It was the Tuesday after their fifth-place finish at nationals that the gymnasts-only meeting they’d discussed in the aftermath of last year’s NCAA championships in St. Louis took place.

The Utah gymnastics team laid it out just a few days after returning to Salt Lake City.

“We came in, talked about what we wanted to accomplish and how to get it done,” redshirt junior Kari Lee said.

“We kind of regrouped and said, ‘What are we going to do next year?’” senior Maddy Stover recalled. “We saw where it ended, saw what we could improve upon and right after nationals, we wanted to make sure it was fresh in our heads, what feelings were still in us.”

So the Red Rocks set out on a yearlong quest, kickstarted by that meeting of returning gymnasts from 2017 and eventual new freshmen on campus, to digest last year’s fifth-place ending in the NCAA Super Six and to see how they collectively could do one better a year later.

The No. 5-ranked Red Rocks return to St. Louis this week, vowing they’re a battle-tested group filled with returners who have fought off the nerves that accompany NCAA championships, who have been on that stage and know what it takes to nail routines when it matters most. Utah gets its shot at returning to the Super Six inside the Chaifetz Arena on Friday evening. The program has qualified for the final round 20 of 24 times since the Super Six began in 1993.

“If we go out there with determination and mindset … we can do it,” said sophomore all-American MyKayla Skinner, who finished second in the all-around at last year’s nationals as a freshman. “And we have the team. We have the capability.”

The tweaks suggested in that meeting last spring have helped Utah once again stay consistent as as a title contender but also stay healthier through a lengthy regular season. Stover said the team changed its summer workout routines, making them more basic than in years past.

“Obviously our bodies are very strong,” Lee said this week, “but there was a lot of injuries last year, and that has played a big role in how the season goes. And this year, we’ve had little injuries here or there, but as you can see, 13 of us are practicing day-in and day-out. Toward the end [last year], I went down. You only had so many people to pick from. So that was a big thing, being strong and lasting throughout the season.”

They credited the addition of first-year assistant coach Robert Ladanyi, a former assistant at Florida and Denver University, for helping them follow through on that goal set out last April. Before their last practice session inside the Dumke Gymnastics Center this week, Stover sported the motto for this year’s group, a tank top that read: “Warriors.”

During their preseason team retreat in Park City last September, they coined the phrase they wanted synonymous with the 2017-18 season. It’s a quick reminder that takes them back to that meeting and the goals now associated with that word. It’s included in their intro video before home meets inside the Huntsman Center, it’s on their social media accounts, it’s in the locker room.

Anything they could use to tie into the “Warriors Mojo,” Stover explained, they’ve done.

It’s translated onto the floor, beam, bars and in the air, too.

“We’ve had little tidbits of here and there of what our potential is, and it’s crazy to think we actually haven’t reached that whole potential,” Lee said. “We’ve made mistakes.”

Utah features one of the top gymnasts in the country in Skinner, the sophomore who served as an alternate at the 2016 Olympic Games, and has all-around gymnasts like Lee, MaKenna Merrell-Giles (also an all-American) and Missy Reinstadtler as part of its versatile group. The Red Rocks, who won their 28th regional title in Salt Lake on April 7, compete in the second semifinal at 5 p.m. Friday, alongside No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 4 Florida, No. 8 Kentucky, No. 9 Cal and No. 11 Washington. The top three advance to Saturday’s Super Six final.

Skinner and Merrell-Giles have combined to win 48 events this season, meaning if Utah is to have a shot at advancing to the Super Six and making some noise amongst the nation’s elite Saturday night, its stars will need to deliver again as they’ve done all year.

“We’re where we need to be,” Stover said. “At this point, it’s not about changing anything physically. It’s about being there mentally when the lights go on. It’s what team is the mentally toughest that night.”

Lee has seen her team get close to maximizing its talent on one occasion this season, becoming that team she and her teammates envisioned a year ago. On senior night, against rival Georgia, it all came together, she said, capped with a perfect 10 by Merrell-Giles on the floor.

“It was a magical night,” she said.

Can that sort of magic be replicated on this upcoming stage? It’s been 23 years since Utah won its last NCAA crown, which prompts another question: What about this group makes it believe it can snap this streak behind a pair of stars, a veteran-laden group and experienced underclassmen?

“We’re Utah gymnastics,” Stover said, “and we were ready to come into this season just ready to prove ourselves, ready to push limits, ready to not be that underdog that people think we are and getting out on that nationals floor, knowing that we belong there.”

That belief started exactly a year ago, so it’s been on their minds for quite some time. All you have to do is ask.