routine. With just five competitors, Utah still scored a decent 48.85 on the mat.

This time, even the usual outstanding beam set was not enough to save the Utes. Traci Sommer scored a 9.925 to lead a 49.175 charge, but Utah was too far behind to catch up.

"We should be a good bar team," moaned a frustrated Marsden after the meet. "We have to quit talking about it and just get the job done."