Utah Shines in First Intrasquad of the Season

Photograph: YouTube

Earlier this week Utah competed in its first intrasquad of the 2017-18 season and the Utes looked on fire, showing off new skills and hitting their positions in the air and landings.

Utah had an excellent 2017 season, despite early season-ending injuries to sophomore Sabrina Schwab and freshman Kim Tessen. Last season, Utah was led by one of the best freshmen in the country, Olympic alternate and NCAA champion MyKayla Skinner, and senior All-American Baely Rowe. The Utes were crowned Pac-12 champions and, at the National Championships, they qualified to the Super Six, where they finished fifth. Individually, MyKayla Skinner shined at both competitions, winning the all around, vault and floor titles at the Pac-12 Championships, and tying for the floor title with LSU’s Ashleigh Gnat at Nationals with a 9.9625 and finishing second in the all around (39.6125).

Utah said goodbye to senior Baely Rowe at the end of last season, but this fall it welcomed two new freshmen, Alexia Burch and Sydney Soloski.

The gymnasts looked ready to shine at this week’s instrasquad.

On vault, junior Kari Lee and senior Tiffany Lewis showed off two excellent full-twisting Yurchenkos, while junior MaKenna Merrell-Giles stuck her one-and-a-half-twisting Yurchenko.

On floor, MaKenna Merrell-Giles presented a new tumbling pass, a one-and-a-half twist, into front layout, into front pike, while sophomore MyKayla Skinner threw another huge double double (Silivas).

On the uneven bars, the gymnasts showed off very clean lines and difficult moves. Kari Lee competed a piked Jaeger to shoot-over to the low bar. MaKenna Merrell-Giles showed off beautiful lines and an impressive Deltchev. Sophomore Missy Reinstadtler also impressed with clean lines and pointed toes and a high full-twisting double back dismount. And MyKayla Skinner also stuck her full-in dismount.

On balance beam, Kari Lee showed off a soft and easy-looking BHSO + LOSO series, while MaKenna Merrell, who looked on fire at this meet, competed a triple series (BHSO + BHSO + LOSO) and a stuck double twist dismount.

Utah is starting the 2018 season on 5 January, at home, against Brigham Young.

Related: Meet the 2018 Utah Freshman Class

Article by Talitha Ilacqua

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