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Utah gymnasts looking to remain undefeated in meet with Oregon State

The University of Utah's Georgia Dabritz reacts to scoring a perfect 10 on the uneven bars during a gymnastics meet against Stanford at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015.
The University of Utah's Georgia Dabritz reacts to scoring a perfect 10 on the uneven bars during a gymnastics meet against Stanford at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015.
Kristin Murphy,

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Utah’s gymnastics team knew it wanted to check off obstacles standing in the way of its 2015 goals. Last week, it redeemed a loss from a season ago by handily beating Stanford at home with the fourth-best (tied) score in school history (198.05). This week, it seeks a win in an arena it has lost its past two meets in against a pesky Oregon State team.

“This will be a tough meet for us,” said Utah co-head coach Megan Marsden. “Oregon State is a great team at home and they always give us a battle down to the wire.”

“Oregon State is a tough place to compete,” said senior Corrie Lothrop. “We’ve had a lot of success on the road this season so I think all of the factors from our other road meets will help us be ready for this weekend.”

A win would mean the reigning Pac-12 champion ran the table in league meets and enters its final two regular-season outings against its highest ranked opponents — No. 6 Michigan at home and No. 9 Georgia on the road — on a roll.

Utah has conquered its obstacles all season long — tackling the beam, not counting a fall in any event, and becoming more consistent while pushing up the scores. Of the scores, three of Utah’s top five have come on the road this year. And fresh off season highs on vault, beam and bars against the Cardinal, Utah is looking to increase those scores even more.

“We had some really strong performances on beam against Stanford — Kari (Lee) was outstanding,” said Marsden. “But my first up [Tory Wilson] and last up [Corrie Lothrop], who are veterans, didn’t hit their landings. We need to get that beam set where everyone hits to get the scores up where the other events are.”

“I think we are getting there on beam,” said Lothrop. “It’s all in the mind with beam, so we need to all gets our minds right at the same time — hopefully sooner than later.”

Fourth-ranked Utah (9-0, 5-0 Pac-12) and No. 12 OSU (7-3, 4-3 Pac-12) square off at 8 p.m. MST Friday. Utah fans can watch the matchup on the Pac-12 Networks before likely seeing it again in the second session of the Pac-12 championships on March 21 in Salt Lake.

Regional qualifying score

This week marked the first rankings determined by using the Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) formula. The score is calculated by taking the six best scores for each team, three of which have to come from road scores, then dropping the highest score and averaging the remaining five scores. The RQS rankings for the top 5 are as follows: No. 1 Oklahoma (197.64), No. 2 LSU (197.335), No. 3 Florida (197.27), No. 4 Utah (197.265) and No. 5 Alabama (197.055).

Around the state

Brigham Young is at No. 15 Boise State Friday. The Cougars hit season highs on vault (49.175) and floor (49.15) last week against No. 18 Denver and No. 24 Iowa. Jordan Schult recorded a career-best 9.875 on vault, while Jill Van Mierlo hit for a career-high 9.8 on bars and 9.9 on floor.

Southern Utah defeated Utah State last weekend 196.225-195.025. It was the first time this season the 21st-ranked Flippin’ Birds cracked the 196.0 mark, and was their fourth-straight win. Contributing to the score were event winners Jamie Armijo and Kirsten Yee (9.9 on bars), Danielle Ramirez and Tyly Bozzuto (9.875 on beam) and Stacie Webb (9.9 on floor).

Utah State has lost two meets in a row with the prior loss to last week coming at the hands of Boise State. Junior McKinzey Martinez won the all-around in the loss to SUU with a 39.275 and grabbed the vault title at 9.825. Utah State joins Denver and SUU Friday in Cedar City.