The University of Utah gymnastics team performed in the Huntsman Center one last time Friday, Mar. 3. As Baely Rowe was honored at this years Senior Night with the Stars, Rowe and her team finished their final home meet with a victory over the Stanford Cardinal, 197.5-196.275.
“It was the tale of two halves,” said co-head coach Tom Farden. “It was a book-ending meet.”
Rowe challenged freshman MyKayla Skinner all night in all-around, even taking the lead after the third rotation. In the end, Rowe and Skinner tied for first with a score of 39.650, but it was Rowe who was awarded MVP of the meet, her first of the season.
“[Tonight] was one of the best night of my life,” Rowe said. “I wasn’t trying to be perfect. I just wanted to go out there, have fun, enjoy the moment, and remember this amazing team and what we have worked for.”
Skinner added that it was amazing to tie with Rowe in all-around. Both working hard at what they have been doing, Skinner was proud to see Rowe win this award and said she shined in her last night in the Huntsman.
The Red Rocks started off the meet on vault with Rowe as the lead girl. She set the tone of the event, scoring a 9.9, and Skinner topped it with a 9.95 score on her performance.
Going into the second rotation, Utah held a .3 lead over the Cardinal with a running score of 49.425. Although the Red Rocks didn’t have as strong of a start to bars like they did on vault, that didn’t stop them from producing some great performance as Skinner scored another 9.95 followed by a 9.9 performance from Rowe.
As the Red Rocks started beam with a solid lead over the Cardinal, they faltered a little bit with a 9.05 score from sophomore MaKenna Merrell. However, Utah didn’t let the low score affect the rest of the event as Rowe finished the event with a 9.875. Even with some several balance checks by the Red Rocks, they kept their composure throughout the whole rotation.
The Red Rocks were back to showing their fans what they do best as they finished on on floor with solid performances. Skinner received her first 10 of her collegiate career after performing a perfect floor routine and Rowe followed with a 9.975. In the end, the Red Rocks were victors of the night.
“It felt [great],” Skinner said. “It was just so exciting. I’ve been waiting to go to college forever and it was just so fun to go out there and do the routine I’ve been waiting to do for so long. It was just fun to do my thing tonight.”
Up next, the Red Rocks will be closing out their season with a road meet to Athens as they compete against Georgia on Saturday, Mar. 11. The meet is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. MT.