Utah gymnasts win a share of Pac-12′s regular-season title

The Utes benefitted from UCLA’s surprise victory over Cal on Sunday

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah lights up the U after beating Stanford 197.675 to 196.000 during their gymnastics meet at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022.

The unpredictable Pac-12 gymnastics season continued its wild ways over the weekend, giving Utah’s gymnastics team an unexpected surprise.

UCLA’s 198.05-197.2 upset of Cal meant the Utes, Cal, Oregon State and Arizona State all shared the Pac-12 regular-season title with 5-2 conference records.

The Utes thought they might be out of the running for the title after losing at Cal. Then it seemed their loss at Arizona had eliminated them for good. But this is a year when nothing can be assumed in the Pac-12.

“What it tells me is there is a lot of parity in our conference,” Utah coach Tom Farden said. “With UCLA going 198, that speaks to the strength of the conference.”

This is the third year the conference has awarded a regular-season championship with Utah winning the previous two outright.

Utah ends its regular season at No. 5 LSU Friday, then competes in the Pac-12 Championships on Saturday, March 19 at the Maverik Center. There the fourth-ranked Utes will be the No. 1 seed based on the national rankings.

The Utes won the Pac-12 Championship meet in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2021.

The Utes have gone 25-2 during the regular season and at the championship meet combined over the last three years.

“Sharing the title in a way shows how impressive it was to go undefeated the last two seasons in the conference,” Farden said. “That run was unprecedented.”