Utah gymnastics team springs past Arizona State

The third-ranked Red Rocks defeat No. 16 Sundevils, 197.45-197.15.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Alexia Burch competes on the vault, in Pac-12 gymnastics action between Washington and Utah at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Jan. 30, 2021. In a Pac-12 victory at Arizona State on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021, Burch won the vault with a 9.975.

Pressed into an unusual situation Saturday, Utah’s third-ranked gymnastics team responded with its best vault effort of the season to beat No. 16 Arizona State 197.45-197.15 on Saturday.

The Utes trailed host Arizona State 49.35-49.225 after one rotation, but the big effort on vault cut the deficit to .025 and put them in position to win.

Alexia Burch led the team with a 9.975 and Maile O’Keefe had a 9.9.

The Utes have had some issues with their leadoff gymnast on balance beam having some breaks, but Burch really came through for the Utes against Arizona State, scoring a 9.85 in the leadoff position.

Burch entered the meet scoring 9.8, 9.85 and 9.9 in her last three outings on the beam.

Freshman Lucy Stanhope, who made her debut on the beam, scored 9.825.

In the big picture, Utah’s meet was an important score because the Utes need four meets, including two away scores, to factor into their national qualifying score, which is used to seed teams in the postseason.

Saturday’s effort means the Utes can drop the 196.55 they totaled at Oklahoma. The other away score they have is the 196.9 earned in the season opener at the Maverik Center. Since the Feb. 15 meet at Stanford was canceled because the Cardinal aren’t ready to compete, Utah’s only other road meet remaining is at Oregon State on March 5.

Individual results

Vault: Alexia Burch (Utah) 9.975

Uneven bars: Juliette Boyer (ASU) 9.925

Balance beam: Abby Paulson (Utah) 9.95

Floor: Hannah Scharf (ASU) 9.925

All-around: Maile O’Keefe (Utah) 39.525

This story is developing and will be updated

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