Utah Red Rocks advance to NCAA championship final by taking advantage of falls from No. 1 Oklahoma

The Red Rocks will compete for a national title on Saturday afternoon.

(Tony Gutierrez | AP) Utah's Makenna Smith celebrates after her uneven-bars routine during the NCAA women's gymnastics championships in Fort Worth, Texas, Thursday, April 18, 2024.

A national commentator earlier this week said to “watch out” for the Utah Red Rocks in the NCAA Gymnastics National Championships.

Boy, was he right.

The Red Rocks not only advanced to the championship final on Saturday, they did so by finishing first Thursday against a field that included No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 4 Florida. They finished with a score of 197.9375.

The four teams competing Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas, are No. 5 Utah, No. 4 Florida, No. 2 Louisiana State and No. 3 California. The meet starts at 2 p.m.

Utah started the meet on fire. The Red Rocks put up a season high on beam in the first rotation with a score of 49.6375. Jaeden Rucker fell during her floor routine, but her teammates erased that score with four routines of at least 9.900.

While the vault scores were a bit lower than the Red Rocks are used to, they still did more than enough to hold their lead through three rotations. But Florida was close behind, just 0.025 points away from first.

The Red Rocks finished on the uneven bars and had a solid showing to secure first place.

Oklahoma, the No. 1 ranked team in the country, started the meet by counting two falls on vault. The Sooners also had to count a fall on balance beam.

Meet Results

Utah — 197.9375

Florida — 197.8750

Oklahoma — 196.6625

Alabama — 195.4125

Top Utah Scores


• Maile O’Keefe, Abby Paulson — 9.950

• Amelie Morgan, Makenna Smith — 9.9250


• Jaylene Gilstrap, O’Keefe — 9.950


• Ella Zirbes, Smith — 9.9125


• Zirbes — 9.9250

• Smith — 9.9125