World news – Red Rocks claim the first PAC-12 title since 2017


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Utah’s winning tradition continued on Saturday night in the West Valley when the Red Rocks closed their conference with a dominating victory over the best of the PAC 12 in the conference championship.

Sophomore Abby Paulson’s 9,275 opened the night for the Red Rocks with an early tumble on the bars, but newbie Alain Sabado was able to regain a positive dynamic in her routine and score a 9,775 in a routine that Was hampered by some slightly sloppy handstands. Senior Emilie LeBlanc opened the standings with a high-flying routine that scored a critical 9,875 points when Cal and Arizona State started early to battle for the top spot. Sophomore all-rounder Maile O’Keefe eventually saved the first rotation for Utah with her perfectly executed double Arab descent which helped secure a 9,950, a score achieved by junior anchor Cristal Isa to help clear Paulson’s mistake officially removed from the rating.

After one turn, UCLA was 0.200 ahead of second place in the Red Rocks. The Bruins, however, had the advantage of starting the event on the ground, by far the strongest event in 2021.

Senior Alexia Burch set the tone early and scored a well-deserved 9,900, with her biggest deduction in the middle her routine resulted from a small balance test. Isa continued her dominant performance on the bars with 9,950 on the second spin, placing her in the best position to lead the all-round competition. Paulson, who left the miserable run on the bars, found redemption by bringing together Isas 9,950. Junior Adrienne Randall and O’Keefe finished the rotation with a 9,925 and (another) 9,950 respectively, giving the Red Rocks a 49,675 on the bar, with no score counted below 9,900 after newcomer Lucy Stanhope dropped the 9,825. The standout performance in the second rotation gave Utah a 99,000 and 0.050 lead over UCLA and a 0.350 advantage over the fifth Cal Bears.

On the floor, Isa took the lead at 9,900, adding to her career night , followed by 9,925 from Paulson at their last event of the evening. Stanhope continued Utah’s 9,900 streak, giving Utah its seventh straight straight, scoring 9,900 when the Red Rocks began pulling out of UCLA and Cal. Sophomore Jaedyn Rucker’s routine kept the fire burning for the surging Red Rocks at 9,950, which O’Keefe scored for her third 9,950 in a row of the night, giving her a .050 advantage over Isa. Senior Ancho Sydney Soloski finished the rotation with Utah’s third straight 9,950, giving the regular season champions a second straight 49,675, a season high on the floor.

In the final rotation, Isas 9,850 broke Utah’s streak from despite a strong turn at Vault 9,900 points. O’Keefe’s routine was in line with Isa, giving the all-rounder a hard-fought 39,700, barely surpassing Isa’s equally impressive 39,650. With Stanhope’s 9,725 in third place, it became clear that the squad was running low on gas and sub-par exits became a trend as the glowing Red Rocks began to cool, a fact highlighted by Burch’s 9,300 and barely leading to the senior climb Get you off the machine before you fall on your bum. The litany of errors, coupled with a possible injury, resulted in Junior Cammy Hall being pulled out of anchor position and replaced by Sobado, of whom 9,800 saved the event, giving Utah 49,050 in the vault and a total of 197,725.

Although Utah from Fighting was haunted, it was able to comfortably end the competition for its first PAC 12-turn title since 2017, with O’Keefe receiving both all-round honors and individual titles on the bars, beams and floor.

Utah is now waiting the seeds in the regional tournament where they will be placed in either Salt Lake City, Athens, Georgia, Tuscaloosa, Alabama or Morgantown, West Virginia, before going to the ground at Nationals on April 17th.

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