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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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No. 5 Red Rocks Dominate Arizona State at Home

The team improved their score in every event for the second straight week, en route to a 197.675-196.700 win over the Sun Devils.
Utah+gymnast+Maile+OKeefe+performs+on+beam+versus+the+Arizona+State+Sun+Devils+at+the+Jon+M.+Huntsman+Center+in+Salt+Lake+City+on+Friday%2C+Jan.+26%2C+2024.+%28Photo+by+Xiangyao+%E2%80%9CAxe%E2%80%9D+Tang+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29
Xiangyao Tang
Utah gymnast Maile O’Keefe performs on beam versus the Arizona State Sun Devils at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 26, 2024. (Photo by Xiangyao “Axe” Tang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

 

After a dominant win in the Rio Tinto Best of Utah, the No. 5 Utah Red Rocks returned to the Jon M. Huntsman Center to face the Arizona State Sun Devils. Arizona State handed the Red Rocks a heartbreaking loss last year, and Utah looked to revenge themselves.

Camie Winger started things off on vault, scoring a 9.875 which was quickly matched by Ella Zirbes. Temple transfer Ashley Glynn followed the two freshmen, posting a 9.925. Makenna Smith, No. 8 nationally on vault, tallied 9.900 before Jaedyn Rucker scored a 9.250. Amelie Morgan came in at the anchor position, scoring a 9.750 that eliminated Rucker’s score and gave the Red Rocks 49.325 on vault.

With a lead of .150, the Red Rocks moved to the bars, starting strong with a 9.875 from Smith. Winger scored a 9.800 in her collegiate debut on bars, followed by Morgan and Zirbes with 9.875 each. Grace McCallum came in with a 9.925 before Maile O’Keefe finished with 9.850 to give the Red Rocks 49.400 on bars.

Utah was up 98.725-98.350 halfway through the meet, highlighted by McCallum’s 9.925. Underclassmen played a big role through the first half, helping the Red Rocks gain a solid lead.

Moving on to beam, Utah looked to expand the lead in their best event. Morgan started with 9.900, followed by Jaylene Gilstrap and Smith with 9.825 each. McCallum scored 9.775, followed by Abby Paulson with a huge 9.975. O’Keefe came in at the anchor with 9.925, giving the Red Rocks 49.450 on beam and 148.175 through three events.

With just floor left, Smith started the Red Rocks with a 9.875, pushing her to 39.475 in all-around competition. Gilstrap followed with 9.875 of her own before Paulson scored 9.925. Rucker came in with a 9.025, before McCallum tied Paulson’s team-high with 9.925. O’Keefe scored 9.900 as the anchor, giving the red Rocks 49.500 on floor.

The team improved their score in every event for the second straight week, en route to the 197.675-196.700 win over the Sun Devils.

After the win, Utah continues to look strong. Besides a fourth-place finish at the Sprouts Farmers Market Collegiate Quad, the Red Rocks have won every other meet this season. With most of the difficult competition out of the way, the Red Rocks need to keep progressing if they hope to compete in the NCAA Championship Finals.

The Red Rocks will stay at home, facing Oregon State in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The meet will be held on Friday, Feb. 2 at 6:00 p.m. MST. Broadcast will be available on Pac-12 Networks.

 

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@seanoverton3

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About the Contributors
Sean Overton, Sports Editor
Sean Overton is the Editor of the Sports Desk. He is currently a senior and is majoring in Business Administration with plans to attend law school.
XIangyao Tang, Photo Director
Axe is a photographer and the photo director of the Daily Utah Chronicle. He is from China and is a senior majoring in computer science and minoring in digital photography. Axe joined the Chronicle in August of 2021. In addition to his position at the Chrony, he is also a photo intern for University of Utah Athletics. When he's not writing code, you will find him rock climbing, camping, skiing or hiking with his camera.

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