No. 3 Utah Gymnastics Falls on Floor, Still Comes Out Victorious

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University of Utah women's gymnastics senior Missy Reinstadtler performs on the Uneven Bars in a dual meet vs. Oregon State University at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (Photo by Abu Asib | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora, Sports Editor

 

While the score sheet says it was a win for the No. 3 University of Utah Red Rocks gymnastics team, the team doesn’t feel particularly victorious. Utah took down No. 21 Oregon State 197.100-196.275 at home with yet another sold-out crowd, but the team wasn’t satisfied with what they did at home. 

Heading into the final rotation, the Red Rocks had posted yet another fantastic beam set, scoring 49.600. They had a dominating lead over OSU, but the lead, as well as Utah’s momentum, would quickly fall apart as the Red Rocks posted their worst floor scores of the season. 

Things started out rough as sophomore Cristal Isa fell on one of her passes and scored a 9.150. The Red Rocks started to bounce back with freshman Abby Paulson posting a 9.850 but on the next routine, Missy Reinstadtler would also fall on a pass, forcing the Red Rocks to count her 9.275 towards their final score. After Reinstadtler, Adrienne Randall and Jillian Hoffman posted scores of 9.825 and 9.850, respectively. From the anchor spot, Sydney Soloski tied for the event title with her score of 9.90. She shares the event win with OSU gymnasts Isis Lowery and Kaitlyn Yanish.  

The team scored a 48.700 on the floor, which was the lowest they have scored all season on the event. 

Despite the team’s unusual performance on the floor, the Red Rocks put up their best vault rotation of the season, something they desperately needed after a less-than-stellar performance on the event last week. Soloski and Reinstadtler posted scores of 9.825 from the leadoff and third spot. Isa and Alexia Burch scored back to back 9.875s for the team. But the highlights of the rotation came from Cammy Hall and Kim Tessen. Hall posted a career-high score of 9.925 while Tessen posted her first 9.950 of the season. 

The 49.450 was an encouraging turnaround for the team. Tessen ended up winning the event title on the vault.

Reinstadtler had the highlight from the bars, as she posted a season high score of 9.925 from the fifth spot in the lineup. She would go on to win the event title from the bars. 

The Red Rocks showed once again this week that beam is the team’s strongest event. After two scores of 9.875 from both Emilie LeBlanc and Burch, Maile O’Keefe had a near perfect beam routine. One judge gave O’Keefe a perfect 10, while the other gave her a 9.95, which led to her career high score of 9.975 on the event. Isa followed O’Keefe and posted a 9.950. Randall posted a 9.925 on the event to finish off the trifecta of 9.9+ scores the Red Rocks would post on the event. The dropped score on the event was Paulson’s 9.775. 

O’Keefe won the event title while Isa took second. Randall finished in third on the event. 

But event titles don’t mean a lot when the team feels as if the meet was a loss despite the score. 

“This is a loss in terms of us going up against the best teams.” Soloski said. “If we were against any team we were going to run with, it would’ve been a loss. I think that’s how I’m looking at it, and I think that’s how the majority of the team looks at it.”

According to Tessen, the team isn’t going to keep thinking about this meet, but will use it to motivate them to work harder in the gym this week, especially on floor. 

“It’s a loss when we are trying to compete against the best in the nation,” said head coach Tom Farden. “We are positioning ourselves in terms of optics and trying to remain as an elite team. We missed out on a huge opportunity today.” 

The team will have a chance to redeem themselves next week and prove that they are the best of the best when they head to Pauley Pavilion to take on foe No. 4 UCLA. The meet is set for Sunday, Feb. 23 and will be broadcast on ESPN2. 

 

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