Trio of Red Rocks Win Pac-12 Weekly Awards
SAN FRANCISCO – In the first edition of the 2021 Pac-12 weekly awards, Utah gymnastics claimed three of the four weekly awards with Maile O'Keefe being named Gymnast of the Week, Sydney Soloski winning the Specialist of the Week, and Jaedyn Rucker being selected for the Coaches' Choice award.
O'Keefe picked up the first Gymnast of the Week award of her career after the sophomore recorded a career-high 39.550 in the all-around to pick up the all-around win on the road at No. 2 Oklahoma. The sophomore from Las Vegas also won the beam title with a meet-high 9.95 beam routine for her second-straight beam victory to start the season.
All four scores from O'Keefe counted toward the team score, including a career-high 9.85 on vault. O'Keefe scored 9.875s on bars and floor. She placed in the top-three on every event against Oklahoma and was the only gymnast to win more than one event title at the meet on Sunday. This is the third Pac-12 weekly award of her career after being named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week twice in 2020.
Soloski won a share of the floor title against Oklahoma to lead Utah on the event. The Ute senior scored a season-high 9.90 in the anchor position for her first event victory of the season. The two-time All-American on floor has eight total event wins in her career, which includes seven floor victories. The Specialist of the Week award for Soloski is the first weekly award of her career.
Rucker earned the Coaches' Choice award after competing on vault and floor for the second-straight week. Rucker was sidelined her entire freshman season due to a knee injury sustained prior to joining the team. The Mesa, Ariz. native had to overcome two knee surgeries and has earned her way into both lineups. Rucker tied for Utah's second-highest vault score against Oklahoma with a 9.825 and scored a 9.85 on floor. She has hit 4-4 routines this year with all four scores counting toward the team score. The conference coaches nominate and vote on the Coaches' Choice award, which is given to a student-athlete for her strong performance and impact on the team.
The trio of Red Rocks and the entire Utah gymnastics team will begin Pac-12 competition this Saturday, Jan. 23 against Arizona. The meet will begin at 1 p.m. MT and will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.