No. 4 Red Rocks Roll to Victory at Best of Utah


The University of Utah Red Rocks prepare before their performances on the floor in the Deseret dual meet vs. BYU, Utah State, and Southern Utah University at the Maverik Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora, Sports Editor


It was domination from start to finish for the No. 4 University of Utah Gymnastics team as they handled business in the Best of Utah meet, taking down three other teams from the state in dramatic fashion.

In the inaugural showing of this event, the Red Rocks took on foe BYU, as well as Utah State and SUU. While all three opponents gave it their all, they were no match for the talented Utah team. Utah posted a score of 197.000 which earned them the victory. BYU finished in second place with a 195.575, SUU took third with a 194.650 and Utah State rounded out the group with a 194.150

With the victory tonight, the Red Rocks move to 215-5 versus in-state opponents. 

Senior Kim Tessen built off her strong season opening and posted some more great scores. Tessen won two events on the night, floor with a 9.900 and bars with a 9.950. Her bar score ties her career best at the event. 

“Kim is in a good spot,” said head coach Tom Farden. “I do think she is enjoying her senior year. She had a full preseason, and she is in great shape and staying in the moment.” 

Freshman Abby Paulson also showed off her skill set for the second week in a row as she won the beam with a score of 9.90Seeing beam scores consistently in the 9.8+ range might not be what Utah fans are used to, but this Utah team is built differently. Beam is shaping up to be one of the Red Rocks best events this season. 

That event is the make it or break it event, and in the past we’ve had a history of cracking under pressure on beam, but we have been working really hard and it is showing up in competition,” Tessen said. 

“Beam was great tonight. Really good effort by the beamers. We have some goals as a team and I believe we hit our stick ratio tonight. We are moving them along in a progression,” Farden said.

The Red Rocks built on their event scores all meet. At the end of the first rotation, the Utes led with a 49.175. Their bar total was a 49.225, beam with a 49.275 and closed the night with a 49.325. 

“I thought we came out of the gates and did a really good job,” Farden said. “We picked up some tenths with athletes who were in a little bit more of a scoring rhythm tonight. We build off routines better tonight.”

Scoring a 197 this early in the season is rather important for this young Utah team who looks to build as the season continues.

“It’s a big step to get a 197,” said Tessen. “We were able to score 49 or higher on all the events, and our confidence is getting better as well. We feel good but we still have a lot to improve.

While Utah walked away with the most hardware, BYU didn’t go home empty handed. Sadie Miner won the vault title and Abbey Miner won the All-Around title for the meet. 

The Red Rocks will take next week off before opening up Pac-12 competition when they host Arizona State on Jan. 24.


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