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Utah Gymnastics Picked No. 4 In WCGA Preseason Poll

Dec 17, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah gymnastics team will begin the 2021 season ranked No. 4 in the preseason rankings, as voted on by the coaches of the Women's Collegiate Gymnastics Association (WCGA).  Utah finished the undefeated, yet unfinished 2020 run ranked fourth in the nation and will begin this year's journey where the program left off.
 
Florida and Oklahoma received the same amount of first-place votes, but it was the Gators who were picked to win the title, earning 1,167 points ahead of the Sooner's 1,152 points. Narrowly voted ahead of Utah (1,073) by only three points were the LSU Tigers (1,076), coming in at No. 3 in the poll. Rounding out the preseason top-five behind the Red Rocks was Michigan (1,060) in the fifth spot.
 
Utah will face three preseason top-10 opponents this year, highlighted by the road matchup against No. 2 Oklahoma on Sunday, Jan. 17 in Norman, Okla. Looking at Pac-12 competition, the conference has seven-of-eight teams ranked inside the top-25 and three squads in the top-10 in No. 4 Utah, No. 7 UCLA and No. 8 California. Utah in total is scheduled to face nine preseason top-25 ranked teams.
 
The Red Rocks are coming off the first undefeated regular season (11-0) in program history since 1993 and just second ever, and will return 17-of-24 routines from last year's Pac-12 regular season championship squad. Tom Farden, the reigning Pac-12 Coach of the Year, brings back four 2020 Regular Season All-Americans in senior Sydney Soloski (floor), junior Cristal Isa (bars, beam), and sophomores Maile O'Keefe (beam) and Abby Paulson (beam).
 
All four of last year's returning All-Americans earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors on those respective events, while senior Alexia Burch collected first-team All-Pac-12 honors on vault and junior Adrienne Randall pulled in an honorable mention selection on beam. Utah added freshman standouts Jaylene Gilstrap, Alani Sabado and Lucy Stanhope who are all working towards making an immediate impact on the 2021 squad.
 
No. 4 Utah will begin its season at the second annual Rio Tinto Best of Utah podium event on Saturday, Jan. 9 at the Maverik Center in West Valley City. Time and TV information for the season opener and the rest of the 2021 schedule have yet to be determined. To get the latest information regarding the 2021 Utah gymnastics schedule, visit UtahUtes.com or follow @Utahgymnastics on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
 
2021 WCGA Preseason Poll
1.   Florida (1,167 points; 16 first-place votes)
2.   Oklahoma (1,152 points; 16 first-place votes)
3.   LSU (1,076 points)
4.   Utah (1,073 points)
5.   Michigan (1,060 points)
6.   Alabama (944 points)
7.   UCLA (943 points)
8t.   California (919 points)

8t.   Denver (919 points; 1 first-place vote)
10. Georgia (847 points)
11. Minnesota (834 points)
12. Kentucky (773 points)
13. Oregon State (746 points)
14. Auburn (707 points)
15. Arkansas (678 points)
16. Missouri (638 points)
17. BYU (628 points)
18. Iowa State (573 points)
19. Washington (572 points)
20. Nebraska (569 points)
21. Arizona State (565 points)
22. Illinois (428 points)
23. Southern Utah (426 points)
24. Arizona (378 points)
25. Iowa (372 points)

- Utah's 2021 opponents