MyKayla Skinner and Kari Lee of the No. 3 University of Utah gymnastics team (4-1, 1-0 Pac 12) are heading home to Arizona as the Red Rocks will take on the No. 21 Arizona Wildcats (0-3, 0-1 Pac 12) on Friday night. While the Wildcats haven’t won a meet this season, they did post a season-high score against UCLA.
Utah, which posted a season-high this past week in total points scored, knows that there is room for improvement on bars and beam. The approach to the two intricate events is different from floor and vault, which are Utah’s two best events to perform in. The team is ranked No. 1 in the nation on floor and No. 2 in the nation on vault.
“All four events are very different, and I would say the floor and vaulting we’re doing pretty well score-wise, those are more power events and not quite as intricate,” said co-head coach Megan Marsden. “There is a little different approach to those two events, so we can’t really tell them we need to do it just like floor and vault because that’s not quite the right way to go about it. But we have to continue to work individually on those events with the things that are creating a slightly lower score.”
Senior Maddy Stover, who competes on the beam and is ranked No. 14 nationally in that event, wants what the team does in practice to carry over to the actual meets. She wants to see the Red Rocks hit 24-24 routines in solid fashion.
“We haven’t necessarily done that yet, and we’re already putting up pretty big scores so we want to see where our training routines necessarily can take us,” Stover said. “Also, just building for a big road score. We did really well at Arizona my freshman year and so I’m excited to get back in that arena. It’s a nice arena, it’s a fun atmosphere and getting on the road with my team is really one of my favorite things to do.”
Stover is proud of the way gymnastics is growing because it is helping Utah improve at home and on the road.
“It’s ever changing, and I see more teams becoming competitive,” Stover said. “I think that’s the best thing possible, that if more teams can recruit more talent and be more competitive it only makes every single team better because they’re working towards being the top.”
The meet begins at 6 p.m.