Posts Tagged ‘Ashley Postell’

Greg Marsden on the 2009 NCAA season

January 2, 2009

Greg Marsden has been coaching the Utah Utes for 34 years.

Greg Marsden has been coaching the Utah Utes for 34 years.

There’s no need to write much on the upcoming NCAA season. Utah coach Greg Marsden, whose Utes have won the most NCAA gymnastics team titles of any school in the history of the competition (yet surprisingly haven’t won since 1995), sums it up in this interview with Inside Gymnastics Magazine:

INSIDE: Georgia has been so dominant of late, and are on track to do what only you have done before: win five in a row. Can anyone beat them this year?

MARSDEN: I don’t know. They could have been beat any number of years in this streak they have. The fact is, though, that no one has. They have been at their best on that finals night and that’s what they’ve been great at, and until someone beats them on the competition floor, we’re all chasing them. They’re the best until someone beats them fair and square, at the National Championships.

Florida has been right there, right there, for the last two years, [and] I think they’ll be there again. Alabama’s been down—and when I say that I mean not in the top three. I think they were awfully young and they are more mature this year and more experienced. They have great young people coming in. They’re going to be back up there again.

UCLA, the same. There was a period of time none of us thought we’d ever beat them again. They were where Georgia is [now] and they’re poised to make a comeback.

Michigan [had a] young team [last year] but they were very consistent, very consistent. They have almost everyone back and I think they’re gonna be back at the top.

LSU made a really, really big step last season and made Super Six for, I think, the first time in school history, with a relatively young team. They’ll be back, with the potential to be even stronger.

Stanford performed wonderfully at the Championships [last year]. I think the question with them is their big [2008] senior class, kinda like us.

You look on paper and you look at the accolades of [Georgia’s] team and you do wonder how anyone can challenge, [let alone] beat them. But it happens. It will happen; maybe not this year, but this thing is cyclic in nature and we’ve been through the ups and downs.

Utah senior Kristina Baskett.

Utah senior Kristina Baskett.

People wondered if we would ever be beat at one time and now we haven’t won one since ’95. Though we’ve been second and third the last several years, there was a time we were finishing seventh and eighth and struggling. I think the mark of [greatness] is a program that has proven [it] can weather the storm: take advantage of the times they’re up and get through it when they’re down.

Marsden notes later in the interview that Utah standout Ashley Postell, who has used up her NCAA eligibility but still has a couple semesters to go before earning her degree, has been cast as a stunt double on Perfect 10, the new ABC family show about gymnastics.

Perfect 10 has reportedly started production in Los Angeles.

The oh-so-close NCAA all-around

April 25, 2008

Tasha Schwikert1. Tasha Schwikert 39.600

2. Ashley Postell 39.550

3. Katie Heenan 39.525

3. Tiffany Tolnay 39.525

3. Kristina Baskett 39.525

3. Melanie Sinclair 39.525

Congratulations to Schwikert, who earns her second NCAA all-around title (she was the 2005 champion as well.) For Postell, this has to be a disappointment. In four years at Utah, she’s been third, second, second and second again.

In the team competition, the Utes will likely record the same history.

Georgia had a 197.625 in the evening session. This title is theirs to lose. Unofficially, Utah and Stanford also advance to tomorrow’s Super Six.

NCAA Gymnastics Championships: Game on

April 24, 2008

Ashley PostellOne of the biggest questions about the 2008 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships, which begins today in Athens, Ga., is whether Ashley Postell will finally get the NCAA all-around crown many think she richly deserves.

Postell has been Utah’s beacon — and one of the big names in collegiate gymnastics — for the past four years. But she’s always been eclipsed (twice by friend and former teammate Courtney Kupets) for the NCAA all-around title.


Utah, Arkansas to NCAAs

April 13, 2008

Ashley PostellAs expected, no. 2 Utah won the North Central Regional at Minnesota (196.95). That’s a score that head coach Greg Marsden likely isn’t going to be too pleased with, especially given that Georgia advances with a 197.775.

As Georgia did, Utah swept the Regional. NCAA all-around favorite Ashley Postell won the overall title with a solid 39.6, as well as bars, beam and floor. Teammate Kristina Baskett, who has the best Yurchenko 1.5 in the NCAA, won vault.

Arkansas, a distant second with 196.125, ought to be proud of qualifying a team to the NCAA Championships, given that they’re still a very new program (six years old, I believe.)


The next Postell?

March 18, 2008

Utah freshman Kyndal Robarts.The excellent media coverage surrounding the University of Utah’s women’s gymnastics team is focusing on a new darling: after Ashley Postell completes her senior season this year, reporters and Utah coach Greg Marsden are predicting freshman Kyndal Robarts will take over.

Of Robarts, Marsden told the Desert Morning News, “She is our future.”

That’s not to say there aren’t a bevy of other supertalented gymnasts on Utah’s squad, including juniors Kristina Baskett and Nina Kim, and sophomores Annie DiLuzio and German Olympic hopeful Daria Bijak.

But Robarts, a San Marcos, Texas native, seems to fit into college gymnastics in the same way as many who weren’t that successful as elites, like UCLA’s Anna Li, Oklahoma’s Kiara Redmond-Sturms and LSU’s Ashleigh Clare-Kearney.

Robarts, Utah’s only freshman to have competed in the all-around this season, is pretty cool under pressure, too — her day against Minnesota contained a mishap on beam, and she makes a great and highly amusing cover-up.

A real crowd-pleasing moment, that, and perhaps one of the many still to come if she can stay healthy.

2008 USAG Hall of Fame Inductees

March 6, 2008

Carly Patterson helped the U.S. women win the team title at the 2003 World Championships.The golden 2003 U.S. women’s World Championship team headlines the 2008 inductees into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

Members of the 2003 World team were Carly Patterson, Hollie Vise, Courtney Kupets, Terin Humphrey, Chellsie Memmel, Annia Hatch, Ashley Postell and Tasha Schwikert.

The 2003 Worlds were the U.S. women’s greatest world championship triumph up to that point, but early on it looked like it might become a disaster. Humphrey and Memmel, the team’s alternates, and were substituted in when Postell became ill and Kupets tore her Achilles in training. Hatch tore her ACL the day before the competition but is still considered a member of the team.

Other Hall of Fame inductees this year include:

Olympians Jessica Davis of San Anselmo, Calif. (rhythmic), Marie Walther Bilski of Tempe, Ariz. (women’s), and Wayne Young of Pleasant Grove, Utah (men’s); synchronized trampoline and double mini-trampoline world champion Stuart Ransom of Southaven, Miss.; two-time NCAA champion Brent Simmons of Columbus, Ind. (men’s); women’s artistic gymnastics coach Mary Lee Tracy of West Chester, Ohio; and contributor Wendy Hilliard of New York City. Kenneth Allen of Oshkosh, Wis., is the 2008 Lifetime Achievement recipient in recognition of his contributions to gymnastics.

Their biographies are listed on the Hall of Fame’s website.


Church, Mackie and Utah floor choreography

February 20, 2008

Gael MackieA couple weeks ago I blogged that neither Gael Mackie nor Shavahn Church had yet competed for their respective schools, Utah and UCLA. Both were feted as huge newcomers.

And they will be…maybe next season.

Church has a knee injury, but still managed to show off her great lines with an uneven bars exhibition when UCLA romped Cal 195.225 to 189.425 Sunday. (Thanks to reader Alisa for the link.)

Shavahn Church, 2008 UCLA vs. Cal, Uneven Bars:

Mackie finally competed on uneven bars when Utah came to Washington last Friday, earning a 9.775. Good friend Jaz was at the meet in Bank of America Arena on the University of Washington campus. She was impressed with the overall quality of Utah’s gymnastics, but found their floor choreography a bit lacking.

Hard to believe, given the sensational splashy routines Kristina Baskett competed in 2006 and 2007.

Kristina Baskett,  2006 NCAA Championships, Floor Exercise:

Kristina Baskett, 2007 NCAA Championships, Floor Exercise:

Rick at Gymnastics Coaching apparently felt the same way — at least about Utah’s acrobatics, when he attended the Utah-Arizona State meet a few weeks ago.

My only criticism of the Utes last night was their tumbling. Aside from [Ashley] 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.

Perfection awarded to Postell — sort of

February 2, 2008

Utah's Ashley Postell was awarded a 10 on vault against Minnesota, but only after one judge saw the other's score.From The Salt Lake Tribune:

Ashley Postell has long been recognized as one of the top vaulters in the country and several times she has gotten shorted for what Ute coaches thought were routines worthy of a perfect score.

She finally got one Friday in second-ranked Utah’s 197.750- 194.100 win over Minnesota in front of 10,133 at the Huntsman Center, but too bad the career milestone didn’t come on her own merit.

Postell capped off Utah’s best vault set of the year with a vault she stuck, feet slightly apart. One judge saw it as a 10.0 routine. The other judge, Mary Ann Mahoney, gave it a 9.95, that is until she saw the other judge’s score and quickly changed her mark to a 10.0 as well.

What a snafu. Knowing that its judges are not scoring completely independent of one another taints that sky-high team score a little as well. Despite the controversy, it was a great night for Postell, who recorded a career-high 39.8 in the all-around as well.

Can this kid be beaten at the NCAA Championships? Hard to say, although NCAA all-around titleholder Courtney Kupets seems to have made more mistakes in Georgia’s first four meets of the season than she has in her entire NCAA career.

As Georgia pulled off a win against no. 4 Alabama 196.925-196.000 Friday night, Kupets’ 9.150 on floor exercise stood out amongst her other stellar performances, but only because it was so rare.

Depth, Georgia and the Red Rocks

January 18, 2008

Let the NCAA mudslinging begin.

From the Daily Utah Chronicle:

Following the Utah gymnastics team’s narrow win over No. 1 Georgia last week, Gym Dog head coach Suzanne Yoculan questioned whether the Red Rocks have the depth to be one of the best teams in the nation.

“I thought that their depth was a little weaker than ours,” Yoculan said. “Obviously Ashley (Postell) and some of the strongest girls looked really strong. The thing is, there’s a lot of teams in the country that have a one-two punch. It’s going to come down to that fourth or fifth score at the end of the season.”

Utah junior Kristina Baskett is likely to sit out tonight's competition against NebraskaThat’s interesting coming from Yoculan, whose Gym Dogs currently aren’t at full strength either. And while the Utes take on rival Nebraska tonight without star Kristina Baskett, who has is suffering from displaced ribs, Georgia has traveled to Florida and will take on the newly No. 1-ranked Gators. Florida posted the highest score of the season so far with its 197.125 last week against Illinois-Chicago.

Yoculan has said she expects Grace Taylor, recovered from her sprained ankle, to be back in the lineup, but others are still injured. Georgia might have taken a little hit to its depth as well.

Florida sophomore Melanie SinclairAnd if Utah had no mercy at home, Florida likely won’t either. The Gators, despite being no. 1 right now, are the least appreciated gymnastics team in the nation. Their top three — sophomores Melanie Sinclair and Amanda Castillo (who was third in the all-around at the 2007 NCAA championships behind better-known names Courtney Kupets and Postell) and junior Corey Hartung are an unstoppable force when they hit.

Georgia opens 2008 campaign with loss to Utah

January 13, 2008

The top-ranked Georgia Gym Dogs lost their season-opener to third-ranked Utah at the University of Utah Friday night.

Georgia's Grace TaylorBut not by much. The final score was 196.3-196.2, Utah was at home, and Georgia was mostly without sophomore Grace Taylor, who competed uneven bars only, and senior Megan Dowlen. It’s likely that those two, particularly Taylor, would have made the difference in the meet.

Utah senior Ashley Postell, who clinched Utah’s win during her floor exercise in the final rotation (9.9), won the all-around, balance beam and floor. Ute standout Kristina Baskett was second and Georgia junior Tiffany Tolnay third, leaving Olympic silver and bronze medalist Courtney Kupets fourth.