The Utah Red Rocks (9-1, 5-1 Pac-12) completed their regular season last Saturday, defeating Georgia with a season-high 197.675-197.125. It marked the seventh straight meet for the Red Rocks where they topped 197.000. For their performances against Georgia, Breanna Hughes won Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week and Sabrina Schwab won Pac-12 Freshman of the Week. Utah secured the No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 Gymnastics Championships. As the No. 1 seed, The Red Rocks will compete in the evening session against seeds 2-4 (UCLA, California and Oregon State) starting at 6 p.m. PDT (7 p.m. MDT) in Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, Wash. Seeds 5-8 (Washington, Stanford, Arizona and Arizona State) will compete in the early session at 1 p.m. PDT/1 p.m. MDT. Both sessions will be televised live nationally on the Pac-12 Networks.
Utah, the two-time defending Pac-12 Champions, will compete against the other seven teams in the Pac-12 to try to retain their title for the third straight year. Seven of the eight Pac-12 teams are ranked in the top 25 using their regional qualifying score: No. 5 Utah (197.205 RQS), No. 9 UCLA (196.940), No. 11 California (196.555), No. 14 Oregon State (196.450), No. 17 Washington (196.360), No. 19 Stanford (196.305) and No. 21 Arizona (196.155), with only Arizona State falling outside the top 25.
Utah has a winning record against every other Pac-12 team, with an all-time record of 336-57-4 (85%) against the other seven Pac-12 teams. Utah holds series leads against: Arizona (58-0-0), Arizona State (70-16-1), California (16-0), Oregon State (65-9-0), Stanford (27-6), UCLA (50-26-1), and Washington (50-0-2).
Utah will be without gymnast Maddie Stover for the Pac-12 Championship. She suffered a shoulder injury against Georgia. Coaches were optimistic she could still compete on beam (she is No. 9 in the nation in the event), but a new medical evaluation determined she was not healthy enough to compete. She will not be available to compete in the floor exercise for the remainder of the post season. The good news for Utah on the injury front though is that sophomore Samantha Partyka will be able to return to floor, an event she scored a 9.975 on this season.
Utah will get another shot at UCLA, the only team to defeat the Red Rocks this season (Utah fell to UCLA on the final routine of the meet at Pauley Pavilion 197.100-197.075 on Feb. 6). While revenge is certainly on Utah's mind, there are six other talented gymnastics squads they have to also compete against. The post season presents a different atmosphere for gymnastics teams. The order of events is different (and there are breaks in regionals and nationals). Utah will compete first on beam, then floor, vault, and finish on bars.
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