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No. 3 Utah wins at No. 21 Arizona 197.55-196.325

The No. 3 Utah Red Rocks took care of business against the No. 21 Arizona Wildcats in Tucson, Ariz., posting a season-high 197.550, topping Arizona’s 196.325. This marks the highest regular season road score for the Red Rocks since they posted a 197.600 against Arizona State last year. The Red Rocks performed well on all events, but their strong close on balance beam, with a 49.400, is what sealed the win.

“What a way to end a meet—on the the balance beam, on the road against a good Arizona team,” said co-head coach Tom Farden. “It was just outstanding. Overall, the meet was a great dress rehearsal for Pac-12’s,” he added, referring to the Pac-12 Championships that will be held here on March 24.

In the meet, the Red Rocks hit 24 out of 24 routines in the McKale Center to a crowd of 1,702, including the Utah men’s basketball team, who is in town to face Arizona.

“That was a great, excellent night of gymnastics from start to finish,” said Farden. “Our goal was to hit 24 of 24 routines and see where that took us. Counting exhibition routines, we hit 28 (of 28), which shows our depth.”

It was a career night for MaKenna Merrell-Giles, who won the all-around with a career-high 39.625, and vault (9.950), and tied for the win on floor (9.925). Freshmen Alexia Burch and Sydney Soloski both scored 9.90s on balance beam and floor routine respectively. Kari Lee, an Arizona native, won balance beam with a 9.925 and tied for the win on bars with a 9.90. Fellow Arizona native MyKayla Skinner did not win an event for the first time in her Utah career but performed well on every event except beam, scoring 9.90s on vault and floor, and a 9.85 on bars.

Utah returns home next Saturday for a matinee meet against Washington at 1:30 p.m at the Huntsman Center on Saturday Feb. 3.