UTAH GYMNASTICS HOSTS STAFF APPRECIATION DAY

By Michael Rueckert, University of Utah Athletics

Utah Gymnastics is offering University of Utah faculty and staff members up to six free tickets to its blackout meet against Oregon State on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 3 p.m.  Faculty and staff may claim their free tickets online by going to UtahTickets.com and clicking on “Faculty/Staff Discounts” under the “Tickets” tab.

The Utes are the two-time defending Pac-12 champions and are coming off a second-place finish at the 2015 NCAA Championships, where they finished a mere five-hundredths of a point behind champion Florida. Utah is the only team to qualify for the last 40 national championships and has a record 10 national titles.

Faculty and staff attending Saturday’s meet will be part of the largest fan base in women’s college athletics.  The Red Rocks have led all NCAA women’s teams in attendance in five of the last six years, including last year’s record average of 14,950 fans per meet in the Huntsman Center. The team’s popularity has drawn media attention from The New York Times, ESPN, CBS News and other major news outlets.

The program has built its dynasty and fan support through great success in competition and a fast-paced and entertaining meet atmosphere that is attractive to all fans, young and old.  The doors will open at 1:30 p.m., when fans may enter the arena to watch team warm-ups and visit the Kid Zone.  The free Kid Zone is popular among fans as it features a balloon artist, face painting, poster-making, temporary tattoos and more.  Kids can meet the Utah Spirit Team and interact with Swoop.

The meet is themed a “blackout” and all fans are encouraged to wear black.  The first 2,500 in attendance will receive a blackout flag.  Gymnastics alumni will be honored at the meet, including recent graduate Georgia Dabritz, the 2015 NCAA uneven bar champion who will be recognized for her NCAA Top-10 Award.

For more information, visit UtahUtes.com or call 801-581-UTIX.