The No. 2 Utah Red Rocks scored over 197 again this season despite two falls and several other missteps to dominate No. 17 ASU 197.075-195.400. MyKayla Skinner won every event and posted a 39.675 in the all-around.
“I have been really hard on myself,” said Skinner. “Maddy (Stover) and Megan (Marsden) told me to start having fun again. It’s been hard going last on every event because when I’m preparing to compete, I can’t cheer for my teammates (who come before) and be involved. But today, I did.”
The night got off to a weird start after Missy Reinstadtler had “a beautiful vault” but only scored a 9.775.
“The first vault score shocked us a little because it was a beautiful vault,” admitted Kari Lee. “We tried hard not to let the scores get to us and we had some highs and lows (with our routines), but we fought through everything.”
MaKenna Merrell-Giles has had a great season so far, but she suffered her first fall of the night on beam. She bounced back to close out the night with a 9.925 on the floor.
This meet showed the potential in this Utah team with them scoring a 197.075 despite some mistakes, but it also showed there are some areas where the team can work on. Co-head coach Tom Farden addressed this meet and how it might have been a “trap meet.”
“I was afraid of this meet,” he continued. “I call it a ‘trap’ meet. I don’t know if we were overlooking a much-improved and well-coached Arizona State team and looking ahead to UCLA next Sunday, but I know UCLA has been on their minds. We let down our guard a little bit, although we had some really clutch performances, especially after two falls at the No. 2 position (on beam and floor).”
I think this quote from Merrell-Giles sums up this meet, and the team in general, well:
“It shows a lot about our potential when we hit a 197 with more than one mistake. It shows how good we can be.”
Utah will travel to Los Angeles next week to face No. 4 UCLA at Pauley Pavilion. UCLA topped Utah in Reno, Nev. earlier this season in a Pac-12 quad meet.