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Red Rocks Tumble in Loss to Bears

NCAA Gymnastics: Women’s Gymnastics Championships Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The University of Utah gymnastics team completed their two-week road trip through California with an upset to #11 Cal, the second-highest ranked team in the PAC-12.

Cal jumped out to an early .05 point lead after Grace McCallum struggled on the bars in the opening rotation, earning just a 9.150, a disappointment considering her perfect performance last week. Thankfully the Red Rocks benefitted from a massive botched vault run from Cal’s Abi Solari that resulted in an abysmal 8.150, to keep the Red Rocks within striking distance,

Utah’s struggles continued on the vault until Jaedyn Rucker landed a 9.975 off a well-executed Yurchenko one and a half, midway through the rotation, with McCallum coming up with a 9.900, though their efforts were not enough to close the gap as Cal’s lead grew to .125 by the end of the second rotation.

As the Red Rocks moved to the floor, Abby Paulson opened the scoring with a 9.900, followed by Adrienne Randall, who was lucky enough to avoid a deduction for an obvious step out on her first tumbling pass that somehow alluded the judges' on her way to a 9.875. Rucker’s 9.900 in the third sport, and an incredible run from Sydney Soloski in the anchor position that earned a 9.975, along with some ho-hum scores from Cal on the beam helped to give Tom Farden’s squad their first lead of the evening, edging out the Bears 148.200 to 148.050 after Cal’s Andi Li successfully protested an additional .05 on her beam routine.

With the pressure on, Amelie Morgan stepped up to the plate to open the final rotation with a 9.900 on the beam, setting the tone for the Red Rocks to complete the comeback and remain undefeated. Unfortunately, the Red Rocks failed to keep that momentum going, with small mistakes littering Alexia Burch, Adrianne Randall, and Abby Paulson’s routines while Cal reeled in three straight 9.900s to open their run on the floor before Li’s 9.950 planted the final nail in Utah’s coffin, ultimately handing the Red Rocks their first loss of the season.

Utah will return to the Huntsman Center on February 18th to take on Oregon State. Television coverage will be provided by the PAC-12 Network starting at 6:00 PM MT.