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No. 4 Red Rocks Take Down Washington Huskies in Seattle

McCallum took home the all-around win with a 39.550. Smith closely followed, scoring 39.450.
Utah+gymnast+Maile+OKeefe+in+her+floor+routine+versus+the+Oregon+State+Beavers+at+the+Jon+M.+Huntsman+Center+in+Salt+Lake+City+on+Feb.+2%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 in her floor routine versus the Oregon State Beavers at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Feb. 2, 2024. (Photo by Xiangyao “Axe” Tang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

 

The No. 4 Utah Red Rocks (7-3, 3-0 Pac-12) travelled to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies this Saturday. The Red Rocks came into this meet with plenty of motivation, winning their last five matchups.

Starting on bars, Makenna Smith got the afternoon started with 9.900, followed by Alani Sabado with 9.825 and Amelie Morgan with 9.925. This wouldn’t be the only 9.925 of the afternoon. After Ella Zirbes came in with 9.850, Maile O’Keefe and Grace McCallum both hit 9.925 to give the Red Rocks 49.525 on bars, a season-high. This also gave the Red Rocks a solid lead over UW after the Huskies put up 48.875 on vault.

Jaylene Gilstrap started on vault with 9.800, followed by Zirbes with 9.875. The team continued to struggle as Ashley Glynn scored 9.750 and Smith scored 9.850. Jaedyn Rucker got 9.875 before McCallum came in as the anchor, scoring just 9.800 for an uncharacteristic 49.200. Despite that, the Red Rocks lead only slightly shrunk. Through two events, the Red Rocks held a 98.725-98.025 lead.

Moving to floor, the Red Rocks would post their highest event score of the meet. Smith started with 9.875 and Zirbes came in big with 9.925. The rest of the rotation kept the energy going: Abby Paulson scored 9.900 and Gilstrap scored 9.925. McCallum delivered a big 9.950 before Rucker came in the anchor and scored 9.825.

Four of six gymnasts hit 9.900 or over on floor, with McCallum leading the way with 9.950. The big performances gave the Red Rocks 49.575 on floor and expanded the lead to 148.300-147.100. With just one event to go, the meet seemed all but over.

Morgan started on beam, with a huge 9.950 to start the rotation. Smith got 9.825, and Elizabeth Gantner scored 9.875 in her sole appearance of the day. McCallum matched the 9.875 before Paulson tied Morgan with a 9.950 of her own. O’Keefe came in at the anchor, delivering a 9.800.

The Red Rocks scored 49.475 on beam, finishing with a strong 197.775-196.425 win. While it isn’t the 198+ that teams strive for, the Red Rocks delivered a strong performance and a dominant win. With some fixes on vault, the team is sure to hit 198 this season.

McCallum took home the all-around win with 39.550. She was closely followed by Smith with 39.450 and Washington’s Skylar Killough-Wilhelm with 39.350.

The Red Rocks now continue on the road, facing No. 8 UCLA next. The meet will take place in Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles on Feb. 19 at 3:30 p.m. MST. The meet will be broadcast on ESPN2, so make sure to watch as your Red Rocks continue their 2024 season.

 

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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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