No. 4 Utah Rolls Past No. 25 Washington at Home


Xiangyao Tang

Abby Brenner celebrates with Assistant Coach Jimmy Pratt on Jan. 28, 2023. (Photo by Xiangyao “Axe” Tang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sean Overton, Sports Editor


After suffering a tough away loss, the No. 4 Red Rocks are back home against No. 25 Washington. Even with the loss, the Red Rocks were able to move up in the rankings after posting 197.275 on the road against Oklahoma.

The upper stands of the Huntsman were opened, and the fans came out to support their Red Rocks. After the loss against No. 1 Oklahoma, Utah was looking to get a big win to open Pac-12 competition.

The Red Rocks posted a season-best 49.525 on the vault last week, ranking third in the nation. The Red Rocks also became the top beam team in the nation for the second consecutive week. Maile O’Keefe and Kara Eaker average 9.963 and 9.925 on the beam respectively. They hold the top two averages in the nation.

The Red Rocks started the afternoon on vault, while the Huskies started on bars. Jaylene Gilstrap got things started for Utah, posting a big 9.850. Jillian Hoffman was the highlight for Utah on vault, posting a 9.950 and sticking her first 1.5 since her season-ending Achilles injury.

Posting 49.425 as a team, the Red Rocks led Washington (49.000). With the lead, Utah moved on to the bars. Amelie Morgan got it started for Utah, posting a 9.850. Grace McCallum and O’Keefe led the Red Rocks on the uneven bars, both posting 9.950, a season-high for O’Keefe.

Holding a strong lead of 98.875-98.100, the Red Rocks moved on to the beam. Utah has entered their second consecutive week of being the nation’s top beam team. O’Keefe and Eaker lead the Red Rocks, as well as the nation on beam.

With both O’Keefe and Eaker competing on beam, Utah looked to widen the gap. McCallum also put up a big 9.900, hitting 9.900 or above on both bars and beam. Abby Paulson also added a 9.900 of her own. Eaker’s 9.900 made it three straight for this amazing Red Rock beam team.

Cristal Isa followed Eaker, and put up a season-high 9.95, and the Red Rocks seemed to be pulling away from the competition. With O’Keefe on the beam, she put up a 9.975, just missing what would have been her sixth career 10.0.

The Red Rocks put up 49.625 on the beam, widening the gap even further. This was just short of their season-high 49.675 at the Rio Tinto Best of Utah. With only floor to go for the Red Rocks, they held a 148.500-147.300 lead.

McCallum led the Red Rocks on the floor, posting a 9.950 for what would be an impressive floor team for Utah. All of the Red Rocks scored at least 9.800 on the floor, totaling 49.475.

The Red Rocks put on a dominating performance, scoring 197.975 and setting a season-high for the team. Washington wasn’t able to keep up, scoring only 196.350 of their own. Hoffman took home the MVP for Utah.

The Red Rocks will now remain home to face off against No. 6 UCLA on Friday, Feb. 3. It will be broadcast on ESPN2, so make sure to come out or tune in as Utah continues their season this Friday.


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