Utah Gymnastics Signs Junior Olympic Floor Medalist Makenna Smith
SALT LAKE CITY – Two-time Junior Olympic floor medalist Makenna Smith is set to join the University of Utah gymnastics program, head coach Tom Farden announced Wednesday morning. Smith will join the Red Rocks in the fall of 2022.
"We are very excited about Makenna joining our program next fall," said head coach Tom Farden. "Her love for gymnastics is infectious! She brings all-around potential and is coming from the same gym as Utah great Tory Wilson. Makenna has gone 9.95 or higher three times on vault in the last two years, including a perfect 10, which is rare at the club level. It was very important to our program to continue to bring in vaults that not only start from a 10.0 in NCAA, but vaulters who demonstrate a high level of success with this event."
Smith comes to Utah as a three-time Junior Olympic National Championships qualifier. She earned a silver medal on floor in her first appearance at the 2018 J.O. National Championships and then continued her run the next year with another silver medal on floor in 2019. Most recently, Smith finished tied for fifth on vault and sixth on floor at the 2021 national championships.
Also on the national stage, Smith qualified for the Nastia Liukin Cup in 2019. The Albuquerque, N.M. native won the gold medal on floor, finished tied for third on beam, and placed eighth overall in the all-around.
Smith, who is a five-time regional champion, won gold medals on vault, bars and floor at the 2021 Region 3 Championships this past April. She scored a perfect 10.0 on vault for the win, while scoring a 9.90 on bars and a 9.925 on floor. All three scores were career highs in her Level 10 career. Along with the three victories this year at regionals, Smith was also the 2019 regional balance beam champion and the 2018 regional all-around champion. In addition to her perfect score on vault at this year's region championships, Smith scored a 9.95 on vault at the 2021 Gravitational Invitational and a 9.95 at the 2020 Biles International Invitational.
She has excelled against the state competition as well, claiming seven gold medals at the New Mexico State Championships in two years. Smith took home wins in the all-around and on vault and beam at the 2021 Optional State Meet. In 2019, she almost recorded the clean sweep after winning gold medals on vault, beam, floor, and in the all-around, while finishing as the silver medalist on bars.
Smith trains at Gold Cup Gymnastics and attends Rio Rancho Cyber Academy. The daughter of Craig and Stefanie Smith is on track to graduate with a diploma of distinction and a 4.0 grade point average. She has a sister, Marleigh.