Utah Gymnastics Advances To 48th Straight Appearance At Nationals

Apr 7, 2024, 4:55 PM

GAINESVILLE, FL – The No. 5 Red Rocks are in postseason form after securing their fourth straight Pac-12 Title but needed to keep the momentum going to advance to their 48th straight appearance at Nationals.

Utah needed to place in the top two of the Florida Regional Final to advance to Nationals, but the path was rocky to start. The Utes had to overcome a fourth place start on bars and beat out Missouri in the last rotation on vault to place second overall.

The Red Rocks ultimately got the job done with a 197.575 for second place despite four missed routines on the day. Florida took first by a long shot with a 198.325 and will join Utah in Texas on April 18 and 19 for Nationals.

Utah Bars, Florida Beam, Missouri Floor, MSU Vault

Utah got off to a disastrous start to the Florida Regional final with both Makenna Smith (9.500) and Alani Sabado (9.200) posting falls to start and finish the Red Rocks’ bars rotation. The middle of Utah’s bar rotation was good with Ella Zirbes (9.825), Amelie Morgan (9.825) and Maile O’Keefe (9.875) hitting their routines. Grace McCallum had the Utes’ highest score (9.950) to give Utah a 48.975 team score.

Utah Beam, Florida Floor, Missouri Vault, MSU Bars

The Red Rocks looked like they were off to the races on beam until Grace McCallum fell (9.350). Amelie Morgan and Makenna Smith were both good for 9.900s while Abby Paulson (9.850) and Jaylene Gilstrap (9.875) put up solid scores. Maile O’Keefe put up the biggest score on the event (9.950) to give the Utes a 49.475 team score moving Utah into third place.

Utah Floor, Florida Vault, Missouri Bars, MSU Beam

Utah recovered in a big way on floor posting a 49.625 team score to tie Missouri for second place.

Abby Paulson and Jaylene Gilstrap led the way with 9.950’s. Makenna Smith and Grace McCallum added 9.900’s while Maile O’Keefe posted a 9.925. Jaedyn Rucker put up a respectable 9.850 that the Utes were able to drop.

Utah Vault, Florida Bars, Missouri Beam, MSU Floor

Utah dug deep with a big-time vault performance to send themselves to Nationals for a 48th straight time after posting a 49.500 team score.

Grace McCallum and Ella Zirbes started things off with two 9.850’s. Ashley Glynn added a 9.900 while Makenna Smith and Jaedyn Rucker posted the biggest scores of the night with 9.950’s. Jaylene Gilstrap went last, but wasn’t needed and posted a 9.625 that was dropped.


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 XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Utah Gymnastics Advances To 48th Straight Appearance At Nationals