PROVO — Forty consecutive victories.

That was what the Red Rocks were aiming for Friday night at the Marriott Center on the campus of Brigham Young University.

Utah had defeated the rival Cougars 39 straight times in gymnastics, including multiple wins a season ago, and yet there were moments in the Deseret First Duel where that run, as impressive as it had been, appeared in jeopardy.

A slow start by the Utes, coupled with a strong outing by the Cougars, put pressure on the Red Rocks early and continued strong outings by Cougar gymnasts kept said pressure on most of the night.

Led by MyKayla Skinner, as well as clutch performances by the likes of Macey Roberts and Adrienne Randall, Utah thrived under threat of defeat, however, and upended BYU once again.

The Utes defeated the Cougars 197.250-196.475.

“I think this overall score is good. It wasn’t the start we were looking for, that confident and aggressive start you want, but I was happy with the recovery. This team fought through the night.”

Utah co-head coach Tom Farden

Skinner claimed the all-around title with a 39.600 and tied her career-high on vault with a 9.975. Roberts recorded a career-high of her own (9.900), also on vault, as did sophomore Alexia Burch (9.875). Randall, meanwhile, anchored the Utah beam rotation and her career-high of 9.875 sealed the win.

“I think this overall score is good,” Utah co-head coach Tom Farden said. “It wasn’t the start we were looking for, that confident and aggressive start you want, but I was happy with the recovery. This team fought through the night.”

“We went toe for toe with them,” BYU head coach Guard Young added. “We needed a crack and they didn’t give us one. I think we showed everyone in the arena that we belonged out there tonight.”

Utah started on uneven bars, BYU on vault, and it was clear early on that something was off with the Red Rocks.

Kim Tessen, usually steady on bars, failed to stick her landing as the leadoff gymnast. Freshman Hunter Dula, thrust into the rotation at a moments notice — senior Kari Lee was expected to go on bars before the meet, but was replaced by Dula because “she didn’t have the swing and rhythm on bars that I wanted,” Farden said — then recorded a 9.750 in her Utah debut.

MaKenna Merrell-Giles, Missy Reinstadtler, Cristal Isa and MyKayla Skinner did well enough — Skinner’s 9.875 tied her with …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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Red Rocks hold off BYU in Deseret First Duel, win 40th straight against Cougars

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