Following a win against UCLA, the University of Utah gymnastics team was on the road in Phoenix, Ariz for a bit of a homecoming for freshman MyKayla Skinner and redshirt sophomore Kari Lee who are both Arizona natives. The Red Rocks continued their winning ways as they beat the Sun Devils 197.600-194.850. Skinner grabbed the all-around title with a final score of 39.750 as she remains undefeated in that area for the entire season.
Starting the meet off on bars, the Red Rocks were solid as a few of the gymnasts recorded career and season bests. Lee led the pack with the highest score, a 9.975, then Skinner and Tiffani Lewis each followed with 9.950 performances. MaKenna Merrell and Missy Reinstadtler recorded a 9.875.
Earlier in the season, the team had struggled on this event, but co-head coach Tom Farden has been better preparing his girls for in-meet situations, and it has been paying its dividends.
“Bars was really sharp,” Farden said in a press release. “Several of our kids have really stepped it up on that event in recent weeks.”
At the end of the first rotation, the Red Rocks led the Sun Devils by nearly a full point, 49.625-48.725, after ASU had a fall on its first vault.
Skinner had the highest scoring vault on the next rotation with a 9.90 score, and Baely Rowe and Lewis trailed with a 9.850. ASU’s struggles continued on bars, and as a result the Red Rocks’ lead grew to over a full point, 98.80-97.40, halfway through the meet.
The Utes then took to the floor, and Skinner finished with the highest scoring routine once again with a 9.950, and Rowe finished with 9.90. Earlier in the meet, Merrell didn’t have the cleanest landing on vault, and her struggles continued on floor, but the rest of the Red Rocks put up high enough scores to combat this. At the end of the rotation the Red Rocks held a 148.225-146.275.
Merrell and Maddy Stover earned a 9.825 to open up the Red Rocks’ final rotation on beam. Skinner recorded the highest score with a 9.950, and Rowe tallied a 9.925.
Overall, Farden likes how his team was able to remain competitive in on the road.
“That was a great road meet and I’m really proud that we kept our intensity up after last week,” Farden said. “We incentivized practice on Tuesday to stay in a competitive mindset. We played a game where if we hit enough sets as a team, the team would get a Wednesday morning off [from conditioning]. They hit all their sets.”
Utah returns home to the Huntsman Center on Friday March 3, for its final home meet.