In their first quad meet of the season, the Red Rocks took on Denver, Boise State and Illinois-Chicago — two of which were ranked teams — in the Huntsman Center on Friday, Jan. 20. After a close battle between the four schools, Utah finished on top with 197.625 points.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the team,” said co-head coach Tom Farden. “They all came together with a lot of clutch performances. We were really pleased.”
According to senior Baely Rowe, the meet was a blast. Though Sabrina Schwab went down earlier in the week, the Red Rocks felt like the injury brought them closer together — the closest they have ever been at a meet. This meet was more than just an average meet for the team.
“It definitely did feel like a postseason where we do have other teams competing at the same time, so I think that was also a good building block, because we know we are going to see that later in the postseason,” Rowe said. “So for the freshmen to get a feel for that was really good.”
During the meet, every event was occupied by one of the four competing teams. With so much that was going on in the arena, it would have been easy to get distracted. But according to Rowe, it was actually more of a natural feeling for the younger girls, because in club gymnastics, that is what it is like.
Rowe continued on by saying that it is a little chaotic every once in awhile, but the team talked about it earlier in the week — staying in their own Utah bubble and making sure they were not looking around and worrying about their surroundings, Even though they were corralled up, Rowe said that they were still excited and had fun.
As for Farden, he thought the atmosphere was great during the meet and that their opponents were competitive. Farden said everyone had some highlights out in the arena and that he was grateful for UIC, Denver and Boise State to come to their house and compete, giving the Utes great experience.
“Denver was pushing us,” Farden said. “If you looked up after three rotations, we were only ahead by four-tenths, so they had that competitive atmosphere going and a little bit of a circus. It was electric out there. It had a level of intensity that I wanted our young team to be exposed to early on in the season. I think in the end, this served us well.”
With the experience of a postseason meet under their belt, the Red Rocks will head to Seattle as they take on Washington in their first Pac-12 meet of the season. The meet is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. MT.