No. 6 Utah Gymnasts Host Arizona In Home Opener
The No. 6 Utah gymnasts (3-1, 0-0 Pac-12) are set to open Pac-12 competition this Saturday when the team hosts Arizona (0-0, 0-0 Pac-12) in the 2021 home opener. The Utes and Wildcats will begin competition at 1 p.m. MT at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The meet will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks with Jim Watson serving as the play-by-play announcer and Amanda Borden as the color analyst. The meet will also be broadcast on Utah's flagship radio, ESPN 700.
IN THE RANKINGS
Utah is ranked No. 6 in the nation heading into the third weekend of competition. The Utes rank sixth on beam, tied for sixth on floor, ninth on vault, and tied for 11th on bars. Maile O'Keefe leads Utah in the individually rankings, coming in at No. 2 in the nation on beam, No. 7 in the all-around, and tied for 22nd on floor. Adrienne Randall is tied for 17th on beam, Cristal Isa is No. 22 in the all-around, and Cammy Hall is tied for No. 23 in the nation on vault.
The Pac-12 Conference recently announced the remainder of the 2021 schedule. Utah will be televised a regular season record three times on ESPN. Utah and Oklahoma aired on ESPN2, while Utah's home meets against Washington and UCLA will both air on ESPNU. The Pac-12 Network has selected its broadcasts through February 28, and fans will be able to enjoy four Utah gymnastics meet on the Pac-12 Networks. All of Utah's meets through the end of February will be televised. For the full schedule, visit here.
• Maile O'Keefe scored career highs on vault and in the all-around against Oklahoma en route to winning the all-around and beam titles. O'Keefe won the beam title after posting a meet-high 9.95. She was the only gymnast to win more than one title at the meet on Sunday.
• Utah saw shifts in its lineup on vault, beam and floor from week one to week two. Vault and beam's gymnasts remained the same, but had a shift in the order. The floor lineup saw the collegiate debut of Jaylene Gilstrap and an adjustment to the order.
• Utah has hit 46-48 routines this season. Gymnasts who have hit every routine are Cristal Isa (8-8), Maile O'Keefe (8-8), Abby Paulson (6-6), Jaedyn Rucker (4-4), Lucy Stanhope (3-3), Cammy Hall (2-2), Adrienne Randall (2-2), Alani Sabado (2-2) and Sydney Soloski (2-2).
• Individual event winners this season are O'Keefe (4), Hall (1), Isa (1), Paulson (1) and Soloski (1).
FLOORED OVER FLOOR
Utah's floor team tied for the highest score in the nation after the first week of competition and has moved to No. 6 following the meet against Oklahoma. Utah scored a 49.350 at the Rio Tinto Best of Utah and followed with a 49.300 at Oklahoma, which was the highest event score for the Utes in the road meet on Sunday. The Utes have claimed two floor titles in just as many meets with Maile O'Keefe taking home the event win at the Rio Tinto Best of Utah and Sydney Soloski at Oklahoma, both scoring a 9.90 for the win. Utah has had returners Soloski, O'Keefe, Paulson and Isa in the lineup through two events, along with sophomore Jaedyn Rucker entering the lineup both meets in her return from a knee injury as a freshman. Freshmen Lucy Stanhope and Jaylene Gilstrap have both competed once on floor.
Utah leads the series with Arizona 65-0 (22-0 in Salt Lake City). Arizona is one of two teams in the Pac-12 that has never beaten Utah with the other being Washington, who has tied Utah twice. Last season, Utah downed Arizona in Tucson 197.300-195.975 after posting season highs on every event. Sydney Soloski won the floor title and her first career vault title, Abby Paulson won the beam title, while Maile O'Keefe earned a then-season high 39.325 to win the all-around.
Coach: John Court (3rd Season)
2020 Final Ranking: No. 27
Notes: Arizona opens its season this Saturday against Utah … Finished the 2020 season ranked No. 27, which was the highest end of season ranking since the 2017 season … The Wildcats return nine letterwinners from last year's squad … Picked to finish No. 24 in the WCGA preseason poll … Key returners include junior Kennedi Davis and Malia Hargrove, who both have competed on vault, beam and floor for Arizona.
Utah gymnastics will continue conference play next Saturday, Jan. 30 against Washington at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Utah and Washington will square off Saturday night at 8 p.m. MT on ESPNU in a rematch of last year's regular season title meet.