Twenty four routines stand between the Michigan women’s gymnastics team and a perfect regular season.
There’s just one catch – they’ll be stacking up against 24 performances from No. 3 Utah.
That doesn’t mean the fourth-ranked Wolverines (5-0 Big Ten, 18-0 overall) will be intimidated when they take on the Utes Saturday.
The last time Michigan competed in Crisler Arena two weeks ago, it knocked off No. 1 Georgia with a season-high 197.600-point score.
But the Wolverines have a slightly different look in this showdown – they’ll be without a star freshman.
Trish Wilson is out for the season after tearing her ACL in a fall during her exhibition floor routine in the Georgia meet.
“We’re hoping that she’ll be able to have surgery within another week or two and that we’ll get her on the road to recovery,” Michigan coach Bev Plocki said. “We’ll concentrate on getting her ready for next year.”
Wilson’s biggest contributions this year have come on the uneven bars.
Competing on bars in every meet this season, Wilson collected four event titles over the course of the year. Against Georgia, she won bars with a career-high 9.925 score. Wilson has occasionally competed on floor and beam this season, too.
This isn’t the first time Michigan has dealt with a loss. Riddled with minor injuries all season, lineup adjustments have yet to faze the Wolverines. Last weekend at Maryland, juniors Tatjana Thuener-Rego and Huneth Lor returned to competition after sitting out the Georgia meet. Sophomore Jaclyn Kramer saw her first action of the year against the Terrapins, competing on floor exercise.
Sophomore all-arounder Sarah Curtis was pulled from the vault and floor lineups to give her a weekend to recover from minor aches and pains. Michigan’s other all-arounder, fifth-year senior captain Lindsey Bruck, competed in all four events at Maryland and won the 11th all-around title of her career.
Utah comes into Ann Arbor after suffering its first loss of the season.
The Utes lost on the road to No. 2 Florida last weekend. Utah is the only other team to defeat top-ranked Georgia this season, a feat the Utes accomplished in the opening meet of the year on Jan. 11. The Utes didn’t face top-five competition again until last weekend’s loss.
Michigan and No. 9 Oklahoma (17-0) are the only teams in the country that remain undefeated.
“We’re going to bring our ‘A’ game against Utah,” Bruck said. “This week in the gym it’s more about quality of routines, not quantity. We should be able to hit what we need to in practice and in meets.”