One would think that being selected as an alternate for the United States Gymnastics Team in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing would be the pinnacle of an athlete's career.
But for Danvers raised gymnist Corrie Dong Quan Lothrop, it appears the summer games were merely just a part of the start of what looks to be a very promising career. The 17-year-old gymnist recently accepted a full athletic scholarship from the University of Utah, one of the top gymnastics Universities in the country.
When Corrie heads to Utah next fall, she will be joining a program that has more top-five (27), top-three (22) and top-two (18) national gymnastics finishes than any other school. On top of that, Utah has collected the most All-America awards (304) of any program and Ute gymnasts have won 24 individual event championships-with NCAA titles on every apparatus and in the all-around.
What may be even more exciting for incoming freshman and her parents is that Utah coach Greg Marsden is the only college gymnastic coach with over 900 wins. In his 34 years coaching the Utes, Greg Marsden is 922-160-6 with 10 National championships, 9 NCAA championships, and 18 Top-2 national finishes. The 59 year old Marsden has also been the National Coach of the Year seven times. Greg's wife Megan, who has been the associate head coach from 1997-2009 and an assistant coach from 1985-96, will be assuming the position of co-head coach beginning with the 2010 season.
"Every coach I have talked to who has met him (Marsden) or knows him, speaks the world of him," said Joan Lothrop, Corrie's mother. "I think she will be very comfortable with him."
As impressive a resume as coach Marsden has, it was actually the big stage atmosphere that most attracted Corrie to Utah. The Utes have led the nation in gymnastics home attendance in 25 of the last 28 years (finishing second the other three times) and in 2009, Utah broke its own NCAA single-season attendance record by averaging 13,861 fans in the Huntsman Center. Since 1992, Utah has averaged over 11,000 fans a meet at home.