No. 6 Red Rocks Rebound Versus Arizona


The Utah Red Rocks gymnast and University of Utah sophomore Maile O’ Keefe celebrates her performance on the bar against the Arizona Wildcats in an NCAA dual meet at Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on 23 Jan 2021. (Photo by Abu Asib | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora, Sports Editor


It was a much needed bounce-back win for the No. 6 University of Utah Red Rocks Gymnastics team as they defeated the Arizona Wildcats 197.075-195.650. The Red Rocks now move to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in conference competition. The Wildcats will fall to 0-1 on the season. 

The Red Rocks crossed the 197 point mark for the first time this season, something that head coach Tom Farden sees as important but not something to dwell upon. 

“The 197 mark is something that, for us as coaches, we know that’s where the bar has been set for the other elite teams and we want to stay in that mix,” Farden said. “It was great for our athletes to do that so it is important, we don’t want to dwell on the score, we want to dwell on the process and see where it takes us.” 

The growth was evident as the Red Rocks posted a season-high score of 49.275 on the vault on the back of a pair of 9.90’s from Alexia Burch and Cammy Hall. They tied their season-high score of 49.275 on the bars as well. 

Their score of 49.325 on the floor was enough to best the score that they posted last week in the loss at Oklahoma, but it is just shy of their season-high, which they posted during week one.

Beam also showed a resurgence this week after falling flat in Norman, the score of 49.200 was a vast improvement from the 48.975. 

Freshman Jaylene Gilstrap made her way into the beam lineup this week, replacing Emilie LeBlanc who has struggled up to this point in the season. Gilstrap scored a 9.700 in her first time out, and she has set herself up for success on the event. 

“Jaylene has been pushing in practice,” Farden said. “Carly [Dockendorf] coaches beam and she’s an incredible coach, felt it was a natural time to make a change and see what happens out there. For her first routine out there I thought she handled things well.”

The Red Rocks didn’t have an all-arounder this week, but Maile O’Keefe continued to show why she is one of the best gymnasts in the country. She won two of the three events she competed in with scores of 9.900 on both the bars and the beam. She shares the beam title with Jessica Castles of Arizona.

“It’s good to know that I can hit under pressure and do the things I do in training,” O’Keefe said. “You can’t do all four every single weekend.”

Hall and Burch took home the vault title with twin scores of 9.900 and Sydney Soloski took home the floor title with her 9.925.

“I’m really proud of the team,” Burch said. “Our loss definitely made us hungry to come out and have a good meet. So I’m really proud of everyone tonight and how they performed and how we handled having not that many fans and everything.” 

The homestretch will continue for the Red Rocks next week when the Washington Huskies come to the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The meet is set for Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. and the meet will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU. 


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