The #4 University of Utah Red Rocks lit the U Friday night after a thrilling victory over the #3 Oklahoma Sooners at a rocking Huntsman Center, all while producing the highest score of the season nationally.
Senior Cammy Hall electrified the Huntsman Center with a well-executed Yurchenko full that she stuck to perfection, earning a 9.900 that had the crowd on their feet, followed by a rock-solid 9.925 for sophomore Lucy Stanhope in the third spot. Junior Jaedyn Rucker took a large correction step on her way off the pommel, resulting in a 9.85, keeping the Red Rocks in contention as the Sooners were putting up high marks on the uneven bars on the other side of the gym, headlined by a flawless 9.925 from sophomore Audrey Davis that earned a round of applause from the home crowd. Freshman Grace McCallum wrapped the event with a 9.900, while junior Jillian Hoffman’s 9.800 was dropped after she opened the event.
Moving to the bars, the Red Rocks and Sooners were tied at 49.450. Freshman Amelie Morgan opened the event with a well-executed routine that featured high and tight handstands but was docked for a wobbly dismount, resulting in 9.825. Fellow freshman Sage Thompson dazzled the crowd with a well-deserved 9.925, a high mark that stood for the rest of the event, as McCallum, senior Cristal Isa, and junior Mailie O’Keefe failed to break 9.900.
McCallum’s Huntsman Center debut kept rolling with a much-needed 9.925 on the beam to help the Red Rocks begin to pull away from the Sooners who struggled on the floor. Ultimately, Jordan Bowers would be the lone Sooner to score at least a 9.900, while junior Abby Paulson joined McCallum, Isa, and O’Keefe in scoring 9.900 or better in the third rotation, giving the Red Rocks a 148.275 to 147.975 lead heading into the final rotation.
Paulson and Stanhope opened the floor with matching 9.825s, keeping pace with the Sooners early on, but a fall Carly Woodard on the beam coupled with McCallum lighting up the scoreboard with a 9.975 (one judge offered the evening’s sole 10.000) along with Rucker’s 9.925 to essentially lock-in the Red Rocks victory late. A 9.925 from senior anchor Sydney Soloski sealed Utah’s victory 197.775 to 196.655, while McCallum was awarded all-around honors in the effort. The dominating victory is a statement win for a program searching for their first NCAA championship since 1995.