Red Rocks Competing in First Pac-12 Meet

After winning their third straight meet while at home, the Red Rocks are back on the road to compete against Washington in Seattle on Saturday, Jan. 28. Not only in this meet their first out-of-state meet, this will also be the Red Rocks first Pac-12 meet of the season.

Co-head coach Megan Marsden is excited to continue the season, and it continues to be special for her to be a part of a great gymnastics family in the Pac-12.

“We look forward to getting underway, and we have always enjoyed heading up to the Seattle area as a destination,” Marsden said. “Washington runs a great meet. We will have some added fans up there because we have Baely [Rowe] is from that area. Her family will be there and probably some teammates and coaches so that is always fun for our girls.”

Utah has a strong history of beating the Huskies, but in recent years, the scoring difference has increasingly become too close for comfort — last year, the Utes won the match by only a .875 point difference. But for freshman MyKayla Skinner, excitement is all she is feeling going into her first out-of-state meet with the Red Rocks.

“I have a teammate on that team that I use to compete with so it’ll be kind of fun to go out there and see her, but I think we are going to go out there and do really well,” Skinner said. “I’m excited to go to Seattle. Everyone says it is a really fun trip.”

In preparation for the meet, Marsden thinks that the team is going to have to continue to focus on the smaller details in different individual routines in order to continue to score as high as possible. The Red Rocks are always looking, not only in the Pac-12 but on a national level, to win every time they face up against an opponent.

Marsden continued that her and co-head coach Tom Farden would like to see the team getting more amplitude, and the details that maybe the average person doesn’t fully understand are important to the Red Rocks. Marsden thinks the fans know the team is looking to stick a lot more, to have handstands on bars, stay on the balance beam, and while some of those things they are doing, others they aren’t.

“We are going to continue to work on some bounder work on floor, which for most of them is their middle tumbling pass,” Marsden said. “We are already sticking a lot of bars and beam dismounts. I think we did better with our landings on vault, but we want to stick more vaults, and then just little things — more amplitude on the tumbling pass — so we are getting that detailed already.”

With all that said and done, sophomore MaKenna Merrell is looking forward to the first Pac-12 meet of the season, and she is looking forward to leaving Utah for a few days.

“We are just going to stay in our own little Utah bubble, just focus on us and our performances,” Merrell said. “It’s cool that it’s our first out-of-state travel meet so I’m really excited for that.”

The meet is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. MT.

e.white@dailyutahchronicle.com
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