After Two weeks ago Utah lost to Kelangry gymnasts.
Angry they lost to the opponent in the conference. In anger their series of victories in a row in the Pac-12 is over. Angry at the quality of their gymnastics.
After a performance Friday night away against Arizona, the Red Rocks should be furious.
Competing for the third time in eight days, Utah achieved the worst performance of the year and scored a minimum of 196,775.
Worse, however, was that Utah for the first time in history lost to Arizona, which had not won before (the Red Rocks were 67-0 against the Wildcats, who came out on top).
“Obviously disappointed with tonight’s results,” said Utah head coach Tom Farden. “Probably, we, the coaches, did not prepare the children properly. We need to do a better job in this area. “
Utah was the best team in three competitions (exercises on the floor, bars and vaults), Grace McCallum won the all-around competition, and Red Rock won every single event, but the worst of the season 48,725 points on the beam canceled everything that was before.
The defining moment
After three rotations, Utah was at a pace to erase its then-low score of 197,275, recorded in a loss to California.
The Red Rocks weren’t outstanding at any event, but were solid by their standards: 49,400 on the floor, 49,350 on the bars and 49,300 on the vault.
The beam rotation also started well enough, with another strong breakout routine from Amelie Morgan and an even better one right after her McCallum.
However, the fall from Adrienne Randall and Crystal Isa – to about 9.90 Abby Paulson – caused a spin, despite the fact that Mail O’Keefe closed 9.975.
Given that Utah had competed three times in eight days, fatigue might have been a ready excuse, but Farden hadn’t.
“I point to the events of the feet,” he said. “There was nothing fatal or final in those events. The (fatigue) indicator will be on the floor because you could see they are landing with short lanes or seems to be running out of gas.
“Sidney (Soloski) looked like she had taken a step back, but she actually tucked her finger into (her last) pass, and other than that today we had a lot of good sexes. It’s really nice. “
The reality is that Utah isn’t quite sure what’s going on. The entire season the Red Rocks struggled to get into 24 of the 24 routines in the meeting, making it only one legal time at home against Oklahoma in the second week of the season.
The falls were common on the beams and vaults, and against Arizona, Utah had three, one on the vault and two on the beam.
“When we push, the result is very different in terms of everything,” Farden said. “You can probably infer or come up with a theory about the mental things that happen to children so they can do what they need at a crucial moment.
“And believe me, in practice we just don’t watch. So it’s confusing. I’ve said it before, and I’m not kidding, obviously we need to figure out how to deal with it. “
Need a job
Eliminating falls is a clear challenge that Utah needs to improve on quickly, with future meetings against Minnesota No. 8 and LSU No. 6, followed by the Pac-12 Championship.
But it wasn’t just a fall that would reduce Utah vs. Arizona.
On the bars Utah struggled with haste. Only Sage Thompson and Paulson were stuck.
Landing on the vault have and remain a real weakness. No Red Rock got stuck in their landing perfectly against the Wildcats, and only Jadin Rocker came close (as a result she scored 9.95 on the team).
Flooring has traditionally been an extraordinary force for Utah, and there haven’t been many glaring mistakes, except that a few backstage passes weren’t landed cleanly (here pulled the front leg or there the gymnast got a little out of control).
Soloski scored a minimum of 9,825 a few days after scoring 9,975, but in her case the culprit was a slightly damaged toe, and Farden quickly noticed that there was no need to worry about further development.
“Yes, just a dead finger. She is fine, ”he said.
This is encouraging
There were also positives from the competitions, even if they were overshadowed.
Grace McCallum was excellent again, winning all-around and event (gender).
Thompson had the best overall meeting in his young career in Utah: 9,925 on the bars and 9,800 on the pole vault.
Amelie Morgan and Abby Paulson still performed well in the lead roles, and Lucy Stanhope was steadfast on the vault for the second week in a row.
Rocker had one of the best matches of his career in Utah with a victory in the races and 9,875 on the floor, and O’Keefe went like a rebound, scoring 9,925 on the floor and 9,975 on the beam.
However, perhaps the most encouraging of the meeting was the exhibition routine performed by Kari Iker.
The freshman has been on the sidelines since Week 1 due to 2nd degree ankle sprains, but she participated in an exhibition routine on the beam, and her return to work seems inevitable.
“She did a good job,” Farden said.
No matter what, Farden is still optimistic that his team will get back in shape, remaining with just two meetings in the regular season.
“We’ll do better,” he said. “We’ll bounce back.”