Gymnastics Meet of the Week Preview: No. 4 Utah at No. 19 Washington

The matchup: No. 4 Utah (5-1, 0-0 Pac-12) at No. 19 Washington (2-4, 0-1)

When: Saturday, Jan. 28, 1:30 p.m. PT / 2:30 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Network, Mountain, Washington

Where: Alaska Airlines Arena

On the Call: Ari Wolfe and Carly Patterson

The matchup: The first installment of Pac-12 women's gymnastics Meet of the Week features the fourth-ranked Red Rocks traveling to the Emerald City to face the No. 19 GymDawgs. Utah holds an all-time record of 52-0-2 over Washington, with the two ties both coming in Seattle in 2001 and 2013. The 2017 edition will feature two of the Pac-12’s 15 student-athletes who have ties to the World Championships and Olympics.

On the visiting side: No. 4 Utah (5-1, 0-0 Pac-12)
The fourth-ranked Red Rocks head to their second away meet of the 2017 season. Under the direction of co-head coaches Megan Marsden and Tom Farden, the team is averaging a 197.050 with its high coming last week in its quadrangular, 197.625. No Ute has scored a perfect 10.0 yet this season, but freshman phenom MyKayla Skinner has flirted with perfection twice already. Skinner received a 9.975 on vault and floor exercise at Utah's quadrangular on Jan. 20. Even with the loss of sophomore All-American and 2016 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Sabrina Schwab to injury, the Utes have put up the fourth-highest score in the nation.

Red Rocks to Watch:
Baely Rowe, 5’3, senior
Rowe will be in store for a homecoming on Saturday, as the senior is from Federal Way, Wash., (Auburn Riverside HS). Rowe, one of the top beam workers in the country, is currently tied for fifth nationally with a 9.90 average in the event. Her high season mark of 9.925 came twice, done in the season opener and last week.

MyKayla Skinner, 5’0, freshman
Skinner, the two time competitor at Worlds (2015-16) and 2016 U.S. Olympic Alternate has started her NCAA tenure with a bang. Skinner has already won Pac-12 Gymnast and Freshman of the week all three weeks this season. She is averaging a staggering 39.642 in the all-around, with her high coming in at 39.775. That mark is tied for the fifth-best in school history. Skinner is one of three gymnasts in the NCAA to score a 39.7 or higher in the all-around this year. Check out her double double first pass and her full in tucked final pass here: 

MaKenna Merrell, 5’4, sophomore
Merrell placed third on floor at Pac-12 Championships last season, and has broke into the bars lineup this season. She picked up a new skill - a Deltchev - on bars for this season, which she credits to YouTube. 

On the home side: No. 19 Washington (2-4, 0-1 Pac-12)
The GymDawgs host their home opener under the direction of first-year head coach and long-time assistant coach Elise Ray. Washington has seen success on beam this season, ranking ninth nationally on the apparatus with a 49.138 average. The Dawgs will look to utilize their beam and bar workers on Saturday, as they also rank 20th nationally on bars (48.838 average). Husky freshman Madison Copiak is the second gymnast at this meet with an elite background, as she was the 2016 Olympic alternate for Canada.

GymDawgs to watch:

Kaitlyn Duranczyk, 5’0, senior:

The 2016 Pac-12 uneven bars co-champion comes into her senior season leading the Huskies. Duranczyk scored a 9.925 in the anchor spot last week in the Dawgs’ tri-meet, capped with a lovely stuck double layout. Check out the stick:

Hailey Burleson, 5’6, junior:
Burleson uses her long frame to her advantage and gets serious amplitude on her power events. She secured a 39.350 for the all-around title against California and San José State. A solid 9.80 event performer, watch for the height on her full-twisting Yurchenko on vault and her double pike pass on floor.

Joslyn Goings, 5’0, junior:
Goings has been a solid beam worker the last two seasons for the Huskies and came into the season on a roll. She set her career high with a 9.925 on beam on the first meet of the season in the fifth position in the lineup. Check out her dismount at Ohio State:

 

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