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Utah gymnastics blow past Oregon State

Utah’s three week road stretch continued Saturday afternoon in a matchup against PAC-12 foe, Oregon State.

Kim Tessen kicked things off for the Red Rocks on the bars, who struggled to execute straight handstands, but secured a 9.800. The Red Rocks followed that up with back-to-back 9.750’s from Hunter Dula and MaKenna Merrell-Giles, before Missy Reinstadtler broke through with a 9.850, with a well executed routine that was finished off with a near perfect stick to finish. As has been the case early in the 2019 season, it was standout MyKyla Skinner whose 9.925 that led the way for the Red Rocks.

Kari Lee’s 9.875 on the vault tied with Macey Roberts as the high score early on, but MyKyla Skinner’s incredibly difficult Yurchenko double fold routine once again impressed the judges enough to pull a 9.975, hindered slightly for a modest knee bend on her landing.

After two rotations, Utah started to pull away from Oregon State, leading 98.575 to 97.900, but Macey Robert’s floor routine opened up an even wider scoring gap for the Red Rocks, kicking off the third rotation with a 9.875, which was matched by Reinstadtler, who was victim to a step out of bounds. Freshman Adrienne Randall’s 9.850 routine was a low point for the Red Rocks, showcasing the top-to-bottom talent Utah has on the floor. Sydney Soloski and MaKenna Merrell-Giles continued the rotation with 9.875’s before Skinner took the lead with a 9.900, just below her average of 9.950. Shockingly, Skinner’s 9.900 was ultimately bested by Oregon State’s Savanna Force, scoring a 9.925.

Entering the fourth rotation, Oregon State was already mathematically unable to defeat Utah, who had taken a commanding 147.975 to 146.175 lead over the Beavers. Regardless, the Red Rocks dominance continued on the beam, opening up with Shannon McNatt, whose 8.800 was better than all but one of Oregon State’s competitors. Cristal Isa then matched Maela Lazaro of Oregon State with a 9.850 after sticking an impressive back handspring dismount, a fact made even more impressive considering the freshman was not originally slated to perform on the beam entering the days match.

In the end, Utah secured their third straight score of 197.000 or better, finishing with a season low of 197.150, easily topping the Beavers who finished the meet with a 195.500. All- around honors were once again rewarded to MyKyla Skinner, her third straight of the season.

Utah’s road series continues next Saturday, January 26th against Arizona State before returning to the Huntsman Center on Friday, February 1st to take on the Arizona Wildcats.