No. 4 Red Rocks Set for Top 10 Showdown with No. 9 Cal


University of Utah junior Adrienne Randall in a NCAA Women’s Gymnastics meet vs. the UCLA Bruins at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Cody | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora, Sports Editor


The homestand is set to continue this Friday for the No. 4 University of Utah Red Rocks gymnastics team, as they are set to host No. 9 Cal in what will be the Red Rocks’ last in-conference home meet of the season.

This week marks the final week of rankings being tabulated by season average score in NCAA Gymnastics. Starting the week of March 1, the rankings will shift over to the National Qualifying Scores of each team. Unlike in years past where a team’s score would be determined from six of their meet scores, it has been lowered to four for this year. Two scores that a team can use for their NQS must be from a road or neutral site meet.

Scouting the No. 4 Red Rocks 

Record: 7-1, 4-0 Pac-12 

Last meet: W vs UCLA, 197.225-197.100

Last week, the Red Rocks came out victorious over rival UCLA in what was yet another memorable meeting between two of the historical programs in the country. The Red Rocks’ streak of scoring 197.400+ in the competition was broken in the victory. Alexia Burch led the team on the vault with yet another score of 9.975 on the event. The typically solid bars lineup struggled last week, as no gymnast on the Red Rocks scored above a 9.875 on the night. 

The beam lineup had some bumps as Abby Paulson fell off the event, scoring a 9.225, forcing the team to count the 9.775 score freshman Lucy Stanhope posted. Maile O’Keefe was the lone Red Rock to score a 9.900 on the event.

Even though there were some scoring discrepancies on the floor, Jaylene Gilstrap posted a career-high 9.875 on only her third time out on the event. Paulson rebounded from her fall with her 9.900 score but the meet was won by Sydney Soloski, who posted what has become her normal score of 9.925 on the event.

In the rankings the Red Rocks are No. 3 on beam, tied for No. 4 on floor, No. 6 on vault, and No. 9 on bars. O’Keefe is ranked No. 3 on the beam and No. 9 in the country in the all-around. Soloski is tied for No. 12 in the country on the floor and Cristal Isa is No. 15 on the bars.

Scouting the No. 9 Golden Bears 

Record: 4-0, 3-0 Pac-12

Last meet: W v Oregon State 197.425-196.200

The Golden Bears are coming off a statement win over the Beavers which saw them post their fourth-highest score in program history. It was also the highest the team had scored up to this point in the season: Cal’s scores have consistently gone up since they started their season versus Air Force.

In last week’s win the Golden Bears also posted their second-highest bars score in school history. The 49.550 came off of five scores of 9.900 or better from their lineup. 

The Golden Bears are led by all-arounders Kyana George, Maya Bordas and Nevaeh DeSouza. George has won the all-around title in last week’s dual meet and posted the fifth-highest score in the country this season. 

Cal is ranked in the top 15 on only three events, No. 8 on bars, No. 10 on beam and No. 12 on vault. George is ranked No. 10 in the country in the all-around and currently holds the highest score in the PAC-12 conference in the all-around with her score of 39.650. Bordas is ranked No. 16 in the country in the same category. 

How to Support the Red Rocks

The Red Rocks and Golden Bears are set to face off on Friday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. MST at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The meet will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks with Brian Webber as the play-by-play commentator. The color analyst is still to be determined. Fans can also listen to the meet on the home of the Utes, ESPN700.

After this week’s meet the Red Rocks will hit the road for the final time this regular season as they travel to Corvallis to take on Oregon State on March 5.


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