Kaitlyn Yanish on floor

LIVE BLOG: No. 13 Oregon State at No. 4 Utah

We have another Olympic reunion on our hands in the Pac-12! Jade Carey leads her surging Oregon State Beavers to Salt Lake City, where they’ll fight to knock off Grace McCallum and the Utah Red Rocks. Interesting enough, both teams are coming off scores of 197.275 in their previous meets. For Oregon State, it was a commanding victory at home. For Utah, it was a loss on the road, the first of the season and first in the conference since 2019. Utah will look to defend its house and get back on track. Oregon State would like nothing more than to spoil the party.

In her young career at Oregon State, Jade Carey has already become one of the most dominant gymnasts in the country. She leads the national rankings in the all around and on bars, and has posted two perfect 10.000s among her 19 scores of 9.900 or better in only 20 routines. Last week, she became the first Beaver to achieve perfection on floor since 2008, and won the all around with a huge 39.750. The feat was enough for her to enter tonight’s meet as the Pac-12 Gymnast and Freshman of the Week. She’s not the lone star on this team, though. Senior Madi Dagen captured two career high scores of 9.925 on beam and floor, and senior Kaitlyn Yanish posted a 9.975 on floor to give the Beavers an event score of 49.675. Freshman Lauren Letzsch is also one to watch as she contributed solid scores on three events.

This reigning Pac-12 Event Specialist of the Week will also be in the arena tonight. Utah junior Jaedyn Rucker nailed her vault for a 9.975, a highlight of a meet the Red Rocks will want to rebound from. Beam trouble gave the win to Cal and resulted in Utah’s lowest score since the first meet, but another blow came in the form of a season-ending Achilles injury to junior Jillian Hoffman. After losing a two event performer and slipping from first to eighth nationally on beam in just two weeks, can Utah get its season back on track?

Winning in the Huntsman Center is huge for any team, and for Oregon State, it’s entirely possible. Utah needs to go cleanly to take this one, but also to show the nation it’s still in the national title race. I can’t wait to see how it goes!

It’s Pride Night in Utah!

Oregon State tentative lineups

Grace and Jade ran to each other during warmups. My heart.

Rotation 1: Utah VT, Oregon State UB

Thompson (Utah): Vault debut! Nice, clean Yurchenko full with a sizable hop back. Great form in the air. 9.775

Yamaoka (Oregon State): Maloney to start, a bit short on the bail. Giant full to double tuck, late on the pirouette and lands with chest slightly down. 9.775

Hall (Utah): Just a small step forward on the one and a half. Some form deductions in the air and the feet cross on the step a tiny bit. 9.850

Beeman (Oregon State): Perfect first handstand, big Yaeger, legs come apart on the Pak, some bent elbows on the stalder but nails the double back dismount. 9.800

Stanhope (Utah): Nearly sticks the one and a half! Just a tiny shuffle of the feet. Good distance and nice form in the air. 9.925 gets updated to a 9.950 after the crowd boos. Sure, totally normal. It was probably an inquiry but I like to pretend the judging is that off the rails.

Dagen (Oregon State): Huge Tkatchev to start, nice handstand on the bail, finishes the full pirouette right on top of the bar, just a small step on dismount. Great routine! 9.825

Rucker (Utah): Sits down the one and a half. She wanted the stick again but couldn’t do it this time. 9.375

Bird (Oregon State): Good handstands throughout the transitions. Huge Tkatchev between the bars, but can’t get her grip and comes off. Recovers well and dismounts with a nice open half in half out, just a small hop. 9.175

Sabado (Utah): Nice, clean Yurchenko full. Chest a tiny bit down on landing but good height and distance. Just a small step back. She was a last-minute replacement for Alexia Burch and she did her job. 9.800

Jakubczyk (Oregon State): Legs come apart on the pirouette, nice Yezhova with a form break. Maloney directly connected to an inbar Geinger. Super short on the final handstand but dismounts well. 9.650

McCallum (Utah): Half on front tuck half, off to the side but comes close to sticking. 9.850

Carey (Oregon State): Beautiful Maloney to Bhardwaj, nailing the handstands as always. Perfect half in half out with a stuck landing! That could easily be another 10. It’s a 9.950. Lowest score of the season because she’s an icon and she is the moment.

AFTER ONE: Utah 49.225, Oregon State 49.000

Somewhat of a slow start for both teams, with Utah being unable to capitalize on landings through most of its vault lineup. Oregon State would have been on the way to a good score without the form deductions in Jakubczyk’s routine, but the Beavers manage to escape with a nice effort. Carey was impressive as always, really the class of the field in rotation one. Oregon State has a weak event out of the way, and it’s very much in this thing if the Red Rocks keep giving away those little tenths.

Rotation 2: Oregon State VT, Utah UB

Letzsch (Oregon State): Nice Yurchenko full to start. Clean in the air but not a ton of height or distance. Just a small hop. 9.825

Morgan (Utah): Great low bar handstand, hits the transition with no problems, dismounts with a double back, very close to the bar but escapes with a small hop back. 9.850

Gonzales (Oregon State): Yurchenko full on back pike off, hops back and to the side but nothing major. 9.825

McCallum (Utah): Holds the first handstand, good form on the Pak and Maloney half transitions, a small step back on the dismount is the only noticeable error. 9.950

Yanish (Oregon State): Big Yurchenko full with a flare, just a hop back. 9.800

Paulson (Utah): Nice Maloney to Pak to start, short on the final handstand and a bend at the hips in the full pirouette. Comes close to sticking the double back dismount. 9.850

Dagen (Oregon State): Nearly sticks the one and a half! Nice height and distance, just a tiny hop forward and a leg separation off the springboard. 9.900

Thompson (Utah): Beautiful handstand to start, floaty Pak, a bit close on the inbar Geinger and bends the elbows. Excellent double layout dismount with a stick! That’ll be a big score. 9.925

Chavez (Oregon State): Deep landing on the one and a half, tries to hold the stick but hops back. 9.775

O’Keefe (Utah): Leg separation on the Maloney to start, better form on the Pak, solid handstands. Finishes with the Arabian double front but can’t nail the landing this time, takes a step forward. 9.900

Carey (Oregon State): Almost sticks the double full! That’s the best vault of her career for sure. Huge height and distance, pretty good form in the air. 9.975

Isa (Utah): Good Ray to start, a bit over on the cast handstand but recovers well. Good full pirouette to double layout, over rotates it and leans backward but tries to mask the step. 9.875

Rotation 2 Scores: Oregon State 49.325, Utah 49.500

AFTER TWO: Utah 98.725, Oregon State 98.325

Utah looked like it was waking up in that second rotation. The bars routines were excellent, although there were still several small deductions on landings that the Red Rocks will want to fix before postseason. Oregon State did its job on vault, showing dynamic blocks and solid form. This third rotation will be critical for both teams, with beam hurting Utah in the last two meets and floor being Oregon State’s best event. It will be a redemption mission for Utah at home, while Oregon State will have to kill it to put itself within striking distance.

Rotation 3: Utah BB, Oregon State FX

Well, the commentators mentioned pride night so that’s a step in the right direction. Said Utah was wearing special leotards but they’re definitely a design we’ve seen several times before. Oh well, I’d say silly things if I was live too. Wait a second…

Morgan (Utah): Solid bhs bhs loso series to start. Wobble on the full turn. Foot slips off to the side on the side aerial to full twist but she manages to save it with minimal deductions. 9.825

Gonzales (Oregon State): Front full to front layout, well controlled. Huge double pike middle pass. Not quite hitting position on the leap pass. Solid start. 9.850

McCallum (Utah): Beautiful balance on the double wolf turn to start. Low on the bhs loso series and flexes her feet in the air but lands with just a tiny wobble. Great side aerial to full twist dismount with a stuck landing! 9.900

Bird (Oregon State): Front layout punch Rudi to straddle jump, messy form in the air but great height. No problems on the leap pass. Finishes with a two and a half twist, good control but some more form in the air. 9.850

Randall (Utah): Nails the bhs loso series after a solid full turn, pauses on the switch leap to straddle quarter series but I think they’ll give it to her, Rulfova done really well. Nails the one and a half dismount. One of her best routines! 9.925

Letzsch (Oregon State): Floaty one and a half to front full first pass, a bit too much power and steps forward with the back leg coming off the floor. Stays in bounds though. Short on the double pike and steps forward. Beautiful dance! That’ll be one to watch over the next couple years. 9.875

Paulson (Utah): Nails the aerial loso series to start. A bit short of position on the switch leap split jump but connects it unlike last week. Side aerial layout full dismount stuck. Good redemption for her! 9.950

Dagen (Oregon State): Punch front double full to start, sizable step and a bit short of rotation. Perfect control on the second pass, front full front layout. Nice double pike to finish, controlled lunge but chest might have been a tiny bit down on landing. 9.900

Isa (Utah): Nails the bhs loso loso series to start. She’s smiling and with good reason. Great full turn and leap series. Cartwheel layout full off the side, nailed! Good for her! 10.000!

Update: The Utah mascot is wearing a rainbow blazer. Gay rights.

Yanish (Oregon State): Split leg double layout, a bit under rotated but no landing issues. Front full to front layout done well. Too much power on the double tuck and the front foot slides back on landing.9.850

O’Keefe (Utah): Nails the side aerial loso. Beautiful switch leap split leap. Stays on high toe in the full turn. Nails the side aerial layout full dismount! After Isa’s score? Hmmm. 9.950

Carey (Oregon State): Ridiculous double double to start, small slide of the front foot on the landing. Perfect form and control on the front layout front full to split jump. Great leap pass. Floaty double back to finish, maybe a tiny move of the front foot on landing. 9.925

Rotation 3 Scores: Utah 49.725, Oregon State 49.400

AFTER THREE: Utah 148.450, Oregon State 147.725

Well, it was certainly redemption for Utah, as the Red Rocks barely put a foot wrong for a massive event score. Every landing was nailed, most routines were wobble-free, and Isa did a pretty legit 10.000 performance to put the icing on the cake. That’s the Utah we know and love on beam. It will be on its way to a big score with a solid floor outing. Oregon State did its job in the third rotation. There were a few landings with too much power, but that’s nothing to worry about at this stage of the season. A solid beam performance could have the Beavers near a 197, but they’ll need some help from Utah if they want to emerge victorious.

Rotation 4: Oregon State BB, Utah FX

Update: The mascot also has a pair of rainbow shorts on. Put it in the Louvre.

Jakubczyk (Oregon State): Good full turn to start. Strong side aerial with no wobbles. Misses connection on the switch leap beat jump split jump and has to repeat it. Fall on the bhs loso after big bend at the hips. Dismounts with a one and a half and takes a step back. Uh oh, not the start Oregon State wanted. 9.150

Paulson (Utah): Front through to two and a half twist, great control. Front layout to front full second pass, no problems there. Hits the position on both leaps. One and a half to front layout, another great landing. What an opening routine! 9.925

Letzsch (Oregon State): Front aerial to bhs, good landing. Switch ring not quite hit, but no wobble. Split jump to Yang Bo. Side aerial tucked full to finish with a small hop. Back on track! 9.850

Stanhope (Utah): Huge tucked full-in! Front through to double back, chest slightly down but no landing problems. A short and strong routine! 9.875

Domingo (Oregon State): Front aerial to back pike, absolutely nailed. Good full turn. A bit unsure on the three leap series, but probably makes connection with some low positions. Nails the dismount! 9.875

Rucker (Utah): Big half in half out to start, controlled landing but the step was pretty big. Excellent leaps. Front layout front full, overcooks it and leans forward with a step. Strong recovery after the vault mishap though! 9.900

Gonzales (Oregon State): Front aerial to back tuck, sizable pause so I hope they give her connection for it. No wobbles though. Switch half to split jump, no problem. Foot slips on the side aerial to tucked full, has to drop the chest but sticks the landing. 9.900

McCallum (Utah): Big half in half out, nice landing but the front foot does slide back a tiny bit. Strong leap pass. Front layout punch Rudi, great landing there! 9.925

Dagen (Oregon State): Nails the bhs loso, her legs are so straight on that. Short of split position on the switch leap to switch half. Side aerial to layout full off the end, stuck! One more to go. 9.950!

O’Keefe (Utah): Beautiful double pike first pass, points her toes in the air and controls the landing. Great leap pass, no worries on the split positions. Good wolf turn. Foot slides on the one and a half to front full landing but should be just a minor deduction. 9.875

Carey (Oregon State): Front aerial to bhs loso, wobble with the foot coming off the beam, but not too bad. Good leap series. Dismounts with a gainer layout full off the side, a tiny hop back. They’ll drop the fall! 9.850

Soloski (Utah): I swear that double layout gets higher every week. Slightly short of split position on the first leap, but hits the second. Front layout front full, well controlled. Floats the one and a half to front layout final pass. A joy to finish out this meet. 9.925

Rotation 4 Scores: Oregon State 49.425, Utah 49.550

FINAL RESULTS: Utah 198.000, Oregon State 197.150

And with a strong floor rotation, Utah wins this one and becomes the fourth team to break the 198 barrier. Oregon State posts a great beam performance after the leadoff fall, and will be very pleased with its road effort as we head into NQS. Carey with a 9.850 in the anchor spot, her lowest score of the season but a critical routine nonetheless. Hey, she’s human. With both teams scoring 49 or better on every event tonight, it was a great competition to watch! The gymnasts should be very proud…get it, because of pride? I suppose that works in a general sense too.

Event Winners

VT: Carey (Oregon State) 9.975

UB: Carey (Oregon State), McCallum (Utah) 9.950

BB: Isa (Utah) 10.000

FX: Carey (Oregon State), Paulson, McCallum, Soloski (Utah) 9.925

AA: Carey (Oregon State) 39.700

Ryan’s Stories of the Night

Utah looked a bit tired in the first half of this meet, after looking championship ready on a few occasions earlier in season. The Red Rocks picked it up on beam and floor though, with nailed landings and strong command of skills. Isa’s 10.000 was a joy for her after the troubles last week, and the lineup would love to replicate those routines come postseason. Oregon State is proving that its not just about Jade Carey, as Madi Dagen went 39.575 here and the team went above 197 on the road. For a team with nine freshman, that could spell great things later in the season and especially over the next few years. Watch out for the Beavers!

Thanks for tuning in! Have a wonderful weekend!

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Live blog by Ryan Wichtendahl

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