Maile O’Keefe, Makenna Smith Receive Pac-12 Recognition For Red Rocks

Feb 14, 2023, 5:02 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – Maile O’Keefe and Makenna Smith received recognition from the Pac-12 early Tuesday afternoon for their efforts to help the Red Rocks last weekend in the Metroplex Challenge.

Utah’s podium quad-meet got off to a rocky start when former Olympian and all-around star Grace McCallum had an accident on her vault, landing wrong and consequently missing the rest of the competition.

That’s where O’Keefe and Smith came in and helped by filling competition spots and providing big scores in an overall incredible team effort last weekend.

Maile O’Keefe, Pac-12 Specialist Of The Week

Another week, another perfect 10 on beam for Maile O’Keefe. While those 10’s don’t actually happen every week, they certainly happen frequently enough at key moments that it’s hard to dispute the claim completely.

O’Keefe has been solid for the Red Rocks since the day she stepped on campus with beam being her ultimate canvas. Nothing shakes O’Keefe whether it’s an injured teammate, or a miscue before her which is why she’s been the long-standing anchor on the event.

Not only did O’Keefe’s 10 come at a perfect moment for the Utes last weekend in terms of lifting spirits and building momentum for the final push, but it also made some history for the program.

With six perfect 10’s on beam in her career, O’Keefe is now tied for first on the event with Theresa Kulikowski and very likely could stand alone at the top when all is said and done.

O’Keefe’s efforts earned her the Pac-12 Specialist of the Week for the second week in a row.

Makenna Smith, Pac-12 Freshman Of The Week

Makenna Smith was a star in crunch time for the Red Rocks filling in on very short notice for McCallum on two events after she was ruled out for the rest of the meet. Smith has been turning heads all season on vault and floor but was put to the test on bars and beam competing in her first all-around.

Smith won the all-around title with a 39.400 while posting two 9.900s on bars and floor, while posting two 9.800s on beam and vault.

The Albuquerque native is still very green in her career but has earned the praise of head coach Tom Farden early and often for her unflappable competition persona and being mature beyond her years.

For her last-minute performances, Smith was awarded Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors.

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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Maile O’Keefe, Makenna Smith Receive Pac-12 Recognition For Red Rocks