No. 4 Utah Gymnastics Earns First Road Win Versus No. 21 Wildcats


The Red Rocks congratulate University of Utah women’s gymnastics junior Alexia Burch after her performance on the vault in a dual meet vs. Arizona State at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora, Sports Editor


On the back of their best beam performance of the season, the No. 4 University of Utah Red Rocks gymnastics team moved to 2-0 in conference play as they cruised passed Arizona 197.300-195.975. The Red Rocks move to 6-0 overall on the season while the Wildcats go to 5-3 overall and 0-2 in Pac-12 competition. 

The Red Rocks started the meet out on a strong note on the bars, finishing with a 49.300 on the event. Multiple Red Rocks posted 9.800s on the event, while Missy Reinstadtler posted a 9.875 on her first event of the night. Kim Tessen and Cristal Isa both scored in the 9.900 range. Isa took second on the event with her 9.925 while Tessen took third with her 9.90. Christina Berg of Arizona won the event with a 9.950. 

The Red Rocks moved to the vault for their second rotation, and while no gymnast crossed the 9.90 mark on the event, one Red Rock set a new career high. From the leadoff position, Sydney Soloski posted a career high 9.875, which also won the event for her. Both Tessen and Cammy Hall posted 9.850s, while Reinstadtler posted a 9.825. Maile O’Keefe put up a 9.800 for the team. 

Soloski’s great day continued when the team moved to the floor for their third rotation. She posted a career high 9.950 from her position as the anchor on the event. Tessen had her third score of 9.90 or better on the event during her routine. Her score of 9.925 also set a new career high on the event. 

This week’s floor lineup was different from the past weeks, as Adrienne Randall was not in the lineup. Replacing her was Reinstadtler who, up until her last pass, had set up a good scoring routine for the team. Reinstadtler’s score of 9.425 on the event was dropped. 

The Utah beam lineup also saw a shake up this week. Last week’s lineup was not the one that fans saw on Saturday afternoon. The first two spots were still filled by Emilie LeBlanc and Alexia Burch, but spots three through six were completely different. O’Keefe competed from the third spot while Randall moved to four. Isa held the fifth spot and Abby Paulson found her place in the anchor spot of the event. 

The team posted a season-high 49.300 on the beam, which is their highest score on the event this season. Paulson posted a career high 9.925 on the beam which earned her the event title. O’Keefe took second place in the event with her score of 9.900. 

O’Keefe was the only person to compete in the all-around in Tucson, but she still posted a career high score of 39.325. 

The Red Rocks easily cruised to victory and finished with a season-high score of 197.300. This score is key this early in the season and sets the team up for more higher scoring meets as the season continues. 

Head coach Tom Farden told Utah Athletics that the team is starting to get to the level of gymnastics they show in practice during meets, but there are still crucial points being left on the mats. 

“Today was our first road test and I thought we narrowed the gap between what we see in practice and what we see in actual competition,” Farden said to Utah Athletics. “We started nicely on bars, vault was good, and floor and beam were really strong to finish the meet. We still need to get better at landings and will work hard to improve this area. There are too many tenths being left on the floor from not sticking enough landings.”

Next up, the team will face their biggest test up to this point in the season next week when they head to Berkeley to take on No. 10 Cal. 


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