SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – It was quite a rebound performance for the 4th-ranked Utah gymnastics team.
Coming off its first loss of the season last week against #1 Oklahoma, the Red Rocks put up a season-high point total against #25 Washington in a 197.975-196.350 victory at the Huntsman Center Saturday afternoon.
Grace McCallum won the all-around on Saturday with a 39.650, highlighted by event titles on bars (9.95) and floor (9.95). On vault, Jillian Hoffman won the vault title with a career-high 9.95. Maile O’Keefe won the beam title with a meet-high 9.975, while also earning a share of the bars title with McCallum.
Utah used vault as a strength once again and kicked off the meet with a 49.425 to quickly pull ahead of Washington, which scored a 49.000 on bars. Jaylene Gilstrap made her Ute debut in the vault lineup and led off the group with a 9.85. Abby Brenner matched the efforts with a 9.85 of her own before Makenna Smith fired off a 9.90. Jaedyn Rucker posted a 9.875 and McCallum added another 9.85. The highlight of the rotation came in the final routine as Hoffman scored a rotation best and career best 9.95 to bring the entire crowd to its feet.
The momentum from Hoffman’s vault carried over into bars, earning the Red Rocks a season high 49.450. Amelie Morgan led off the group with a 9.85, while Smith added a 9.825 and Brenner collected a 9.85. Utah received a 9.95 from O’Keefe in the fourth position and after Cristal Isa added a 9.85 the following routine, McCallum matched O’Keefe’s efforts and earned a share of the bars title with another 9.95.
Leading 98.875-98.100, Utah used a stellar beam effort to extend the lead even more after not counting a score below a 9.90. Morgan led off the lineup with a 9.825, which went on to be dropped. McCallum, Abby Paulson and Kara Eaker all added consecutive 9.90s to the rotation, while Isa glided through her routine effortlessly to score a 9.95. O’Keefe wrapped up another phenomenal rotation for the nation’s top-ranked beam team with a 9.975, pushing Utah’s beam score to 49.625.
Looking to close out the competition strong, the floor team put together a season high as well, recording a 49.475 on Saturday. Paulson scored a 9.85 and was followed by a pair of 9.875s from Gilstrap and Brenner. After a 9.80 from Smith, Rucker and McCallum ended the day with a 9.925 and 9.95, respectively, to send Utah out on a high note and pick up its first Pac-12 win in dominating fashion.
Utah remains in Salt Lake City next week to continue Pac-12 play, welcoming the sixth-ranked UCLA Bruins to the Jon M. Huntsman Center on Friday, Feb. 3.