Three times in four years. That’s how many times the University of Utah gymnastics team has won the Pac-12 Championships, and Saturday night’s win was that lucky number three.
All seemed to click for the Red Rocks on Saturday March 18, and they managed to score at least 49.4 in each event. By the end of the night, Utah took home the championship with 197.925 points. Oregon State finished in second with 197.4 points, and UCLA and Washington tied for third with a final score of 197.1.
“We are so proud of these kids,” said co-head coach Tom Farden in a press release. “Our demeanor all week in practice has been calm, aggressive and determined. We knew this would be a meet of inches, and we responded on every events with landings that were spot on. The kids were confident, relaxed and built off each other’s routines. This is a group of fighters.”
In all-around, Utah took the first two spots with freshman MyKayla Skinner scoring a total of 39.725, and senior Baely Rowe finished with a 39.575.
“MyKayla is by far the best gymnast in the Pac-12, and I’m proud she proved it again by winning the all-around here,” Farden said in a press release.
The Red Rocks competed in the second session, and they started their meet on bars. Up first was Skinner, and she set a solid tone to the event scoring a 9.875. Freshman Missy Reinstadtler and sophomore Kari Lee dominated the event though, and they each scored a 9.9, and by the end of the first rotation Utah and Washington were tied for first.
The Red Rocks managed to take the lead in the second rotation despite a mishap on beam that earned junior Maddy Stover a 9.625. Lee, Skinner and Rowe all received a 9.9 on their beam routines, and that brought Utah’s running score to 98.825 going into the third rotation of the night.
Skinner recorded her second perfect score of the season when she scored a 10 on floor. Junior Tiffani Lewis followed with a solid 9.925, and the Red Rocks put up three 9.9 performances in a row from Rowe, Reinstadtler, and sophomore Macey Roberts. Although there was another mishap during this rotation, the Red Rocks bounced back, and they continued to lead the Championship by .45.
The Red Rocks finished on vault, and they started the event strong. Rowe scored a 9.9 on her performance, and Lewis and Skinner each followed with a 9.95. By the end of the meet Utah secured its lead, and it took home another Pac-12 Championship title.
“We’ve worked so hard,” Skinner said in a press release. “We got off to an amazing start on the bars and just took off from there. Winning the Pac-12 Championship is a dream come true.”
Up next, the Red Rocks will head to NCAA Regionals on Saturday, April 1. Time and place will be announced on Monday, March 20 at 2 p.m.