The No. 5 Utah Red Rocks (8-1, 3-1 Pac-12) travel to Arizona State (2-7, 0-4 Pac-12) for their final regular season Pac-12 road meet. The meet will be held in the Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz. at 5:00 p.m. MST with television coverage on Pac-12 Network.
This week marked the switch from average score to regional qualifying score (RQS). A team’s RQS is calculated by taking the top six scores (of which three must come from road meets), dropping the top score, and averaging the remaining five scores.
ASU returns seven gymnasts from last season for first-year head coach Jay Santos. Last season, Santos was the head coach at Eastern Michigan and was named the 2016 NCAA Central Regional Head Coach of the Year. Utah leads the all-time series 71-16-1 over ASU. The Red Rocks are riding a 20-meet winning streak. They last fell at home to the Sun Devils in 2003. In Tempe, the Red Rocks are 14-8-1. They last lost in Tempe in 2000 and have won six straight since then.
The Red Rocks feature two Arizona natives, freshman MyKayla Skinner and sophomore Kari Lee. Skinner trained under former Arizona State coach John Spini and his wife Lisa at Desert Lights Gymnastics. Utah’s last meet at ASU (on Feb. 1, 2014) holds a special place in Utah gymnastics history because it was former head coach Greg Marsden’s 1,000th career win, making him the first coach in NCAA gymnastics history to accomplish the feat.
Skinner, who collected Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week for the fifth time this season, is ranked in the top 10 nationally in multiple events: No. 2 in the all-around (39.580 RQS), No. 4 on floor (9.935), No. 7 on vault (9.900), and No. 10 on beam (9.880). Skinner leads the team with 26 wins on the season and is undefeated in the all-around and vault. Senior Baely Rowe is No. 6 in beam (9.895).
“Our athletes had a chance to build some real confidence against a top team,” said co-head coach Megan Marsden on the UCLA meet. Freshman Missy Reinstadtler had a career night against UCLA. Marsden said Reinstadtler has been close to achieving the big scores she got against UCLA, but minor mistakes led to comparatively large score deductions. “I knew she was capable of those kinds of scores,” said Marsden. “She is artistic gymnastics at its best.”
“The road meets are extremely important due to the fact that we will have all of our post-season meets on the road,” said Marsden. The Red Rocks have this meet against Arizona State then only two more meets before post-season. The main emphasis down the stretch will be to stick more landings, especially on bars and vault according to Marsden.