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Red Rocks draw record crowd for preview

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Rocks kicked off their season on Friday night at the Huntsman Center, where they drew a record crowd of 5,200 spectators for the event. The crowd was able to get their first glimpse of the 2016 edition of the Red Rocks and seemed to like what they saw. It was also the debut of Megan Marsden and Tom Farden as co-head coaches.

"There were a lot of highlights tonight" remarked Farden.

The Red Rocks were broken up into two teams, the red team and the rocks team. Despite the meet not being officially judged, the Utah gymnasts turned in some impressive performances. Senior Breanna Hughes had one of the highlights Farden mentioned, on her vault routine for the Rocks team, which had a 10.0 start value.

Other impressive performances included senior Kassandra Lopez and Baley Rowe on uneven bars and Kailah Delaney and Tiffani Lewis on their floor routines. Freshman Sabrina Schwab made a much anticipated debut and showed very well in her first collegiate action.

"I had the time of my life" Schwab said of her debut for the University of Utah. "Being on the University of Utah gymnastics team is a dream come true" she added.

Many of the members of the Red Rocks were outstanding in all four of their routines including Lopez, Hughes, sophomores Maddy Stover and Samantha Partyka. For all the highlights, the preview  also provided the Red Rocks some areas to improve, namely on the balance beam.

"One event where we need to improve tremendously is the balance beam, and I am confident that we will in the next month" Megan Marsden noted.

Five gymnasts fell off the beam during their routines, two members of the red team and three of the rocks team. The starters were not exempt, as Delaney and Kari Lee fell as well as freshman Makenna Merrell.

The Red Rocks will have plenty of time to work on their beam routines, as the regular season will not begin for nearly a month. BYU will come to the Huntsman Center on January 8th to begin the season. The meet will will be televised on Pac-12 networks.