Red Rocks Put on a Show, Prepare for No. 6 LSU


Jack Gambassi

University of Utah gymnast Amelie Morgan performs her routine on beam during the Red Rocks Preview on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on campus in Salt Lake City. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sean Overton, Sports Editor


The University of Utah Red Rocks started their season off this evening with the Red Rocks Preview. The team heads into the season at No. 3 on the WCGA preseason poll, far above their opponents this season. Their first meet will be in the Huntsman Center against No. 6 LSU, their only ranked opponent of the season.

After the introductions, it was time for the Red Rocks to get down to business. Each Red Rock designed their own leotard, which will all be available for purchase soon.

While the meet was unscored, the team came out looking very strong. Lucy Stanhope got Utah started off on the vault, and the team kept the strength. Freshman Makenna Smith was the highlight of the vault, bringing the crowd to their feet.

The Red Rocks were Pac-12 champions last season, but placed third and fell just short of a national championship. Although they lost Sydney Soloski, the Red Rocks gained a few new stars.

Though she didn’t compete tonight, Sarah Krump is one of those rising stars. Krump is a two-time Junior Olympic National Championship qualifier. The Red Rocks have a lot of young talent, and are looking forward to redemption after falling just short last year.

Grace McCallum looked like her usual self tonight, putting together a beautiful performance on the bars. The former Pac-12 bars champion was followed up by Alani Sabado, also putting a fantastic routine together.

Moving on to the beam, Amelie Morgan started the team off set standards high. Morgan put together a magnificent routine that ended in a beautiful dismount. Jaylene Gilstrap followed Morgan up with a near perfect performance of her own.

The rest of the lineup finished beam strong, with only a small mistake from Stanhope that caused her to reset her routine.

After wrapping up beam, the team moved on to floor. Abby Paulson got it started for the Red Rocks. Smith and McCallum had amazing routines, getting a huge response from the crowd in the Huntsman.

And just as the Red Rocks Preview started, Stanhope finished it off for the team.

Smith participated in all four events, a very strong start by the freshman. Although the events were unscored, her routines had the potential for very high scores.

The Red Rocks are looking very strong this year, and look prepared to take on No. 6 LSU at the Huntsman Center. The team will have a couple weeks left until LSU comes to Salt Lake City, and will look to start the season strong with a win against another high-ranking team.

Be sure to pack the Huntsman Center on Jan. 6 as the Red Rocks get their season underway at 6:45 p.m. MST.


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