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Deena Lofgren, Utah Athletics
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Red Rocks Finish Year With Disappointing Fourth Place Result In NCAA Semifinals

Deena Lofgren, Utah Athletics

FORT WORTH, Texas – The Utah gymnastics team’s season came to an end with a fourth place finish in the NCAA semifinals Friday afternoon.

After leading the competition after their first rotation in the floor event, the Utes stumbled the rest of the way to miss out on a chance to compete in the finals for a national championship.

“We are certainly very disappointed,” said co-head coach Tom Farden about Utah’s failure to advance to finals. “This wasn’t what we have been working toward all season. We had a team we thought could make finals, but today we were a fraction off in places and there was no room for mistakes in this semifinal field. We needed to get off to a great start since our two best events are floor and vault, but we weren’t at our very best. We did have a nice bar set, but couldn’t make up much ground. Finishing on beam is always hard and when you are a few tenths down, it adds even more pressure.”

It was an off day all around for the Red Rocks. Junior superstar MyKayla Skinner finished without an individual title for the first time in her career. She was however in the top three in the vault, bars and floor and finished fourth for the all-around crown.

MaKenna Merrell-Giles, Utah’s other all-around title threat, saw her collegiate career end in an unfortunate manner as she fell off the beam in her final routine.

Utah’s final score of 196.725 was just its second sub-197 score of the season in otherwise strong year for the Red Rocks.

UCLA and LSU moved on to the NCAA finals, where they will face the top two teams of the second session of the semifinals on Friday. Michigan joined Utah as the other team to miss the finals from the first session.