SALT LAKE CITY -- The Red Rocks were on fire Saturday, and the judges traded 10 scores all night long. It was a performance to remember, as the girls racked up more than 198 points in front of more than 15,000 fans.
"It just sends the message that we are going to compete this year," co-head coach Greg Marsden said after the meet. "There are a number of teams that are scoring right at that score this year, and I think if you want to be perceived as somebody who has a chance to compete at championships, then you've got to do that. You've got to be able to do that."
"It is a big score and we try not to focus too much on the scores but it is a confidence booster and it will help us in the future competitions," senior Georgia Dabritz said.
"In past years we got nervous and kind of let it get to us," senior Tory Wilson said. "But, I think we have gotten better at the mental aspect of just not being nervous and just doing what we do every day."
Freshman Kari Lee was recruited by Utah because she is fantastic at beam--one of the events the Red Rocks have struggled with over the years, and Lee did not disappoint against Stanford.
"She was just in the zone and that's really what I'm looking for from everybody. She was really the one person that was totally in that place that athletes get when they have a peak performance" Marsden said about Lee's beam routine. "You know, when you can mount the apparatus and you don't remember anything, the next thing you know, you're on your feet in the dismount and I'm sure that's where she was tonight."
"I've been training in the gym along with these girls really hard and just going out there and just doing what we've been doing in practice: going out and competing," freshman Kari Lee said. "That was just amazing. I felt really calm going into it, which was nice."
One Red Rock was able to get a perfect score; the ten went to Georgia Dabritz on bars. She says that she never gets used to seeing the judges give her that two digit number.
"No, never. Every time it's such an accomplishment because not many people can say that they've achieved that," Dabritz said. "Each time I go out there, I have the same approach, but when I get that ten, it's still really exciting for me and the teammates clearly."
Dabritz may have gotten her perfect score on bars, but struggled on floor for the first time this season. But, the coaches are not worried about her performance.
"No one can fully appreciate what that kid is doing and what she's been going through. She basically commuted to Boston for three weeks with the death of her club coach and that kind of thing," Marsden said. "She's sick tonight... you know, I probably shouldn't say this on camera, but she was slinging snot all over the gym. That had something to do with her running out of gas in her floor routine at the end of the night. It's been a very emotional time for Georgia; it's incredible she been with us every week competing every week and doing as well as she is."
The girls head on the road to take on the Oregon State Beavers Friday, February 27.