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Utah gymnastics gets favorable draw for NCAA Championships

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The NCAA announced its pairings on Monday, April 7 for the upcoming NCAA Championships -- and it is a very favorable draw for the Utes.

Despite being the No. 5 team in the country the Utes got what all teams hope for in the run to the national championship: a bye to end its final rotation.

Utah will start the afternoon national semifinal on the uneven bars, then move to balance beam -- its weakest event -- before it gets a bye to complete its first three events.

But if you thought its first three events were good, its final three events in Birmingham, Alabama should even be better.

Utah ends its afternoon semifinal round with its two strongest events on which it has Pac-12 champions Georgia Dabritz and Nansy Damianova: vault and floor -- then ends with another bye to close out the afternoon.

But Utah head coach Greg Marsden cautioned about fans getting too excited over the draw.

"In both of them you are going to have to do well to move on," he said in an interview. "Hopefully we can have a strong start on the bars and beam then finish up well on our strong events."

The teams against which the Utes will compete are UCLA, Alabama, Florida, Nebraska and Penn State.

Of those six teams -- which includes the defending national champions Florida -- the top three will advance along with the top three in the other semifinal to the Super Six, from which a national champion will be crowned.

Considering the Utes missed out on the Super Six last year -- they finished ninth overall -- getting in the top three could be motivation enough.

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