As expected, Utah’s third-ranked gymnastics team beat No. 21 Oregon State on Saturday, with a score of 197.1-196.275 in front of 15,558 attendees at the Huntsman Center.

What the Utes didn’t expect was for the win to feel like a loss.

The Utes had a season-best effort on vault and their second-best effort on beam, but a disappointing effort on floor left the Utes frustrated.

Utah had two falls and scored a season low 48.7 on the final event. Losing the meet wasn’t a real possibility because the Utes not only had a comfortable margin going into the final rotation and Oregon State was having its own struggles on beam, but the breakdowns were an unpleasant surprise.

“We had our best vault, and bars and beam were great and then we fell apart on floor,” said junior Sydney Soloski, who closed out Utah’s floor rotation with a 9.9. “There is no other way to put that. Oregon State isn’t our biggest competition. We are looking at us against top teams and against other top teams this would have been a loss.”

Utah coach Tom Farden echoed his captain’s thoughts, recognizing the Utes gave up a chance for a big home score.

“I didn’t see this week coming or I wouldn’t have rolled the dice on this lineup,” he said. “This is not how we have been practicing.”

Individual Winners
Vault: Kim Tessen (Utah) 9.95
Uneven bars: Missy Reinstadtler (Utah) 9.925
Balance beam: Maile O’Keefe (Utah) 9.975
Floor: Sydney Soloski (Utah), Isis Lowery (Oregon State), Kaitlyn Yanish (Oregon State) 9.9
All-around: Cristal Isa (Utah) 38.85

Utah senior Kim Tessen said the situation was made worse knowing what other top teams have been doing lately.

“They had the Road to Nationals scores on the board earlier and you can see 198.4, 197.75 and we were able to beat Oregon State, but this isn’t even close to what we are capable of,” she said. “We have to get back into the gym and get back to work on the floor.”

The Utes did have a lot of positives, starting with the 49.45 effort on the vault with no gymnast scoring below 9.825. Kim Tessen and Cammy Hall led the team, scoring 9.95 and 9.925, respectively. Cristal Isa and Alexia Burch both had 9.875s and Missy Reinstadtler had 9.875.

“That vault was incredible,” Farden said. “I really like Sydney in that first spot and Cammy has been narrowing things in the gym and Missy’s vault was beautiful and massive. I put Cristal in the vault rotation because she has had a good week and Kim, when she is dropping them like today, has a really good vault.”

Utah followed the vault with a 49.35 effort on the bars, their second-best effort of the season. Reinttadtler led the team with a 9.925.

The Utes, who scored a season high 49.625 on the beam a week ago, came close to matching that effort on Saturday as they notched a 49.6. Maile O’Keefe, followed the 9.95 she earned in the last meet with a 9.975 and Isa had a 9.95. Adrienne Randall followed with a 9.925 as the mid part of the lineup continues to deliver.

The Utes led 148.4-147.6 at that point, with many expecting a big finish.

That the Utes struggled with Isa and Reinstadtler falling and others having small breaks led to the frustration felt after the meet.

“This is a loss, if we want to position ourselves among the best teams in the nation,” Farden said. “We missed on a huge opportunity today.”

The Utes don’t have a lot of time to stew over the result, as they travel to No. 4 UCLA next week in a Pac-12 showdown.

“We have seen how much we can improve on vault,” Tessen said. “We’re going to be extremely determined this week.”

In short: The Utes used their season-best effort on the vault to remain undefeated with the win over the Beavers.
Key moment: After Missy Reinstadtler fell on the floor, Adrienne Randall responded with a 9.825.
Key stat: Freshman Maile O’Keefe has scored 9.9 or higher on the balance beam in the last three meets, including Saturday’s 9.975.