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Utah gymnastics: Skinner completes fabulous freshman season

Published April 16, 2017 12:09 am

Utah gymnastics notes • That hadn't happened all season.
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St. Louis • Saturday's NCAA finals provided a rare stat, as it marked the first meet Utah freshman MyKayla Skinner didn't win an event.

On Friday, Skinner became Utah's first floor champion since Missy Marlowe in 1992 and placed second in the all-around, fifth on vault and eight on the beam. Her semifinal all-around win gives her 12 for the season, surpassing the school record previously shared by Ashley Postell (2008) and Suzanne Metz (1995).

She finishes the year with 43 wins, four short of Postell's record of 47 set in 2008. For those who want to compare the two, Postell had two more regular season meets in which she could add to her total.

Skinner did win the Pac-12 Championship individual title, which the Utes didn't join until 2012, and that competition garnered her titles in the all-around, vault and floor.

Skinner had a solid meet on Saturday, scoring 9.8875 on vault, 9.85 on the bars, 9.8875 on beam and 9.925 on floor.

She finished the year hitting every routine, going 56 of 56.

"What she has done this year is unbelievable," Utah co-coach Tom Farden said.

Rowe also shines

While Skinner's performance garnered most of the attention, Utah senior Baely Rowe's effort is noteworthy, too.

She earned first-team All-America honors on the floor and second-team recognition in the all-around, bringing her total All-America honors to six. Utah's lone senior, Rowe has been a part of three Pac-12 championship teams (2014, 2015, 2017) and four NCAA qualifying teams, with the highest finish coming in 2015 when the Utes finished second.

Limited perfection

Only three gymnasts earned 10.0s in the two-day competition

Oklahoma's Maggie Nichols earned one on the balance beam to help her team post a 49.7 team total, and UCLA's Peng-Peng Lee earned one on the same event to help the Bruins score 49.4875. Alex McMurtry, who won the all-around title, earned a perfect score on the uneven bars.

Rare imperfection

The Utes' most surprising missed routine came from Rowe on the balance beam where the senior fell in her last collegiate routine. It was the first fall of the year on the event for Rowe, who was ranked 13th at the end of the season on the event.

Looking ahead

The NCAA Championships will return to St. Louis in 2018 since the NCAA has adopted a format in which cities bid to host the championships for consecutive years. The championships are scheduled for April 20-22, 2018.

Utah will host an NCAA regional next season on April 7.






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