SALT LAKE CITY — MyKayla Skinner is the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week, again.
The conference announced the designation Tuesday afternoon, following Skinner’s all-around winning performance (39.600) against Arizona State over the weekend.
It is Skinner’s third Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week award this season, and her second in a row, as she was also recognized for her all-around performance (39.625) against the Oregon State Beavers.
All told, the two-time NCAA champion has brought home the conference's top honor 15 times in her Utah career, a Pac-12 record.
“If you can put preparation with game-time performance, find someone who is willing to put in the training and also can’t wait to show it, you get a MyKayla Skinner,” Utah co-head coach Megan Marsden said. “You have a champion.”
Skinner is considered one of, if not the best collegiate gymnasts in the country and her national rankings are true to form.
She is the No. 2-ranked gymnast nationally in the all-around, No. 2 on vault, and tied for No. 4 on uneven bars and No. 8 on floor.
Other award winners this week include UCLA’s Katelyn Ohashi (Specialist of the Week), who edged out Utah’s Missy Reinstadtler — Reinstadtler had a career-best performance (9.950) on bars against the Sun Devils — and Cal’s Milan Clausi (Freshman of the Week).
A COMFORTABLE RETURN: Despite scores such as the 9.925 she earned in the season opener against Penn State, the 9.900 recorded at BYU and the 9.875 registered at Oregon State, MaKenna Merrell-Giles has scrapped her new floor routine.
Instead, the six-time All-American has returned to the floor routine she used in previous seasons.
“After Oregon State I was thinking and I really wanted to go back to my other routine,” Merrell-Giles said. “I just felt like it clicked better. It isn’t that I didn’t like my (new) one, but I just felt like this one clicked better. I felt like I could perform it better.”
“I have been doing this routine for so long, I don’t even have to think about it,” she explained. “With my new one, when I would go to competition and get a little nervous I’d revert back to the old one. I really had to think about my dance, which I just thought was kind of dumb.”1 comment on this story
Her familiarity with her old routine showed, as Merrell-Giles earned a 9.900 on floor against Arizona State, the third-best score of the meet behind ASU’s Cairo Leonard-Baker (9.950) and Utah’s Sydney Soloski (9.925).
ACHES AND PAINS: Reinstadtler has been dealing with a sore foot in recent weeks and the ailment has limited the junior All-American both in training as well as in meets.
Against Oregon State, Reinstadtler was slated to compete in the all-around, but after tweaking her foot, she gave way to freshman Cristal Isa on balance beam.
Over the weekend, Reinstadtler competed just once, on bars, which marked the first time she has competed on only one event in a meet since her freshman season.