Earlier this week Utah gymnast MyKayla Skinner talked about how she was putting a little too much pressure on herself and was trying to relax more.
Her change in philosophy is definitely working.
Skinner, who scored a 39.625 in the all-around against Washington a week ago, was in prime form on Friday, winning every event and the all-around in the Utes’ 197.075-195.4 win over Arizona State.
Skinner scored a 39.675 in the all-around, winning the vault and balance beam with 9.9s, the uneven bars with a 9.925 and the floor with a 9.95.
“I’ve been really hard on myself after such a great season last year,” Skinner said. “I knew I needed to have more fun with it and Maddy [Stover] gave me some good tips to relax and just go have fun.”
Friday’s floor score was the second 9.95 in a row on the event, leaving the crowd slightly disappointed Skinner wasn’t awarded a 10.0.
She shared their disappointment.
“I just try to do my thing and hope the scores will come,” she said. “It’s hard for us to get 10s, but hopefully I will get at least one again. It pushes me to work harder.”
Giving more effort isn’t an issue for Skinner, as she indicated. If anything the coaches are working to help her relax more, Utah coach Tom Farden said.
“We were telling her to just let it happen, don’t try to press it,” Farden said. “She was trying to be perfect. She was in her element tonight and had just a brilliant meet.”
Floor lineup different
The Utes were forced to change their floor lineup after freshman Sydney Soloski bashed her nose in practice and didn’t compete. Soloski had scored 9.9 or higher in the last three meets. She was replaced by Missy Reinstadtler, who sat out of the floor lineup last week.
The fall by MaKenna Merrell-Giles on the balance beam was her first of the season, leaving Skinner as the leader with 24 of 24 hit routines. Kari Lee is second at 19 of 19 and Tiffani Lewis is third, going 18 of 18.