No. 3 Red Rocks Stay Perfect in Conference, Take Down ASU


University of Utah freshman Lucy Stanhope in a NCAA Women’s Gymnastics meet vs. the Washington Huskies at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Jan. 30, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Cody | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora, Sports Editor


Even after trailing after the first two rotations, the No. 3 University of Utah Red Rocks gymnastics team came out on top on the road defeating No. 16 Arizona State 197.450-197.150. Maile O’Keefe continued to impress, winning her second all-around title in a row. 

This week’s score is the second-highest on the season for the team and will help boost the team with their National Qualifying Score.

Things started off shaky for the Red Rocks as Alani Sabado had a very uncharacteristic fall off the low bar during her routine from the second spot in the rotation. Cristal Isa was the lone Red Rock to score in the 9.90 range during that rotation. Meanwhile, ASU posted a very solid rotation on the vault. 

While the Red Rocks have seemed to struggle on the vault this season, they impressed on the event this week. They posted a season-high score of 49.475 on the event, and O’Keefe and Alexia Burch posted new career-highs on the event. Burch’s score of 9.975 was enough to win the event title. 

The vault wasn’t the only event where personal and team records were broken on Saturday afternoon. Utah’s floor team posted a season-high 49.425 on the event and Jaedyn Rucker as well as O’Keefe posted new career highs. O’Keefe’s score of 9.925 was enough to tie for the event title with ASU’s Hannah Scharf.

“Maile’s vault was incredible. Lexi knew as soon as she hit that table, that she let that one loose and knew it was really good. I thought it was going to be a 10, that’s how impressed we were with that,” head coach Tom Farden said, post-meet. “And then over on the floor exercise, Jaedyn was in her element, a really nice vault today. And then by far our best floor. And then Maile again was stunning on floor exercise, and I think her performance quality continues to get more confident as the season has gone on.” 

Beam was shaky with no gymnasts crossing the 9.900 mark until Abby Paulson scored a 9.950 from the anchor spot to lock down the victory. She earned the event title with that score. 

Freshman Lucy Stanhope made her debut on the beam this week, replacing Emilie LeBlanc, who has been struggling this season in the event. 

“I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention her with her debut today. did a really nice job. And you know, we can see a lot of potential, we can all see a lot of potential with her,” Farden said. 

But this week’s score was vastly important for this week’s team since their road meet that was scheduled for Monday, Feb. 15 versus Stanford was canceled earlier this week. 

“We knew that we had a mid-196 on our tab still. And, you know, it’s in the back of your mind, but we didn’t focus on it as a program. We really just focused on, you know, going out there and trying to hit as many clean sets as we can,” Farden said. 

The Red Rocks will now have the next week off due to the cancellation of their next scheduled meet. The team will turn their focus to the big one as they are set to host rival UCLA who is currently ranked No. 9 in the country. The meet is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 19 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. 


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