Red Rocks win Pac-12 opener over Oregon State

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CORVALLIS, Ore. (ABC4 Sports) – The #4 Utah gymnastics team topped the 197-mark for the third week in a row, beating No. 21 Oregon State 197.150-195.500.

The Utes, which improved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the Pac-12, has started a season with three scores of 197 or better for the first time in program history.

MyKayla Skinner stayed unbeaten on vault (9.975), bars (9.925) and the all-around (39.625), giving her 11 wins on the season and 88 wins in her career. She has moved into fifth place all-time in career victories at Utah, passing Kristen Kenoyer (87, 1990-93).

Also picking up individual wins were Cristal Isa, Kari Lee and Adrienne Randall, who tied for first on beam with 9.85 scores. Isa, a last minute replacement during touch warmups for Missy Reinstadtler, was competing on beam for the first time as a Ute. Fellow freshman Randall was Utah’s high scorer on beam for the second straight week in picking up her first college victory.

Impressive 49.400 sets on vault and floor, allowed the Utes to build an imposing 147.975-146.175 lead over the Beavers heading into the final event. After a good start on beam, MaKenna Merrell-Giles suffered her first fall of the season from the No. 4 position. Randall showed the poise of a veteran following the fall in tying for meet honors and Skinner wrapped up the meet with a 9.825.

“This was a great environment and it was good to compete before a big road crowd,” said co-head coach Tom Farden. “The Corvallis community really supports gymnastics. We got off to a good start on bars and were amazing on vault and floor, the leg events. On beam, even though they hit their routines, MaKenna’s fall had a ripple effect on Adrienne and MyKayla, who tightened up a little. I made a coaching error on MyKayla’s routine. I should have pulled her back tuck because she wasn’t warming it up well and after MaKenna’s fall, it wasn’t a good decision. Fortunately, all that happened was a balance check.”

He made some good coaching decisions as well, continuing to tweak Utah’s lineups. This week’s changes included moving Shannon McNatt (9.800) in as leadoff on beam and making last second switches on vault (Reinstadtler for Isa) and beam (Isa for Reinstadtler).

“We have the depth to try out different gymnasts in our lineups and we like the results so far,” said Farden.

Utah opened the meet with a nice bar set that featured five stuck dismounts. Skinner’s 9.925 at the end of the set proved the event winner, and Reinstadtler and Isa scored back-to-back 9.85s. After one event, Utah led the Beavers 49.175-48.950.

Another big day on vault for the Utes was highlighted by a 9.975 from Skinner—her second brush with perfection in two weeks. Lee scored a 9.875 to start the set and Macey Roberts scored a 9.875 from the middle of the lineup. The 49.400 set expanded Utah’s lead to 98.575-97.900 at the midway point.

Utah took complete control of the meet on the third rotation—equaling its 49.000 vault score on floor. Skinner’s 9.90 and 9.875s from Roberts, Reinstadtler, Sydney Soloski and Merell-Giles meant Utah dropped a career-high 9.85 from Randall. 

Only a complete meltdown on beam stood between Utah and a win, and when that didn’t happen, the Utes secured their fifth-straight win over the Beavers. Up next for the Utes is Arizona State in Tempe on Jan. 26.

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