No. 1 Oklahoma Fails To Advance, No. 5 Utah Leads Charge At Nationals Semifinals

Apr 18, 2024, 9:04 PM

FORT WORTH, TX – After securing their fourth straight Pac-12 Title the Red Rocks are focused on making a run in their 48th straight appearance at Nationals.

Utah had a major comeback at their regional final to compete at Nationals and need a massive effort to advance to the Final Four on the Floor against Oklahoma, Alabama, and Florida. Mission accomplished.

Utah started strong and never looked back taking the lead in the first rotation and never relenting. The Red Rocks finished first in Nationals Semifinals with a 197.9375. Florida finished second with a 197.8750 to advance to the Final Four as well.

Shockingly, No. 1 Oklahoma had unprecedented meltdowns on vault and beam preventing them from heading to the final day of Nationals.

Utah Beam, Florida Floor, Oklahoma Vault, Alabama Bars

After rotation one the Red Rocks had the lead with a strong, season-high beam performance posting a team score of 49.6375. Utah got off to a great start with both Amelie Morgan and Makenna Smith posting 9.9250s while Abby Paulson and Maile O’Keefe wrapped things up with 9.9500s. Grace McCallum was good for a 9.8875 in the middle. Utah did drop Jaylene Gilstrap’s 9.2500.

Utah Floor, Florida Vault, Oklahoma Bars, Alabama Beam

The Red Rocks continued to dominate posting a 49.5875 team score to keep them in first place with a 99.2250 after competing on floor in the second rotation. Abby Paulson and Grace McCallum (9.9000), along with Jaylene Gilstrap and Maile O’Keefe (9.9500) accounted for Utah’s highest scores. Makenna Smith added a solid 9.8875 while Jaedyn Rucker’s 9.0875 was dropped.

Utah Vault, Florida Bars, Oklahoma Beam, Alabama Floor

Utah stayed consistent- though not as strong on vault, but they didn’t need to be posting a team score of 49.200 to keep the lead with a 148.4250 total score. Freshman Ella Zirbes and sophomore Makenna Smith posted the highest scores (9.9125) while Amelie Morgan and Ashley Glynn had the second highest scores (9.8000). Grace McCallum put up a 9.7750 and Jaedyn Rucker a 9.6125 that was dropped.

Utah Bars, Florida Beam, Oklahoma Floor, Alabama Vault

Utah held strong on bars with Makenna Smith posting a 9.9125, Ella Zirbes a 9.9250, and Amelie Morgan a 9.9000 as the high scores. Maile O’Keefe had 9.8250 while Grace McCallum a 9.8750. Alani Sabado iced the win with a 9.9000 after also having a rough go during the regional final.

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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No. 1 Oklahoma Fails To Advance, No. 5 Utah Leads Charge At Nationals Semifinals