Red Rocks’ Jaedyn Rucker Crowned Vault Champion

Apr 15, 2022, 12:23 PM
Red Rocks - 2021 Salt Lake Regional...
Utah Utes gymnast Jaedyn Rucker and her team react after her vault during the NCAA regional final round at the Maverik Center on Saturday, April 3, 2021. The Utes are moving on to the next round. (Annie Barker, Deseret News)
(Annie Barker, Deseret News)

FORT WORTH- The Red Rocks may not be well known for vaulting in 2022, but that didn’t stop Jaedyn Rucker from being crowned Vault National Champion Thursday night. Rucker becomes the fifth Red Rock to earn the title behind Elaine Alfano (1982, 1983, 1985), Megan McCunniff Marsden (1984), Kristen Kenoyer (1992) and MyKayla Skinner (2018).

Like A Lawn Dart

Vault was the second rotation for the Utes in their Thursday morning semi-final to qualify for Nationals. Rucker competes a Yurchenko 1.5 that has a 10.0 start value. She posted an impressive 9.9625 on the event to earn the vault title in 2022. Teammate Alexia Burch earned third place with a 9.925.

This is the second year in a row the Red Rocks have earned event champion titles with Maile O’Keefe coming out on top on both uneven bars and floor in 2021.

Other Recognitions

Additionally, seven Red Rocks earned All-American recognition for their performances in Thursday’s semi-finals for nationals.

Maile O’Keefe earned first team All-American honors in the all-around and balance beam, while scoring second team honors on uneven bars. Freshman Grace McCallum was recognized as first team All-American in the all-around and floor. Rucker and Burch both earned first team recognition on vault, while Kara Eaker and Abby Paulson earned it on beam. Finally, freshman Sage Thompson was recognized as a second team All-American on uneven bars.

Up Next

The Red Rocks will be looking to add a National Title to their impressive 2022 resume 11 a.m. Saturday on ABC. They will have to beat out #1 ranked Oklahoma, #2 Florida and #7 Auburn for the the title.

If the Red Rocks win it all Saturday, it will be their 11th title in program history and the first since 1995. The Utes came close to bringing another title home in 2015, but came up .05 of a point short to Florida. Last season the Red Rocks placed third in their title hunt behind winner Michigan and runner up Oklahoma.

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Red Rocks’ Jaedyn Rucker Crowned Vault Champion