Over the course of the meet against Cal on Saturday, the Utah gymnastics team had to give thanks to a few faces for their strong routines against the Golden Bears, especially at the end of the meet, when mistakes on the beam almost cost the Red Rocks another winning meet. But they continued to hang on until the end with clutch performances from the team’s top beamers. These include Maddy Stover, Kassandra Lopez and, of course, the team’s meet MVP, Baely Rowe.
Rowe, who had to step up to an all-arounder spot for the first time since her injury last season, had a stellar night on all events, taking home first place in the all-around event with 39.450 points, the highest in her career.
As the team’s only junior this season, there has been a lot of pressure on the experienced gymnast to deliver with her senior leaders this year. Even though she has had some highlight moments on the beam and bars, she took her game to another level on Saturday, according to co-head coach Tom Farden.
“[Rowe] was lights out tonight,” Farden said. “[Her floor routine was] absolutely beautiful.”
During her first time on the floor this season, Rowe danced through her routine like she has been a starter in the lineup all season. Following her great show on the floor, however, was an area that was a bit problematic: the beam.
With a lower-than-expected finish by Samantha Partyka, who had leg issues the whole week, and an uncharacteristic performance from senior Breanna Hughes, it was up to the final three members on the lineup — including Rowe — to get the job done.
“Those last three beam routines were just clutch,” Farden said. “I have full confidence that this team can finish a meet on the road on the balance beam and they proved it again today.”
With more confidence being invested in Rowe, she hopes she is ready to take it to the next step to lead her team to the promise land of postseason success.