SALT LAKE CITY — The Red Rocks defeated Oregon State last weekend in their Pac-12 opener, once again eclipsing a team-score of 197 (197.150).
It marked the third week in a row the Utes have recorded a 197 or better, a fact that continues to make the start of this season historic.
For all of their success, there is still room for improvement, however.
“There are still tenths being left out there,” Utah co-head coach Megan Marsden said. “Tom (Farden) felt that there were probably three tenths of a point left on bars due to handstands alone (against Oregon State).”
There are tenths to be gained on the beam as well.
“We are leaving tenths out there, some on sticking, and we’ve had a couple people wobble here and there," Marsden said. "That keeps the 9.900 routines away. I have to have them step up to the plate and do the routine they are doing in practice out on the competitive floor.”
It hasn’t been all missed opportunities and lost points for the Red Rocks, though.
The sticking of dismounts has greatly improved this season, and was evidenced against the Beavers.
“We had four stuck bar dismounts, several stuck vaults and I had three stuck beam dismounts. The sticking is definitely better than it was last year,” said Marsden.
Still, the coach expects more from her team.
“I think we are plateauing a bit,” Marsden said. “We need to take it to another level and continue to work.”
OVER THE LIMIT: The Red Rocks had a bit of fun with their luggage on the way home over the weekend. The team posted a video of freshman Hunter Dula hiding in Alexia Burch’s suitcase, which came as a bit of a shock to Farden, especially once Dula tumbled out after he failed to lift the bag.
The prank started with Dula helping Burch pack. Burch wondered if Dula could fit inside the suitcase, and one empty suitcase later the answer was a definitive yes.
One thing led to another — nearly every Red Rock attempted to lift the Dula-filled case. “We went around to everyone,” said Burch — and before long Farden was duped.
“I went and asked Tom if he had any room in his suitcase, because I ‘thought’ mine might be too heavy,” Burch explained with a chuckle.1 comment on this story
UPDATED RANKINGS: For the second week in a row, Utah is the No. 4-ranked team in the country, behind Oklahoma, UCLA and Florida.
On an event level, the Red Rocks are tied for first on vault, are No. 3 on the floor, No. 6 on beam and No. 7 on bars. MyKayla Skinner leads the way, as usual, and is a top-10 gymnast nationally on vault (No. 1), in the all-around (No. 3), floor (No. 5) and bars (No. 6).
Other Utes ranked in the top 25 include MaKenna Merrell-Giles (No. 10 on vault, No. 13 on floor), Macey Roberts (No. 13 on vault), Kari Lee (No. 17 on vault) and Cristal Isa (No. 21 on bars).