Best of Utah
|Full Results||Utah: 196.900||BYU: 195.700||Utah State: 194.350||Southern Utah: 194.325|
|VT: Hall 9.900||UB: Bentley 9.900||BB: O’Keefe, Paulson 9.925||FX: Miner-Alder, O’Keefe 9.900||AA: Isa 39.400|
The Big Storyline: While the quad meet was far from glamorous, Utah ended it strong on its final three events to finish on top and post the third best score of the weekend. Freshman Lucy Stanhope and sophomore Jaedyn Rucker both made strong Utah debuts on vault and floor, while freshman Alani Sabado saw action on bars. Utah State and Southern Utah both suffered from beam disasters to finish third and fourth, respectively, and will want to clean up those performances to be competitive in the MRGC moving forward. Oh, and who is Mayson Bentley? The junior Thunderbird was the surprise of the evening with her 9.900 bar routine that won the event title; it was her first time competing the event. BYU also struggled with some misses on beam, but had a strong performance from Abbey Miner-Alder, as she was able to tie for the event title on floor and pace the Cougars to a second place finish.
Implications: Utah lived up to its preseason ranking and appears to have what it takes to make nationals if not finals this season with a strong 196.900 on the road right out of the gate. The MRGC battle brings up several questions with key athletes opting out of the season for Utah State, but Southern Utah did not look polished here either. It might simply be a back and forth battle all season long. With primarily conference matchups this season, keep your eye out for a continued battle between these two teams.
Current Rankings: No. 4 Utah vs. No. 17 BYU vs. No. 23 Southern Utah vs. No. 32t Utah State
Why You Should Cancel Plans for It: The annual Best of Utah quad matchup returns with all four teams competing ranked in the WCGA preseason top 32. The first meet of the season should give a preview of what’s to come for the MRGC competitive field. Utah is also expected to see some big scores from its returning sophomore class and make run for the 2021 national title.
What We’re Watching: Lucy Stanhope will likely be making her freshman debut for Utah; she showed routines on all four events in the Utes’ December intrasquad. Sophomore Jaedyn Rucker is also expected to make her debut after missing her freshman season with an injury. Utah State has been on the rise for the past few seasons and should put up a battle against its conference rivals Southern Utah and BYU, with the help of seniors Leighton Varnadore Autumn Deharde. Anique Greiner joined Utah State’s roster as a junior and could be a potential contributor for the Aggies on bars.
What Else You Should Know Before Tuning In: This will mark the first meet for the teams since the cancellation of the end of the 2020 season due to COVID-19. It’ll be interesting to watch how the gymnasts handle COVID-19 precautions and overcome offseason obstacles. This event in particular should pose more challenges with four teams. Also of note, Utah State sophomore’s Sofi Sullivan and Tori Loomis have opted out of competing this season. Gracie Kramer, 2020 UCLA grad, will be making her coaching debut as volunteer assistant coach at Utah State.
- Video Type: BYUtv
- Video: https://www.byutv.org/livetv
- Scores: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/statmonitr/?id=324740
- Live Blog: http://collegegymnews.com/2021/01/08/live-blog-best-of-utah/
- Live Blog Editor: Jenna