Utah makes a believer out of this fan

The Utah gymnastics team looked plenty comfortable in its first road meet of the year and took home a 196.700-195.625 win over No. 20 Arizona State.

All week, coach Greg Marsden emphasized the importance of a good meet outside of the Huntsman Center, where Utah is 2-0. His team took note, producing a season-high score …

“I told the team beforehand that this is where it all has to start. Both regionals and nationals will be held in hostile road environments and we need to start preparing now,” said Marsden. “I am very pleased that we continued to make progress and that several different gymnasts stepped in and performed well. If we can stay healthy, I’m going to keep giving different people an opportunity each week – either to count or as exhibition. …

The change of locale certainly didn’t affect Ashley Postell, who won her third all-around title in as many weeks, scoring a 39.475.

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Utah Gymnastics

Utah looks better to me than they did finishing second at Championships last season. Ashley Postell is fantastic. Kristina Baskett is one of the most charming and entertaining College gymnasts of all time. (Except after the big wobble on beam. She was seriously unhappy about that.)

With strong individual routines from the rest of the team. And Canadian Olympian Gael Mackie yet to make her debut, no one should count Utah out of the running for the Championship.

My only criticism of the Utes last night was their tumbling. Aside from Postell’s drop-from-the-sky triple twist, It’s not strong. The routines are clean and safe. But to me the Arizona girls were more dynamic and exciting tumblers.

The Sun Devils have plenty to be optimistic about. They have some great potential. Last night they made too many mistakes, some unnecessary. Happily, Nicole Harris was a rock, with a season-best all-around score of 39.35.

The attendance was better than I estimated, 1,911, the third largest attendance in Sun Devil gymnastics history. And most of those, like myself, left happy. NCAA women’s gymnastics is great entertainment, despite the near absurd scoring system. Fans love seeing very high scores.

Note: Utah had their own live blogger on site. Much more informative than this one.

: )

another really bad idea – extreme tobogganing

“free sledding”

Who would think of such a thing?

The evolution of the Mad River Rocket began with renowned architect David Sellers and friends in Warren, Vermont. They set out to find a better way to slide down the hills of Vermont.

Their early ideas began with toboggans sliced in half and pinned together for rapid steering. They were heavy, big and had no control surfaces. They also tried to modify the cheap toy store sleds. They realized that in order to be safe and to see the changing terrain as you glide through the thick forests prevalent in Vermont, they had to develop a new type of sled.

Many of the experimenters with this new sled design were also kayakers and white water canoers. The similarities are strong. In white water you need to be high enough in the water to see ahead and you need to lean and brace for balance. They experimented with sled designs that incorporated the kneeling position, quickly added a knee strap and knew they had a design that would be highly maneuverable in powder snow. …

about

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If you know what’s good for you, steer clear of these performance sleds by MAD RIVER ROCKET

Click PLAY or watch What I Kneed Extreme freesledding on YouTube:

(via Wicked Outdoorsy)

live – Arizona vs Utah in Phoenix

Sun-Devil.pngA small but enthusiastic crowd at the Wells Fargo Arena at ASU.

I’m sitting beside red clad UTE fans. Loud and proud.

Introductions. Light show starts. On the big screen is a highlights reel of the Arizona girls. VERY COOL.

For a $5 ticket, a great show. This is NCAA Women’s Gymnastics.

Despite the warlike lyrics, I sure do like the American National Anthem.

On with the competition …

First rotation Arizona on Vault. Good, not great. Meanwhile Utah rocked on bars, at least for the first 5 routines. Kristina Baskett 9.925 and Ashley Postell 9.9 … WOW.

I really had my doubts about Utah last year. But they look GREAT on bars this season.

Nicole Harris is a star with Arizona. Super clean bars for 9.875. Stick!

Utah opened vault with a sweet handspring front layout. I think it was former German National Champion Daria Bijak.

Laptop battery running low. I’ll post a summary of the meet later tonight.

Santa Monica Gymnastics Center closing

Sad news.

I had been forewarned by coach Michael, The Wordsmith from Nantucket, that his club in California might be closing. Now this is it. End of an era.

From Carol Luber, daughter of founders Al and Linda:

After 35 years of dedication to the sport of gymnastics, Santa Monica Gymnastics Center will be closing it’s doors. The culmination of years of hard work, blood, sweat and tears is not strong enough to take on the new breed of gymnastics schools that are opening everywhere. Mega-schools that run as many diverse programs as YMCA’s are popping up everywhere. My family did not want to change with the times. Al Luber wanted to coach gymnastics. …

We are having a Reunion and Celebration Party on Saturday, February 23 from 3-8 PM. We invite all friends and family of SMGC to reminisce and celebrate the long life we had bringing gymnastics to so many lives.

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And what’s happening with the Wordsmith? The man who’s done such a wonderful job documenting life at a regular gymnastics gym on his Gymnastics Crossing blog?

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Hear what he has to say: Santa Monica Gymnastics Center Comes to an End

confirmed – Arizona vs Utah Jan. 25th

I juggled my schedule in order to watch a big NCAA dual meet in Phoenix:

No. 3 Utah (2-0) makes its first road trip of the season – competing against No. 20 Arizona State (1-3) in Tempe, Ariz., on Friday, Jan. 25. The meet will be held in the Wells Fargo Arena starting at 7:30 p.m. MT.

Utah Utes

Leave a comment on this post if you will be there and want to meet up after the competition to chat.