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Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News
Baely Rowe tears up and cheers with the crowd after her performance on the beam during a meet against UCLA in the Huntsman Center on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. The Red Rocks went on to beat UCLA 197.875 to 197.500.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s gymnastics program will recognize its lone senior, Baely Rowe, prior to Friday’s meet with Stanford. Rowe is the reigning Pac-12 beam champion and a two-time member of the league’s all-conference and all-academic teams.

For Rowe, her start at Utah was far from what she dreamt of, competing only on beam. But what Rowe has shown is that it's not how you start, but how you finish. She’s improved every season at Utah, including this year when she has either tied or hit new career highs in every event. She’s also fought her way back into the all-around, boasting a career-high 39.625.

“Baely didn’t have a great freshman year,” said Utah co-head coach Tom Farden. “But her maturity to not only own her gymnastics, but become one of our go-to gymnasts in all of her events has shown her commitment to this program and her work ethic.”

Farden admits Rowe is also a lot of fun to be around, joking with her all season how she’s his favorite senior. Something fun of course considering the Washington native entered Utah as the lone freshman and leaves as the lone senior.

“It is weird to think about my time at Utah ending,” said Rowe. “Being in front of the Huntsman fans is really something, and I have so many great memories. This season has especially been fun because I’ve been able to watch our young team work so hard, and it has pushed me every day.”

Fans have great memories of Rowe as well, highlighted by the moonwalk she does during her beam routine. The Huntsman faithful eagerly await the move and erupt into loud applause every time Rowe completes it. Utah will distribute Michael Jackson style gloves that light up to the first 1,000 fans Friday to recognize Rowe’s moonwalk.

A driving force behind Rowe’s success is that she’s a competitive person by nature, having come from a family where she is the third member to compete for a Pac-12 school. Her sister Bree played soccer at Oregon and her brother Kelyn played soccer at UCLA, and currently plays for the MLS’ New England Revolution.

“Her competitiveness might have been in her DNA,” said Farden. “It’s really so impressive that she’s competing at the highest level in gymnastics. Her family has supported athletics, and the discipline and wherewithal it has taken Baely to reach this point with a level head. It really speaks volumes for how her parents raised her.“

Career highlights

• Member of Utah’s 2015 NCAA runner-up team and two Pac-12 championship teams.

• Second-team All-American on all-around and beam at the NCAA championships.

• Pac-12 beam champion and all-around runner-up in 2016.