#3 Utah Gymnastics Begins Road Swing Friday at #22 UCLA on ESPN2
No. 3 Utah Gymnastics is set for the first true road meet of the year when the team travels to Los Angeles this Friday, Feb. 4, to take on No. 22 UCLA. The Utes and Bruins will compete at 8 p.m. MT at Pauley Pavilion with the conference matchup set to air on ESPN2. Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson Clarke will serve as the play-by-play announcer and analyst, while Samantha Peszek will be the reporter on the floor.
IN THE RANKINGS
Utah slid one spot in the national rankings despite posting its second best score of the season. The Utes are ranked third in the nation after four weeks of competition. Utah is first in the country on beam, third on floor, and sixth overall on vault and bars. The Utes rank first on vault, beam, and floor in the Pac-12, and second on bars. Individually, Maile O'Keefe is tied for fourth in the nation on beam and ninth in the all-around. Cristal Isa is tied for fourth on beam as well, while Jillian Hoffman is tied for ninth on floor. Rounding out the ranked Utes is Alexia Burch, who is No. 19 on vault.
BY THE NUMBERS
• Utah has scored a 49.0 or better on every event in 16 consecutive meets, which is the nation's longest active streak. The second-longest streak is Minnesota and Michigan, which have posted six consecutive meets of 49-plus on every event.
• Utah has won 15 consecutive regular season conference meets and has not lost a Pac-12 meet since Feb. 23, 2019.
• Utah posted the nation's highest beam score against Stanford with a 49.725.
• The Utes also have scored the third-best floor score in the country after earning a 49.675 against Arizona State.
• Utah swept event titles last week against Stanford with four different Red Rocks winning at least one of the five titles. Eight different Utes have earned at least one event victory this season.
• Cristal Isa, a two-time All-American on beam, has recorded a 9.90 or better on every beam routine this season.
• Maile O'Keefe posted just one of the nation's three perfect scores on beam this past weekend. It is the second 10.0 on beam in her career.
• Utah has hit 92-96 routines this season. Gymnasts who have hit every routine are Maile O'Keefe (12-12), Cristal Isa (9-9), Amelie Morgan (8-8), Alexia Burch (6-6), Jillian Hoffman (6-6), Sydney Soloski (4-4), Sage Thompson (4-4), Cammy Hall (3-3), and Kara Eaker (2-2).
• Individual event winners this season are McCallum (6), Isa (4), Burch (2), O'Keefe (2), Hoffman (1), Rucker (1), Stanhope (1), and Thompson (1).
• Pac-12 weekly award winners this season are: Gymnast of the Week: Isa (Jan. 11); Specialist of the Week: Rucker (Jan. 11), Thompson (Jan. 18), Hoffman (Jan. 25); Freshman of the Week: Morgan (Jan. 11), McCallum (Jan. 18); and Coaches Choice: Hoffman (Jan. 11).
Utah leads the series history with UCLA 57-36-1 and is 13-9 all-time in Los Angeles. The Red Rocks have picked up the last three meetings over the Bruins, which included a thriller at Pauley Pavilion back in the 2020 season when both squads were tied for third in the country. Utah held onto a narrow lead heading into the final rotation before a school-record beam performance sealed the win 198.075-198.025. The Utes posted a 49.775 to break the school record that had stood since the 1995 season thanks to four scores of 9.95 or better, which was highlighted by Abby Paulson's Perfect 10. It was the first perfect score by a Ute on beam since 2008.
Head Coach: Chris Waller (3rd year)
2022 Ranking: 22
2021 Final Ranking: 12
Notes: UCLA is coming off a season-best 196.400 in a win over Arizona at home … The Bruins were led by four all-arounders last week in Norah Flatley (39.450), Olympic silver medalist Jordan Chiles (39.350), Olympic alternate Emma Malabuyo (39.350) and last year's Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Chae Campbell (39.175) … UCLA is No. 11 in the nation on beam, while Chiles leads the team at No. 23 nationally on bars and No. 24 in the all-around.
LAST TIME OUT
Utah saw a slow start from the vault team despite Alexia Burch's 9.90, but picked up steam through bars after a 49.400 in the second rotation. Cristal Isa matched a career-best 9.95 on bars to win the title, while Maile O'Keefe added in a 9.90. The Red Rocks then put on a highlight reel while on beam, posting a nation-leading 49.725 as a group. O'Keefe was perfect for the second time in her career on beam to cap off the huge rotation, while Abby Paulson and Grace McCallum scored 9.95s. Isa added a 9.925, while Amelie Morgan contributed a 9.90. The Ute floor team closed the meet with a 49.425, which was highlighted by McCallum's 9.95 to win the all-around and floor titles. Jillian Hoffman also continued her strong start on floor with a 9.90.
Utah Gymnastics will continue conference play on the road, taking on No. 10 California next Saturday, Feb. 12, in Berkeley, Calif. The Utes and Golden Bears will compete at 5 p.m. MT at Haas Pavilion. The meet will be live streamed.