Paulson Scores 10 as No. 3 Utah Gymnastics Takes Down No. 3 UCLA on the Road

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University of Utah women's gymnastics freshman Abby Paulson performs on the balance beam in the Deseret dual meet vs. BYU, Utah State, and Southern Utah University at the Maverik Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora, Assistant Sports Editor

 

Ice cold. That’s what the the No. 3 University of Utah Red Rocks gymnastics team were when they marched into Pauley Pavilion and scored a season high 198.075. The Red Rocks put together a solid meet and held back the UCLA comeback. The Bruins also crossed the 198 point mark, but it just wasn’t enough as they scored 198.025. 

The Red Rocks score marks the sixth highest in school history and is the first time the Red Rocks have scored in the 198 point mark since the conference championship last season. 

The Red Rocks scored new season highs on three events. The Red Rocks scored a national high of 49.775 on the beam. The Red Rocks dropped the 9.800 score from Emilie LeBlanc on the event. Three Utah gymnastics were given at least one 10.00 score during the rotation. Freshman Abby Paulson scored the team’s first perfect score of the season on the event. That 10 is also the first on the beam since Ashley Postell did the same thing versus BYU in 2008. Other gymnasts that got half of a perfect score were Alexia Burch and Adrienne Randall. 

Burch, Randall and Paulson all set new career highs on the event. Paulson tied for the event title with UCLA’s Grace Glenn, who scored the first 10 from the leadoff position in NCAA history. 

Utah came out with drive in their first rotation scoring a season-high 49.600 on the bars. Kim Tessen scored a 9.950 on the event and won the event title. Maile O’Keefe and Cristal Isa both scored 9.925s. That ties the career high for Isa and sets a new career high for O’Keefe. LeBlanc tied her career high of 9.900 on the event. 

Tessen won the event title with her score. 

The Red Rocks rebounded from last week’s less-than-stellar floor rotation by posting a season high 49.475 on the event. Isa posted a career high score of 9.925 while Sydney Soloski showed why she is the floor queen for Utah, posting a 9.950 on her routine. One judge gave Soloski a 10 on the routine. Soloski has scored a 9.90 or above on her last four floor routines. 

Kyla Ross, Nia Dennis and Gracie Kramer all tied for a share of the floor title with their scores of 9.975.  

While the vault rotation was the lowest scoring event for the team, there was still progress from week’s past. The team posted their second highest score of the season on the event. Burch and Tessen scored the highest for the Red Rocks with 9.900. The pair finished in second place on the event.

Isa finished in second place in the all around competition with a score of 39.600. Ross took the title with a score of 39.825.

The Red Rocks will be in Seattle next week to take on No. 13 Washington. The meet will be on Sunday, March 1 and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks. 

 

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