A record crowd of 16,019 came to watch the 4th ranked Utah Gymnasts team against 5th ranked Michigan at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on March 6, 2015. The Utes came up with the win 198.250 to 197.675 on the historic night and last regular season home match for the four Utah seniors.
The enormous crowd (even more wanted into the building) brought Utah’s season attendance average to an NCAA gymnastics record 14,950. The Huntsman Center seats 15,000, but another thousand standing room only fans filled the upper deck.
The magnificent senior class of Georgia Dabritz, Corrie Lothrop, Becky Tutka and Tory Wilson. When Dabritz scored a 10.0 on the bars–her second 10.0 on bars this season and her fifth career 10.0 on the event–the standing ovation that ensued was deafening. All four played to standing ovations on the final event–the floor exercise.
“It’s been an exciting few weeks for us with the New York Times here two meets ago and the great article (by John Branch) that led to CBS calling and coming here today and tonight,” said coach Greg Marsden. “They are so surprised and wonder why they didn’t hear about our fans, this atmosphere and the great gymnastics before. It has kind of been our little secret and now the whole world is finding out.”
“It’s an honor,” said Wilson of the crowds she has competed in front of during her four years in the Huntsman Center. “The sheer magnitude of it has left us speechless.”
Both Utah and Michigan put on a show, combining to hit 48-of-48 routines and 26 scores of 9.90 or better. In a great celebration of senior night, Dabritz (39.70), Wilson (39.65) and Lothrop (39.575) placed 1-2-3 in the all-around. Dabritz also won bars (10.0) and tied for first on floor with Wilson (9.95). Wilson also tied for first on vault with Kari Lee and Kailah Delaney (9.925). The freshman Lee won the beam with a near-perfect 9.975.
Utah needed every tenth of its season-high 198.250 score–the third-best score in school history–to put away the Wolverines. The Utes had season highs on beam (49.50) and floor (49.65). Coach Greg Marsden was especially pleased with the beam score.
With four Utes tying for first on the vault, Utah took a 49.50-49.475 lead out of the gates. Both teams went toe-to-toe the entire meet, but Utah never relinquished the meet and the best beam effort of the season took the pressure off heading into floor.
Utah heads to Georgia next week with hopes of earning just its second undefeated season in school history. The Utes are 11-0 overall and finished their Pac-12 slate with a 6-0 mark. The PAC-12 Championships will be held on March 21st at the Huntsman Center.