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Red Rocks Host Oregon State Tomorrow

Deena Lofgren

In the first ever home matinee, the No. 6 Utah Red Rocks (2-0, 0-0 Pac-12) will host the No. 11 Oregon State Beavers (4-1, 0-0 Pac-12) for the annual blackout meet at 3 p.m. MT at the Huntsman Center. The meet will also be broadcast live on Pac-12 Networks. Utah holds a 64-9 all-time advantage against the Beavers. It is Utah's fifth-longest series with 75 meetings. Utah has won four straight matchups. The Red Rocks are a perfect 32-0 against OSU in Salt Lake City.

Oregon State is coached by 19th year head coach Tanya Chaplin. After falling at home in their season opener to Auburn, OSU traveled to Lindenwood in St. Charles, Mo. and won a rare five-team meet against Lindenwood, Bridgeport, Illinois State and Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The Beavers return 15 out of 24 of their routines from last year's team that finished 12th at the NCAA Championships. The Beavers are led by first-team All-America all-arounder Madeline Gardiner, who won the bronze on beam at the last two NCAA Championships. She currently is ranked No. 12 in the latest all-around rankings, with a 39.300 season best. Dani Dessaints is ranked No. 2 in the nation on vault (9.90 average) as well.

Co-head coach Megan Marsden is not concerned about the change in start time for the meet. Utah has competed in matinee meets before for nationals. The gymnasts also practice from 1-5 p.m., so the meet falls during their normal practice time. Kari Lee is excited for the early meet. The bigger concern for Marsden is if it will affect the fan turnout and atmosphere in the arena.

The Red Rocks rank No. 1 in the nation on bars for the second consecutive week and feature three gymnasts in the individual top 10 on bars (Kassandra Lopez and Baely Rowe are tied for third with a 9.90 average, and Breanna Hughes ranks No. 9 with a 9.888 average). Hughes got her first and second career event wins at SUU last week (on bars and vault) en route to winning Pac-12 Specialist of the Week. Eight different Red Rocks have an individual event win on the season, which illustrates how deep this team is.

Remember to show up early in black for the matinee meet. Fans are encouraged to arrive at their seats by 2:45 p.m. MT so as to not miss the introductions.

Be sure to listen to interviews with co-head coach Megan Marsden and Kari Lee .