University of Utah women's gymnastics senior MaKenna Merrell-Giles performs on the balance beam 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)

 

The No. 4 University of Utah Red Rock Gymnastics (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) team is back home for the first time in over a month this Friday, Feb. 1, to take on No. 23 Arizona (3-3, 1-1 Pac-12) in the Pac-12 home opener for the squad.  

Scouting the Utes

The Red Rocks are coming off a three-week road trip finale where they took down Arizona State, 197.375-195.825. This marks the fourth meet in a row in which the team has scored 197 points. Last week, the team received their highest score yet for the season.

In the rankings this week, the team stayed at number four. The only change in the top five was UCLA falling from number two to three.

Utah, who was ranked No. 1 in the nation on the vault last week, fell to No. 2 this week after not having their best showing on the event last week. The team is still holding strong at No. 3 on the floor event as well.

Individual members of the team are still ranked as well. MyKayla Skinner is ranked No. 3 in the nation in the All-Around category. Skinner is also ranked No. 2 in the nation on the vault.

Also representing the team in the national ranks on the vaults is MaKenna Merrell-Giles who is tied for eighth on the event. Other Utes who are ranked on the event are Macey Roberts (tied for 16th), and Kari Lee (tied for 21st).

On the bars, Skinner is tied for fourth place. Cristal Isa and Missy Reinstadtler are tied for 21st place on the event.

Rounding out the rankings on the individual events Skinner and Merrell-Giles on the floor event, with Skinner being tied for eighth place and Merrell-Giles tied for tenth.

MyKayla Skinner continues to make history for the program. This week she was awarded Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week for the second week in a row. This is her third win this season and the 15th time she has won the title as a Red Rock. Skinner now holds the Pac-12 record for most Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week titles.

Scouting Arizona

Arizona is coming off a win against No. 18 Cal, 195.975-194.450. The team earned their first Pac-12 victory this season. They opened up conference competition against Washington, losing the meet 195.800 to 194.725.

Arizona is one of only two schools in the Pac-12 to have never beaten Utah, with Washington being the other. Utah has beaten the Wildcats in all 62 of their meetings.

There’s no place like home

The Red Rocks are finally back at home competing in the Huntsman Center, after being on the road since the beginning of January. In the season-opening meet, over 13,000 fans came out to support the Red Rocks. That meet has had the highest attendance of any meet this season.

Utah also holds the NCAA record for the most season tickets for a gymnastics team with 9,830 tickets.

Where to watch

The meet is set to begin at 7 p.m. at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on Feb. 1. There will be a live stream available via the Pac-12 Network’s website.

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Sammy Mora
Sammy Mora is currently in her second year of writing for The Daily Utah Chronicle. Before writing here, Sammy was a four year staff member of her high school newspaper The Speaking Eagle where she reached the level of sports editor.

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