Red Rocks Win First Quad Meet of Season

gymnastics031 Kim Brenneisen

In their first quad meet of the season, the Red Rocks took on Denver, Boise State and Illinois-Chicago on Friday, Jan. 20 in the Huntsman Center. After a close battle between the four schools, Utah came out on top after finishing with 197.625 points. 

“[This meet] was a blast,” said senior Baely Rowe. “We had someone go down earlier this week, and that kind of brought us really close, so I think this meet we were even closer than we have been the last couple of meets. I think that really showed and that’s why we had a lot of fun.”

In all-around, freshman MyKayla Skinner took the victory for the third time this season with a 39.775, followed by Rowe with a 39.625 and sophomore MaKenna Merrell with a 38.6.

“[Skinner] is dialed in,” said co-head coach Tom Farden. “She is getting more comfortable in her surroundings, and the way she has assembled to our family and our program is really remarkable coming the first week of October, so she has done a great job in terms of embracing the athletes, and the athletes are embracing her. It is obviously paying dividends, and she is starting to hit her stride.”

With all events occupied, the Red Rocks started off on vault, and they did not let all that was going on in the arena distract them from the task at hand. Skinner had an impressive vault that landed her a 9.975 as teammate freshman Kim Tessen followed behind with a 9.9. After the first rotation, Utah led with a score of 49.425.

In the next event, the Red Rocks headed over to the bars where Rowe took the high score of the event, scoring a 9.95. Skinner followed with a 9.9. After the second rotation, Utah held the lead with a score of 98.8, but Denver was following closely behind with a 98.4.

In the third rotation, Rowe and Skinner tied with a 9.925 score on the beam, and junior Kari Lee followed behind her teammates with a 9.9, finishing the rotation with a 148.225 as the Utes continued to lead the pack.

“I was just up there singing my song like I always do, and I enjoyed it the meet as always, and I enjoyed the crowd,” Rowe said. “It was a blast and I had a lot of fun.”

In the last rotation of the night, the Red Rocks finished on the floor with Skinner dominating the pack, scoring 9.975 followed by Rowe with a 9.9. And after the meet concluded, Utah finished on top with a final score of 197.625, taking the victory in their first quad meet.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the team,” Farden said. “They all came together with a lot of clutch performances. We were really pleased.”

Up next for the Red Rocks, they will be heading to Seattle to take on Washington in their first Pac-12 meet of the season. The meet is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. MT.

e.white@dailyutahchronicle.com
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