This Friday, an amazing competition will be held in the University of Utah’s Huntsman Center as the RedRocks host the University of Florida Gators.

Utah is coming off it’s fourth straight win over the Aggies of Utah State University while the Gators will be trying to overcome a surprising loss last weekend to then-#15 Arkansas (now #12) in Fayetteville, where the Gators counted a fall on the Balance Beam and some less-than-spectacular scores on the Floor Exercise, though all counting scores were 9.775 or higher.

The RedRocks were strong against the Aggies up in Logan, even without freshman All-Arounder Corrie Lothrop who was out with a mild ankle sprain and rising freshman star Victoria Shanley.

As far as individuals are concerned, Florida’s Ashanée Dickerson is ranked #3 this week while Utah’s Stephanie McAllister is ranked #4 with only 0.010 separating their averages of 39.365 and 39.355.

Vault is less comparable. Florida has three gymnasts in the Top 10: Ashanée Dickerson with a 9.905 average is #4, Alaina Johnson is tied with  Alabama’s Diandra Milliner and Penn State’s Sharaya Musser for #5 with a 9.895 average and Maranda Smith sits at #10 with a 9.885. Utah’s top ranked vaulters are Nansy Damianova and Stephanie McAllister, both of whom are tied with Denver’s Brianna Springer, Arizona’s Deanna Graham and Iowa’s Rebecca Simbhudas at the #35 spot with 9.845 averages.

On the Uneven Bars, Utah’s Stephanie McAllister and Gael Mackie sit comfortably inside the Top 10, with McAllister tied for #3 with Oregon State’s Leslie Mak, both of whom have 9.890 averages. Mackie, the senior former Olympian from Vancouver is tied for the #5 spot with Stanford’s Nicole Pechanec and Oregon State’s Olivia Vivian who have 9.885 averages. Florida’s top Bar-worker is #1 Mackenzie Caquatto (9.900 average), with Alaina Johnson just outside the Top 10 at #11 with a 9.875, a position shared with Stanford’s Alyssa Brown.

Balance Beam is not as strong for either team as the Uneven Bars. Florida’s top Beamer is Mackenzie Caquatto, tied for #4 with Oklahoma’s Megan Ferguson and Iowa’s Rebecca Simbhudas, sharing 9.875 averages. Utah’s best Beamer is local girl Mary Beth Lofgren who carries a 9.830 average and sits tied for #22 with Florida’s Randy Stageberg, Missouri’s Mary Burke and Alabama’s Sarah DeMeo. Of note, Florida’s Randy Stageberg at #22 is the fourth highest ranked Gator on the Balance Beam. Ahead of her are #20 Elizabeth Mahlich (9.840) and #11 Ashanée Dickerson (9.855, tied with Hope Sloanhoffer [West Virginia], Amy Glass [Boise State], and Shayla Worley [Georgia]).

Floor Exercise is about as spread out as Balance Beam. Top gymnasts for Florida are #1 Ashanée Dickerson (9.920) and #11 Alaina Johnson (9.870, tied with Rutgers’ Luisa Maria Leal Restropo). For the RedRocks, Stephanie McAllister is the top ranked gymnast at #30 (9.845, tied with Kristen Linton [Washington], Michelle Browning [Iowa State], Lauren Swankoski [Missouri] and Katie Valleau [San Jose State]).

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With those placements, it is likely to be anyone’s meet. It seems to be rather wide open.

What to watch for:

Ashanée Dickerson to bring out some excellent tumbling and crowd-pleasing energy on the Floor Exercise and some strong vaulting. She should also contend for the All-Around title.

Makenzie Caquatto to shine on the Uneven Bars and Balance Beam where she shines and posts great scores.

Alaina Johnson to make a run at the All-Around title, as well as to contribute strongly to each apparatus score for the Gators.

For Utah, Stephanie McAllister to make runs at the All-Around and Uneven Bars titles, as well as to make the home-crowd roar with her raised “U” at the end of the meet.

Corrie Lothrop to potentially make it back into the line-up.

Gael Mackie to excite on the Uneven Bars and hit Beam again.

Jacquelyn Johnson to contribute strongly for the RedRocks across all pieces if she is placed in all four line-ups.

Nansy Damianova to continue to shine on her three events: Vault, Uneven Bars and Floor Exercise. If you don’t mind clapping along rhythmically for about the last 30 seconds of her Floor Routine, you’re in for a treat. Damianova is sultry and sassy and fun to watch. This former Olympic and World Team member for Canada knows how to put on a show.

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This week’s rankings:

Vault: Florida #1, Utah #6

Uneven Bars: Florida #1, Utah #5

Balance Beam: Florida #1, Utah #6

Floor Exercise: Florida #1, Utah #11

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