Denson overcomes illness, fall to shine in home finale
And knowing it was her last performance in front of a Spectrum crowd, there was no way Denson would have let head coach Ray Corn pull her from the roster Friday night in the Aggies' 195.325-189.775 win against Texas Woman's University.
But Corn was pretty close to doing so.
"She called me about noon or about an hour before practice and said, 'I'm really sick,'" Corn said. "So, we got her in, gave her some medication and sent her home to rest. I knew when I talked with her this morning that she was not feeling well.
"But with her family flying in all the way from Dallas, senior night here, she said, 'Don't pull me,'" Corn added. "After four years, there was no way that I was (going to pull her)."
"I had to do a little talking," Denson said. "(Corn) just worries about us too much and I knew I could deal with it. He never wants you to be put in a position that you might get hurt."
And Corn's decision to keep Denson in seemed to be the right one.
Notwithstanding her fall on bars, Denson earned a 9.80 on the vault and managed a 9.65 despite a couple of wobbles on the beam. But her floor performance was what topped off her final home appearance.
And fans agreed, giving Denson a standing ovation after seeing one judge's perfect score. The other judge awarded her a 9.90, giving her a combined score of 9.95. The 10 was the second of Denson's career and the third given in Aggie history.
"I thought it was pretty good, but I don't know about a 10," Denson said. "I think the fans helped me out a little bit there."
"I had to do floor (because) it was the last home meet and senior night," Denson added, referring to Corn's near decision of yanking her from the meet after the Aggies finished on beam. "I just tried to get some energy and get over my sickness real fast for just one little floor routine."
And Corn said such an attitude is typical of Denson.
"What can I say?" Corn asked. "That's Christy Denson. She wanted to finish just like she started the meet - with a sensational vault.
"I can only say that her determination, along with the rest of the team, made us very, very successful tonight," Corn added. "It was a great night."
And Corn should think so: the Aggies' 49.275 and 49.05 scores on the floor and on bars, respectively, were the fourth and eighth best in school history and season highs. Utah State's 48.85 score on the vault was also a season high.
Freshman Kristen Bloom won the all-around with a career best 39.175, followed by Denson's 37.10. Texas Woman's Luci Romberg finished third with a score of 37.075.
"That score tonight is really going to help us," Corn said. "By no means is it over for Utah State.
"I'm delighted," Corn added. "It takes our RQS (Regional Qualifying Score) I don't know where, but it takes us over the 194 mark. It should move us up a couple of spots."
Next up for the Aggies is the Big West Championship on March 18.