Utah gymnastics notes: Utes' Wilson leading Pac-12 all-around
Berkeley, Calif. • The tougher the competition gets, the better Utah gymnast Tory Wilson seems to get.
Wilson won the Pac-12 all-around title Saturday with a 39.45 to become Utah's second all-around winner in three years. Teammate Corrie Lothrop won the title in 2012.
Wilson scored 9.925 on the vault, 9.875 on the bars, 9.75 on the beam and 9.9 on the floor to win the title.
The Utes didn't know if her score would survive the evening session since scores tend to rise, but the favorites all had mistakes that allowed Wilson to emerge as the champion.
Wilson said she was more concerned for her team than for herself as she competed.
"I was feeling good out there," she said. "I tried to not worry too much about the scores and just tried my best."
Wilson has been a rock for the Utes all year, entering the Pac-12 Championships with 11 wins and hitting 38-of-40 routines.
"She is an unassuming person who just keeps getting better and better," Utah coach Greg Marsden said. "She surprises a lot of people."
Wilson earned the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year award, Georgia Dabritz earned Specialist of the Year and co-coaches Greg and Megan Marsden won the Pac-12 Coach of the Year award.
Beaming on beam
The Utes agonized over their balance beam lineup as both Breanna Hughes and Dabritz had strong practices throughout the week and in the Pac-12 practice session.
As a result, Marsden waited until the final minute to decide which gymnast to use. Ultimately his gut feeling told him to go with Hughes, who scored a 9.875 in the regular season finale.
Hughes didn't make him regret his decision as she earned a 9.825.
"It's hard to bet against her," Marsden said. "She has been strong all year for us and tonight wasn't an exception."
The Utes find out where they will compete in the NCAA regionals on Monday. Seattle, Wash., Athens, Ga., Baton Rouge, La., Fayetteville, Ark., Minneapolis and University Park, Pa., are the six host sites.
The top 18 teams are seeded based on their regional qualifying score and can be sent anywhere.
Utah senior Lia Del Priore is closing in on a huge accomplishment, having hit 60-for-60 routines in her career and could be just two meets away from finishing her career having never missed a routine.
Del Priore is 11-for-11 this season, competing primarily on the floor exercise.
Georgia Dabritz, who is 123-of-132 in her career, leads the Utes this season going 35-for-35.
Arizona State is scheduled to host the Pac-12s next year, but since coach John Spini is retiring after 34 seasons, the Pac-12 may give ASU the option of waiting a season to host the event rather than doing so with a new coach. If the Sun Devils want to do that, Washington, which is scheduled to host the 2015 Pac-12 Championships, would host the event next season.