Fresh off a dominating 196.425 to 195.350 victory over Kentucky to open the season, the fourth ranked Utah gymnastics team moves to West Valley City, UT for the weekend to face off against BYU, Utah State and Southern Utah in the inaugural “Best of Utah” event, held inside the Maverik Center.
Led by senior, Kim Tessen, who notched scores of 9.900 or better in three events in last weekends win, the Red Rocks are the only ranked team in the state after week one, though the Aggies of Utah State will be making their season debut, giving them a chance to enter the national rankings in week two.
Both BYU and SUU kicked off their seasons earlier this week in separate meets against Nebraska, with BYU claiming victory on Monday, edging out the Huskers 195.7500 to 195.600 thanks in part to junior, Abbey Miner’s solid all-around performance, which earned the team 39.325 total points. The Thunderbirds of Southern Utah didn’t fare so well, losing 196.375 to 195.275 Thursday night in Cedar City, though sophomore, Karley McClain’s 39.250 all-around score was good enough to claim the night’s high score, while senior Madison McBride dazzled with a 9.850 on the vault and a 9.900 on the floor.
While the Aggies have yet to post a score in 2020, their potential is even more unknown than usual, as eight of the 17 total roster spots are filled by freshman, which may bode well for a program that claimed just two outright wins last season, taking first place in a quad meet against West Virginia, Pitt and Cornell, followed by a dominating win over Alaska Anchorage the following week. USU’s young roster will be tasked with bringing the programs first top 25 overall rankings since the 1999 season, when the Aggies finished 15th in the nation.
There will be no television broadcast for this weekend’s event, though play-by-play coverage will be available through Utah’s AM radio affiliate ESPN 700 starting at 7:00 with live scoring also available through SideArmStats.com.