The No. 7 Utah Red Rocks (1-0) head to Cedar City, Utah to take on the Southern Utah Thunderbirds (1-1). Even though this is an in-state meet, Utah is treating it as a true road meet. Utah has only faced Southern Utah in Cedar City in a 1997 meet the Red Rocks won. Utah holds a 21-0 advantage in overall record against Southern Utah, including a 15-0 record at home, a 1-0 record on the road, and a 5-0 record at neutral sites.
Utah opened their 2016 season with a 196.175-193.850 win over BYU on Jan. 8 in Salt Lake City. Southern Utah finished second with a 194.100 in a three-team meet in Denver, falling to Denver (195.375) and beating West Virginia (193.650).
SUU is coached by Scott Bauman, who is in his 25th season coaching the Thunderbirds. SUU's 194.100 effectively ranks them No. 30 in the national rankings. The 2015 squad failed to qualify for nationals. SUU will likely have one all-around gymnast, Danielle Ramirez, who posted a 39.200 in the tri-meet to open the season.
New co-head coach Tom Farden along with seventh year co-head coach Megan Marsden did well in the first meet the Red Rocks have ever participated in without former head coach Greg Marsden, the all-time winningest NCAA gymnastics head coach. Megan was forced to make the tough line-up decisions that previously always were handled by Greg.
One decision was to insert freshman Sabrina Schwab into floor lineup against against BYU rather than have her compete in exhibition. She made the most of her opportunity, scoring a 9.90 to lead al gymnasts on the event. Schwab also posted a 9.750 on bars to help the Red Rocks lead the nation in bars with a 49.225. Schwab's strong opening performance was good enough for her to win Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.
The Red Rocks won all four events against BYU. Winners were Baely Rowe (1), Sabrina Schwab (1), Kailah Delaney (1), and Maddy Stover (1). Both Breanna Hughes (on vault 9.825 and floor 9.85) and Baely Rowe (bars 9.925), tied or set a new career high. Rowe's 9.925 career-high bar routine has her ranked No. 3 individually in the nation in bars. Schwab's 9.90 floor routine also has her top 10 individually in floor.
Be sure to listen to audio with co-head coach Megan Marsden , where we touch on the first meet, the road meet to SUU, and coaching without Greg; senior Breanna Hughes who is a member of the leadership counsel, a new role for her; and freshman MaKenna Merrell , the only Utah-native on the Red Rocks team this season.