The Red Rocks gymnastics team closed out the regular season Saturday afternoon in Georgia, and though they finished the season keeping their 197.000+ streak alive, it wasn’t enough to edge out the Bulldogs who claimed victory, 197.450 to 197.525.
As the visiting squad, the Utes kicked things off on the bars, netting a 49.325, thanks to a pair of 9.900’s from MaKenna Merrell-Giles and MyKyla Skinner. In all, Utah had clean dismounts throughout, but most girls struggled to get completely vertical with their handstands.
Utah second rotation was particularly rough, scoring a 49.325 on the vault, their second lowest team score of the season on the event.In contrast to the vault, landings were a recurring issue for the Red Rocks. Skinner’s 9.925 was the lone score to crack higher than 9.850, with four performers hitting that score. Alexia Burch’s 9.800 was the victim of the dropped score.
Moving to the floor, Utah’s struggles continued as both Alexia Burch (who was filling in for Adrienne Randall as she recovers from a wrist injury) and Sydney Soloski found themselves stepping out of bounds in their final passes, resulting in a 9.625 and 9.850 respectively. It wasn’t until Merrell-Giles hit the floor that Utah was able to make up some ground with a beautiful routine that resulted in a 9.900. At the anchor position, MyKyla Skinner once again fell short of earning a perfect 10.000 with one judge giving her the nod, and the other giving a 9.950, however where the deduction came from is unclear since her routine looked perfectly executed.
Surprisingly, Utah pulled in their best all-around beam performance of the season, earning a 49.425. Kari Lee kicked off the rotation with a 9.900 routine that included flawless back handsprings and a terrific dismount, but it was Merrell-Giles who lead the way with a 9.950. The improvement on beam over the last three meets is encouraging heading into the postseason.
Fans will have one final opportunity to see this team live as they now turn their focus to the PAC-12 Championship, which will be held at the Maverick Center in West Valley City on March 23rd.