SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Sydney Soloski came through in the clutch on her final floor routine with a 9.925, as the #3 Utah gymnastics team topped #14 in a Pac-12 showdown, 197.225-197.100.
Utah started the meet by jumping out to an early 49.300-49.100 lead on the vault. Alexia Burch was strong on vault, posting her second straight 9.975 and fourth-straight vault title.
The Red Rocks struggled to find a rhythm on the bars. They managed to maintain the lead at the halfway point thanks to a 49.225 event score. Cristal Isa and Maile O’Keefe both scored 9.875s to lead the group.
“It was a hard-fought win tonight,” said head coach Tom Farden. “We definitely feel that wasn’t our best performance because on three of the events, we felt like at least one routine was a little subpar. However, we love the fight. Our athletes never gave up and had each other’s backs all the way through. We had enough to get out with the win and I am proud of the team’s hunger to continue to fight to the end.
Leading 98.525-98.275 the Red Rocks moved to beam. Isa and O’Keefe led Utah Gymnastics again, Isa posted a 9.875 and O’Keefe put up a 9.90. An uncharacteristic fall from Paulson in the anchor spot left Utah unable to improve on its rotation score and held on to just a tenth lead – 147.775 to 147.675.
With such a narrow lead the Red Rock floor lineup had to come up clutch, and they did just that. They posted a season high 49.450, including a final routine score of 9.925 from Soloski to clinch the meet.
“My mindset was the same as it always is,” said Soloski on her meet-winning routine. “My goal is always to hit. I just wanted to fight until the end and that is not much different from my mindset normally. I was really proud of everyone that went before me. Everyone knew what their job was going into that last rotation, rose to the occasion and delivered.”
Utah Gymnastics will be back in action Friday, February 26th as they host the California Golden Bears.