Red Rocks Defeat Sun Devils

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Red Rocks Defeat Sun Devils

University of Utah women's gymnastics junior MaKenna Merrell-Giles performs on the balance beam in a duel meet vs. Brigham Young University at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018.

(Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah women's gymnastics junior MaKenna Merrell-Giles performs on the balance beam in a duel meet vs. Brigham Young University at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah women's gymnastics junior MaKenna Merrell-Giles performs on the balance beam in a duel meet vs. Brigham Young University at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah women's gymnastics junior MaKenna Merrell-Giles performs on the balance beam in a duel meet vs. Brigham Young University at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora

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The No. 4 University of Utah Red Rocks Gymnastics team finished off a three-week road trip with a victory in Tempe, taking down No. 19 Arizona State 197.375-195.825.

This marks the fourth week in a row that the team has scored 197 points in consecutive meets of the season. The team also scored the highest they have all season.  

For the second week in a row, the Red Rocks hit the bars to open up the competition. Kim Tessen hit the bars first for the team and scored a 9.825 on the opening event of the night. Following Tessen was Hunter Dula on a routine that scored 9.750, which was the lowest score on the event for the Red Rocks.

University of Utah women’s gymnastics senior MaKenna Merrell-Giles performs on the uneven bars in a dual meet vs. Penn State at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Next up was MaKenna Merrell-Giles, who was nearly perfect on her first event with a score of a 9.900. Missy Reinstadtler showed off a fantastic routine that scored a 9.950, which was a new career high for her on the event. Cristal Isa was also strong on the bars, scoring a 9.875 with her routine. Rounding out the event was Arizona-native MyKayla Skinner, who scored a 9.950. This was the highest the team had scored on the bars all season.

At the end of the first rotation, the Red Rocks lead 49.500-49.050.

The team then jumped to the vault, where it wasn’t the teams best showing this season. Leading off for the team was another Arizona native, Kari Lee. Lee scored a 9.850 on her first event of the night. Following Lee was Macey Roberts, who has started to emerge as yet another threat on this Red Rocks team. Following a minor step on her landing, she scored a 9.850.  

Merrell-Giles had a great vault but took a step on the landing dropping her score to a 9.900. Skinner was next to the vault, surprising some to see her not competing in the six spot, as usual. Skinner, who usually sticks her vault every time, took a big step dropping her score to a 9.875. Tessen rounded out the event for the team. She was a last minute addition to the event, and it was her first vault of the season. She scored a 9.675 after a big jump on her landing.

The Utes headed into the third set with a 49.275-49.100 lead.

The Red Rocks really started to separate themselves from the Sun Devils in the third as the team took to the floor.

Leading off for the team was Roberts. She scored a 9.825, one judge did score her a 9.900, but the other gave her a 9.75. Lee also scored a 9.825 on the event tonight. Making her floor debut tonight was Alexia Burch, scoring a 9.775.

University of Utah women’s gymnastics sophomore Sydney Soloski performs on the floor in a dual meet vs. Penn State at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Also scoring a career-high during the meet was Sydney Soloski, who set her record at 9.925. Soloski finished in second place at the event by the end of the night. Merrell-Giles brought back her routine from last year and scored a 9.900. Skinner, who was not supposed to compete on the floor tonight due to some lineup juggling, scored a 9.850.

At the end of the third rotation, the score was 49.325-48.450.

Leading off for the team on the beam was Shannon McNatt, who scored a 9.775. In a very uncharacteristic move, Burch fell off the beam during her flight sequence and scored a 9.300. Instead of letting the fall get to them, the team rallied with strong performances from Merrell-Giles (9.875) and Lee (9.875).

Adrienne Randall, who is making a name for herself on the beam, scored a 9.825 in the five spot. Skinner sealed the deal by scoring a 9.925 with her beam routine.

The scores after the final rotation were 197.375-195.825.

Skinner won the All-Around with a score of a 39.600, and Merrell-Giles was right on her heels scoring a 39.575. Skinner also won the beam and tied with teammate Reinstadtler for the victory on the bars. With tonight’s victories, Skinner moves into the sole possession of fourth place in school history of event wins with 91.

The Red Rocks will be back home this coming Friday, Feb. 1, to open up home Pac-12 competition against Arizona.

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