It finally happened. During Senior Night on March 3, the University of Utah gymnastics team put up its first 10 of the season at the Huntsman Center as they competed against Stanford on Friday night.
In the third rotation, the Red Rocks were struggling on beam. After a fall from one of their teammates, the Red Rocks were experiencing some balance checks here and there. Freshman MyKayla Skinner fell victim to it, but she was determined to stay on, and she finished her routine with a 9.75 score.
While there could have been a hangover effect from beam to floor for some of the gymnasts, that wasn’t the case for Skinner as she usually tries to forget the previous event, whether it was good or bad.
Co-head coach Megan Marsden wasn’t worried about the beam affecting her floor performance as well. If anything, she thought that the little mishap on beam would have put Skinner in a lighter mood going into floor, allowing her to just go out and have fun.
“She is very good about understanding, even as a freshman,” Marsden said. “Flipping the order on floor, she didn’t have any complaints about it because she knew it was Baely [Rowe’s] night.”
While preparing for her floor routine, Skinner remembers saying to her teammates that she could feel herself about to cry. These emotions were coming from the feeling of possibly receiving her first 10.
As she was going through her floor routine during warmups, Skinner kept thinking about going out there and doing her best. By the end of the routine, Skinner couldn’t help the tears, hoping that the judges would give her the 10.
“I saw the one side go up and then the other went up, and I got so emotional,” Skinner said. “It was so fun that I finally got the 10. I’ve been working hard for it, and it was our last time in the Huntsman so it was exciting.”
Not only was Skinner the first Red Rock to score a 10 this season, she is also the first gymnast in the Pac-12 to receive a perfect score on the floor pass.
Marsden didn’t think that Skinner could do her floor routine even a touch better than she has in the past eight weeks, but she managed to do so. Landing her last pass a little bit taller to nailing her middle floor leap, the small fractions that Skinner fixed made all the difference.
“It also probably had to do with the judges that were there that finally were willing to give her the score that she deserves,” Marsden said. “I was really happy for her and also happy for the team. I could tell that everybody had been waiting for that moment, so I thought that was great.”
Marsden thinks Skinner might have put the 10 out of her mind a little bit thinking that it wouldn’t have been as likely being fifth in the lineup, but from the jazz move that saved her beam to the fans cheering her on, everything just fell into place for Skinner.
“She was just planning to go to floor and do the best she could,” Marsden said. “Everything that happened throughout the night might have been a part of what allowed her to finally get that score.”