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Utah Wins Quad Meet with Season-High 197.625

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Red Rocks after Quad Meet
Alex Stark

The No. 5 Utah Red Rocks (5-0) won the quad meet they hosted at the Huntsman Center with a season-high score of 197.625 against No. 7 Denver (6-1) who also posted a season-high 196.875, No. 15 Boise State (4-2), who scored a 196.225, and Illinois-Chicago (0-7) who scored a 193.250. Freshman MyKayla Skinner dazzled the Huntsman Center crowd posting one of the best all-around scores in school history and nearly posted a 10.0 in multiple events.

The Red Rocks started the meet out on vault. Senior Baely Rowe led off for the Red Rocks, scoring a 9.850. Freshman Missy Reinstadtler fell on vault, forcing the rest of the Utah gymnasts to hit. Freshman Kim Tessan was not phased, scoring a 9.900. Sophomore Kari Lee was next, scoring a 9.825. Sophomore MaKenna Merrell scored a 9.875. Skinner anchored the event for the Red Rocks. She had a fabulous vault that one of the two judges gave a 10.0 and the other gave her a 9.95, yielding a score of 9.975 for the freshman phenom. Utah posted a season-high 49.425 on vault, and was in first after the first rotation.

Denver started out on bars, scoring a 49.275, with 9.900s from Sam Ogden and Julia Ross. Boise State was in third after one event with a 49.050 on beam, led by Shani Remme’s 9.875. Illinois-Chicago, after scoring a 48.225 on floor, was in last after the first event.

Utah next moved to bars. Tessen got the Red Rocks off to a great start on the event with a 9.850. Merrell was up next, scoring 9.825. Skinner was up next and had a great bar routine, earning her a 9.900. Lee scored a 9.850 for the Red Rocks. Tiffani Lewis received a score of a 9.700, to which the crowd at the Huntsman Center booed (one judge only gave her a 9.600) because it looks like a much better routine than that score would indicate. Rowe did not let Lewis’s harsh judging phase her. Rowe hit an incredible bar routine, earning her a 9.950. The Red Rocks would post a 49.375 on bars, to give them a 98.800 halfway through the meet, to lead the other three teams.

Denver was in second after two rotations. They scored a 49.125 on beam to give them a 98.400 through two. Boise State, with a 48.900 on floor for a two event score of 97.950, was in third. In fourth, Illinois-Chicago, who had two falls on beam, scored a 47.900 to give them a 96.125 after two events.

Beam did not get off to a good start for Utah with Merrell falling. Her fall put pressure on the rest of the Utah beam lineup. The Red Rocks were cool under fire. Reinstadtler looked confident on the beam scoring a 9.850. Skinner continued her stellar night with a career-high 9.925 on beam. Junior Maddy Stover wgood as usual on beam with a 9.825. Lee showed off her beam skills to earn a 9.900. Rowe capped the event with an excellent routine to score a 9.925. Utah would post a season-high 49.425 on beam. Through three events, the Red Rocks were leading with a score of 148.225.

Denver was still in second after three events, posting a 49.125 on floor for a three event total of 147.525. Boise State, who had a score of 147.050 through three rotations, posted a 49.100 on vault. Illinois-Chicago trailed the other three schools after a 48.650 on bars gave them a score of 144.775.

Utah would close out their night on floor in dominant fashion. All six Utah gymnasts hit and scored a 9.800 or better. Sophomore Macey Roberts and Tessen both started off with 9.825s for the Red Rocks. Rowe finished a career-best night with a 9.900 on floor to give her a 39.625 in the all-around. Reinstadtler put together an excellent floor routine for a 9.875. Merrell overall looked good on the floor except for one large step, scoring a 9.800. Skinner would cap her magical night with a 9.975 on floor. She received a 10.0 from one judge, in a routine that should have scored a 10.0. Skinner’s 39.775 is the highest all-around score in the nation so far this season and is the fifth best in school history.

Skinner won or tied for the win on vault, beam, floor, and all-around. Rowe won or tied for the win on bars and beam. This was a truly special night at the Huntsman Center and a great win for the Red Rocks. The pool-style competition also helped prepare the Red Rocks for the post-season.