SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Red Rocks are still undefeated in 2020.
The 3rd-ranked Utah gymnastics team improve to 8-0 on the season with a 197.100-196.275 victory over No. 21 Oregon State Saturday at the Huntsman Center.
Utah glided through the first three rotations seamlessly, but two falls on floor doomed the Utes in what could have been the team’s highest score of the season on Saturday in the Huntsman Center.
“Our team knows that we ultimately kicked an opportunity to the curb today,” said head coach Tom Farden on the letdown finish on floor. “We are better than that. We will take full credit from that floor set, fix it and we will get better. You have to put together four events that are super strong when we are competing against the best of the best. It is very important for every event to be at a high-octane level. Every detail matters.”
Coming off a disappointing vault outing last week, Utah turned things around in a big way and shattered its previous season-high with a 49.450 to open the meet. Sydney Soloski opened the lineup with a 9.825 to spark the Utes, before Cammy Hall fired off a phenomenal Yurchenko 1.5 and earned a career-high 9.925.
Missy Reinstadtler added another solid vault to score 9.825, while back-to-back 9.875s from Cristal Isa and Alexia Burch made for an-already improved vault score. Kim Tessen lifted the team score with a season-high 9.95 following her stuck Yurchenko 1.5 that brought the sellout crowd of 15,558 fans to their feet to end the set. Utah led 49.450-49.150 through the first rotation.
The bars lineup for Utah didn’t start out the way they had hoped after a mishap on Maile O’Keefe’s dismount, but the Utes didn’t let it rattle the rest of the lineup. Emilie LeBlanc, Abby Paulson, and Kim Tessen all scored 9.850s, while Isa contributed a 9.875. Highlighting the rotation, Reinstadtler had her best bars routine of the season and won the event title with a season-high 9.925. Utah extended the lead over Oregon State to 98.800-98.275 at the halfway point.
Following last week’s outstanding beam set, Utah picked up where they left off and once again looked confident in their skills. LeBlanc and Burch earned a pair of 9.875s to open the rotation and was followed by O’Keefe earning the highest beam score by any Ute this season. O’Keefe’s stunning routine scored a 9.975 in the third position after earning a 10.0 from one judge.
Isa brought her teammate’s momentum into her routine and would add a career-high 9.95 for Utah. Closing out Utah’s scoring five on beam, Adrienne Randall earned the third score of 9.90 or higher and recorded a 9.925. The Utes posted a 49.600 on beam and took a dominant 148.400-147.600 lead.
Miscues on floor from Isa and Reinstadtler left Utah needing to count a fall in the rotation and immediately lessened the Ute lead. Despite the errors from the Utes to close the gap, Oregon State couldn’t capitalize and also had two falls in their beam rotation to end the meet.
Soloski highlighted the floor rotation after earning the event victory with a 9.90. Freshmen Jillian Hoffman and Paulson contributed 9.850s and Randall added a 9.825.
Utah will return to road action next Sunday, Feb. 23 to face Pac-12 rival UCLA in Los Angeles.