No. 4 Red Rocks Take Down No. 5 UCLA Behind Huge Beam Routine


Xiangyao Tang

Red Rocks’ Maile O’Keefe celebrating after a perfect 10.0 on beam at Jon M. Huntsman Center on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023. (Photo by Xiangyao Tang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sean Overton, Sports Editor


After a big 197.975-196.350 victory against No. 25 Washington, the No. 4 Red Rocks (6-1, 2-0 Pac-12) remain home to compete in a highly anticipated top-5 matchup against No. 5 UCLA. Utah and UCLA are two of three Pac-12 teams ranking in the top-10 nationally, with Cal falling in at No. 7.

The Red Rocks started off on the vault, while UCLA got started on the bars. From the beginning it was obvious that this meet would be very competitive. Utah and UCLA combined for six total Olympians in the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Jaylene Gilstrap got it started for Utah, putting up a 9.800 on the vault. All of the Red Rocks would go on to score at least 9.800, and Grace McCallum scored Utah’s first 9.900 of the night. Jillian Hoffman came in at the anchor position with a nearly perfect 9.975, giving Utah a 49.375 on the vault.

Unfortunately, Utah closely trailed the Bruins after the first event, 49.375-49.400. But moving on to the bars, Amelie Morgan started the Red Rocks off with a big 9.875.

Maile O’Keefe posted a season-high 9.950 on the bars. Cristal Isa followed O’Keefe with a 9.950 of her own. McCallum came in as the anchor for the Red Rocks, contributing a 9.950 of her own to finish Utah’s bar routine with three straight scores of 9.950.

With their strong finish on the bars, the Red Rocks quickly claimed the lead. UCLA put up 49.150 on the vault, unable to keep up with Utah’s season-high 49.575 on the bars.

With Utah leading 98.950-98.550, both the Red Rocks and the Bruins moved on to their best events, with Utah ranking No. 1 on beam and UCLA ranking No. 2 on floor.

Morgan got it started for the Red Rocks, as she has the entire season, and posted a 9.875 for this top-ranked Utah beam team. McCallum followed with a near-perfect 9.975, tying her career-high.

Kara Eaker once again proved why she is one of the best in the nation on the beam, putting up a 9.975 for the Red Rocks. Cristal Isa followed with a 9.950 of her own, and O’Keefe followed at the anchor.

O’ Keefe scored her fifth career 10.0 and showed why this Red Rocks beam team truly is the best in the nation. The Red Rocks put up the nation’s highest beam score of the season, tying the school record with an incredible 49.775 and giving Utah the 148.725-147.875 lead.

With only floor to go, the Red Rocks looked to finish strong in this highly anticipated matchup. McCallum and O’Keefe were the highlights of floor, both scoring 9.925 and finishing the Red Rocks with 49.475 on the floor and the 198.200-197.450 victory.

McCallum finished the night with 39.750 all around, finishing just behind former Olympic teammate Jordan Chiles.

The Red Rocks also became just the third team in the nation to surpass 198.000, joining Michigan and Oklahoma.

The Red Rocks will now head to the Metroplex Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas where they will look to extend their winning streak before resuming Pac-12 competition. The Red Rocks will compete against Illinois State and No. 17 Georgia. The meet will take place on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 1:15 p.m. MST.


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