No. 4 Red Rocks Set to Open Season at Best of Utah

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University of Utah women’s gymnastics freshman Maile O’Keefe performs on the uneven bars 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

 

The 2021 University of Utah Red Rocks Gymnastics season is finally here as the No. 4 Red Rocks are set to open their season on Saturday Jan. 9 at the Best of Utah Meet. The Red Rocks will face off against BYU, Utah State and Southern Utah in the second annual quad meet held at the Maverik Center. Around 1,700 fans will be allowed to attend the meet. The meet will be held on the podium just like last year’s event. 

 

Scouting the No. 4 Red Rocks 

Record: 0-0, 0-0 Pac-12 

Last meet: W vs Stanford, 197.750-196.725 on March 6, 2020

Rotation order: Bars, beam, floor, vault 

Before the season came to an abrupt end last year the Red Rocks were named the 2020 Pac-12 regular-season champion. The team finished the season undefeated and is returning 17 out of 24 routines from last year. All four members of Utah’s record-breaking beam lineup are back this season as well. 

Sydney Soloski finished the season ranked No. 11 on the floor. Cristal Isa was ranked No. 9 on the beam and No. 16 on the bars at the end of the 2020 season. Rounding out the ranked Red Rocks is Maile O’Keefe and Abby Paulson who were ranked No. 13 and No. 9 on the beam respectively. 

Utah holds the edge over all three teams they will be facing off against. The Red Rocks are 100-2 over the Cougars, 25-0 over the Thunderbirds and 90-3 versus the Aggies. 

 

Scouting the No. 17 Cougars

Record: 0-0, 0-0 MRGC 

Last meet: L vs Utah State, 196.600-196.450 on March 6, 2020

Rotation order: beam, floor, vault, bars

BYU is led by Abbey Miner Alder, who earned first-team All-Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference honors in the all-around and on floor last season. They finished last season ranking No. 16 which was the highest finish for the program in 15 years. BYU was named the 2020 Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference champions last season. 

 

Scouting the No. 23 Thunderbirds

Record: 0-0, 0-0 MRGC

Last meet: L vs Boise State, 195.300-196.925 on March 5, 2020

Rotation order: vault, bars, beam, floor

Led by all-arounder Karley McClain who earned conference first-team all-around honors last year. The Thunderbirds finished the season with a 6-7 overall record and were 3-4 in the conference. 

 

Scouting the Aggies 

Record: 0-0, 0-0 MRGC

Last meet: W vs BYU, 196.600-196.450 on Mar. 6, 2020

Rotation order: floor, vault, bars, beam

The Aggies finished with a winning record for the first time since the 1999 season when they finished with a 7-6-1 record. Head coach Amy Smith was named the MRGC Coach of the year and Sofi Sullivan was named the Freshman of the Year. Standout Autumn DeHarde was named the conference’s Gymnast of the year. 

 

How to Support the Red Rocks

For fans who won’t be able to attend the meet in person, this year’s contest will be broadcast on BYUtv starting at 7 p.m. MST. It will also be broadcast on the Home of the Utes ESPN700. Fans can still try and get tickets to the event through the Maverik Centers Website

 

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@s_mora99