SEATTLE (ABC4 Sports) – For the 46th straight year, the Utah gymnastics team is headed to the NCAA Nationals.

Kara Eaker and Maile O’Keefe scored back-to-back Perfect 10s on the beam, as the Red Rocks rallied to win the Seattle Regional with its highest score in school postseason history, a 198.200.

The Utes took first place over No. 5 Alabama (198.175), No. 12 Michigan State (197.650), and Stanford (197.250).

“I really liked the athletes focus on the way over,” said head coach Tom Farden. “You could really feel it. It was a good culmination of the weekend in terms of what we did on Thursday and then stepping it up and doing it again tonight. Super pleased and proud of the total team effort.”

Utah set the tone immediately with a 49.600 on floor after the Red Rocks recorded four 9.90s and a pair of 9.95s to start the night. Abby Paulson, Jaylene Gilstrap, Jaedyn Rucker and O’Keefe produced 9.90s, and Grace McCallum and Sydney Soloski tied for the top score of the night with 9.95s on floor.

On the vault, Rucker and Alexia Burch recorded consecutive 9.90s, before McCallum continued her strong night with a 9.925. Cammy Hall posted a 9.80 to close the event and leave the rotation score at a 49.400.

Sitting at a 99.000, Utah moved to bars and held steady enough with a 49.475 to sit in second place heading into the last event. Amelie Morgan scored another 9.90 as the leadoff, while McCallum wrapped up her night with a second 9.95, which went on to be Utah’s highest score of the rotation. Burch added another 9.90 and Sage Thompson recorded a 9.85 to add to the event and after a slight mistake from O’Keefe, Cristal Isa posted a 9.90 to drop her score and finish bars strong.

Utah was trailing first place (Alabama) by half a tenth, while it lead the third place team at the time (Michigan State) by 0.225. After a strong performance from Adrienne Randall with a 9.85, Burch came off the beam on her series the next routine and the entire meet would hang in the hands of Utah’s final three gymnasts.

After a long pause while waiting to salute the judge to start for Isa, she walked through a near-perfect routine and put up a phenomenal 9.975 to get the team back on track. Kara Eaker continued the momentum from Isa’s routine into her own and went on to record the first Perfect 10 of her career. Under immense pressure in the final routine, O’Keefe finished the night in the most dramatic fashion as she posted Utah’s second-straight 10.0 on beam to win the meet and send Utah to the NCAA Championships.

“I just needed to do a normal routine and obviously that is easier said than done,” said O’Keefe on her meet-winning routine. “I was shaking in my boots, but I trust myself and was just obviously nervous. I think that is okay and just shows that I care.”

Utah and Alabama – the top two finishers of the NCAA Seattle Regional – will compete against top-ranked Oklahoma and eighth-ranked Minnesota in the afternoon semifinal on Thursday, Apr. 14 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. The second semifinal will feature No. 2 Florida, No. 3 Michigan, No. 7 Auburn and No. 11 Missouri.  The top-two finishers of each session will compete for a national championship on Saturday, Apr. 16.

“There is so much parity,” Farden said. “You have to be dang close to flawless to get into the last day at nationals. This was just another barn burner tonight and we had one just to get to here. You can see it across the country how tight things are and it speaks volumes about the level our sport is at.”