Utah women's gymnastics rallies for Tory Wilson
SALT LAKE CITY – With precious little time left to capture their 2nd-straight Pac-12 gymnastics title, the Red Rocks of Utah had one thing on their minds: Finish it for Tory Wilson.
It was a bittersweet night for the Utah women’s gymnastics team. They became the first back-to-back champions since the expansion of the Pac-12 in 2012. Senior Georgia Dabritz had an incredible final meet at Huntsman Center, winning Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the Pac-12 title in the all-around. Balloons rained down on the Red Rocks as they celebrated in front of their enthusiastic home crowd.
But there was one person notably absent from the celebration. Wilson, who started the night earning a perfect 10 on the vault and ended up winning the Pac-12 title in the event, suffered a serious injury during Utah's floor rotation.
“That makes our evening very bittersweet,” co-head coach Megan Marsden said after the meet. “Tory’s one of our seniors, one of our leaders, one of our captains, and to see her go down was devastating. I give the other three seniors after her a lot of credit for pulling it together.”
In her final event of the night, the floor, Wilson took off at an awkward angle. She immediately signaled that she was done and was carried into the locker room to a standing ovation. It was revealed after the meet that she had torn her Achilles tendon in one foot and suffered damage to the her other foot as well.
Those seniors who followed Wilson on the floor not only pulled it together, they stepped up and led Utah to its second title in as many years. Corrie Lothrop was first to go after Wilson, and she earned a score of 9.900, her second-best of the night.
“I was trying to put that emotion to the side,” Lothrop admitted afterward. “I was kind of sad, but I still had a job to do. I wanted to do my routine the best that I could and basically do it for her.”
Dabritz was next, and she didn’t disappoint. Her 9.950 sent the partisan crowd into a frenzy and brought the win that much closer. And then it was Becky Tutka’s turn to close it out for the Red Rocks, and she was ready.
“I wasn’t really nervous, I was more emotional," Tutka said. "I think it hit us. We knew that Tory went down, and we knew it was bad.”
When the music stopped and her routine was over, Tutka knew she’d done it. Tears streamed down her face as she embraced her teammates and coaches.
“It felt great to hit it, and it got emotional because it was the last time in front of the home crowd as a senior, and I knew we had sealed it.”
For Dabritz, it was a moment and a night that she’ll never forget, and the win was the ultimate thing that they could do for their injured teammate.
“To see her go down, it was hard for our team, and it was a little bit rough, but we rallied for her and finished it up for her.”