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Red Rocks Return, Dominate In-State Foes

After a season brimming with promise was cut short due to the ever worsening global pandemic, Red Rocks gymnastics hit the floor for the first time in nearly a year, taking on in-state rivals BYU, Utah State and Southern Utah in the Best of Utah meet.

Kicking off the evening on bars, senior Alexia Burch led the way early with a 9.800, demonstrating a near flawless dismount, however the routine was hampered by a slightly less than vertical handstand. Anchor Cristal Isa (junior) showcased her strengths with the best handstands of the evening, ending her final skills pass with a well executed double layout and a wiggle-less dismount, earning a 9.850.

Isa kept the high scores coming on the beam, notching a 9.900 after performing a beautiful flip lay lay in her already difficult routine. Sophomore’s Maile O’Keefe and Abby Paulson shined, each scoring a team-high 9.925 to end the rotation, giving the Red Rocks a 49.375

At the midway point, Utah had a sizable lead over the competition, totalling 98.375, .650 points ahead of the second place BYU Cougars before moving to the floor in the floor in the third rotation, where the Red Rocks continued their domination.

O’Keefe scored a team-high 9.900, with sophomore Jaedyn Rucker making her Utah debut scoring a 9.875 off an exciting double backflip into a full twist in her second pass. In all, the Red Rocks put up their most consistent round, scoring no lower than a 9.850 after anchor Sydney Soloski’s (senior) disappointing 9.775 was dropped, adding 49.350 to Utah’s total.

Junior Cammy Hall had the final nail in the coffin, scoring a 9.900 on the vault, earning a small deduction for minimal leg separation, keeping her from clinching the possible perfect 10.000, but helping Utah clinch a 49.175 on the event.

Ultimately, the Red Rocks achieved a meet-high 196.900, besting second place BYU by 1.200 points, and a whopping 3.025 points better than fourth place SUU, with Isa claiming all-around honors behind a solid 39.400, barely edging out Mailie O’Keefe’s 39.375.

Utah will next travel to Norman, Oklahoma to face the #2 ranked Sooners in a match that will have big national implications early in the 2021 season.