University of Utah sophomore Sydney Soloski performed her floor routine in an NCAA Women's Gymnastics meet vs. UCLA at Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday February 23, 2019. (Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

 

The road to the NCAA Gymnastics Championship begins in West Valley City for the No. 6 University of Utah Red Rocks Gymnastics team. The team is set to compete in the 6 p.m. session of the meet on Saturday, March 23. The Red Rocks will go up against UCLA, Oregon State and California. The early session is set to begin at 1 p.m. and will have Washington, Stanford, Arizona and Arizona State competing.  

 

Scouting the Utes

The Red Rocks are coming off a close loss to Georgia in their regular season finale 197.450-197.525. Although the team lost, they scored a season-high on the beam as well as posting their highest road score of the season.

Heading into the championship, the Red Rocks are the No. 2 seed for the conference. This is the fourth time the team is seeded in this position.

In the national rankings, the team is holding onto the sixth spot. The team is ranked in the top 10 for all events, they are No. 2 in the nation on vault, No. 6 on the bars, No. 10 on the beam and No. 5 on the floor.

Several Red Rocks are also ranked at the individual level. MyKayla Skinner is the lone Ute ranked on both bars and the vault. She is ranked No. 2 in the nation on the vault, and she is tied for sixth on bars.

Utah’s beam line up has seemed to solidify itself, and three Red Rocks are ranked in the top 25 in the event headed to the beginning of the postseason. Kari Lee is tied for 16th, Skinner is tied for 21st and MaKenna Merrell-Giles is tied for 23rd.

On the floor, Skinner and Merrell-Giles represent the team. Skinner is tied for sixth place and Merrell-Giles tied for 25th.

All three of the Utah All Around competitors are ranked, with Skinner being the highest at third in the nation. Just barely missing the top ten is Merrell-Giles who is in 11th. Lee is also just shy of being in the top 20, she is tied for 21st in the nation.

Utah is 2-1 against the teams they will take on in their session of the championship. Their lone loss came at the hands of UCLA a month ago.

It was announced on Tuesday that the Red Rocks will start the competition on the bars.

Skinner was also announced as the Pac-12 Gymnast of the week on Tuesday. This is her fourth recognition this season and the 16th of her career. She holds the record for the most times the accolade has been given in a career.

 

Scouting the Bruins

UCLA holds the No. 1 seed in the competition for the second year in a row. Nationally, the team is ranked No. 2 in the nation.

The Bruins are coming off a senior day show at Pauley Pavillion, where they took down Utah State 197.575-194.850. Junior Kyla Ross scored a perfect 10 on the floor, giving her 10s on all four events in the meet. 

The last time the Red Rocks saw the Bruins was a month ago in Salt Lake. The Red Rocks put up a valiant effort but lost the meet, 198.025-197.625.

 

Scouting the Beavers

The Beavers are the No. 3 seed heading into the championship. Oregon State is coming off a win in a quad meet against North Carolina, Seattle Pacific and Iowa. The Beavers scored 196.550 in their victory.

The Red Rocks and the Beavers met the first week of conference play in Corvallis, and the Red Rocks took down Oregon State, 197.150-195.450.

 

Scouting the Golden Bears

Cal comes in at the No. 4 seed for this year’s championship. The Bears are also heading to the championship with a win under their belt as they took fourth place in a quad meet against San Jose State, Sacramento State and Illinois, where they scored 197.575.

When the Red Rocks and the Bears last faced off, Utah came out on top 197.150-196.225.

 

How to watch

The meet will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks with the first session set to begin at 1 p.m. The second session will begin at 6 p.m. Utah commentary will be available on utahutes.com.

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@s_mora99

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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