The 2023 college gymnastics season has been a special one for University of Utah star Maile O’Keefe.

First, O’Keefe broke the Utah program record for the most perfect 10s on balance beam in a career, besting Utah legend Theresa Kulikowski in the process.

Then she was named one of six finalists for the AAI Award — along with Luisa Blanco (Alabama), Sierra Brooks (Michigan), Lynnzee Brown (Denver), Trinity Thomas (Florida) and Raena Worley (Kentucky) — which is handed out annually to the “most outstanding senior female gymnast in the country.”

After that, she led Utah to a Pac-12-record third straight conference championship, thanks to a season-best performance in the all-around last Saturday in West Valley City.

On Tuesday, O’Keefe was named Pac-12 Specialist of the Year for the second consecutive season after competing as a specialist in seven of Utah’s 10 regular-season competitions.

O’Keefe has now earned a Pac-12 yearly honor for three straight years — she was named Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year in 2021 — and the latest honor was certainly as deserved as the ones that came before it.

O’Keefe is the No. 1-ranked gymnast in the country on beam (she boasts a 9.980 national qualifying score) and has scored a 9.90 or better on the event in all but one routine this season.

She also has scored a 9.90 or better on bars in six of 11 competitions this year, ranking sixth in the Pac-12 (9.930 national qualifying score). She also has posted a 9.90 or better on floor on five of her seven routines.

O’Keefe leads Utah with 12 event victories this season and has hit 32-33 routines, with the only miscue coming on beam at Oregon State.

On senior night against Arizona, O’Keefe announced, alongside Jaedyn Rucker and Abby Paulson, that she will be returning to Utah for another season in 2024, and her stated goal in coming back isn’t about getting more individual accolades, though they will surely come.

After cementing her status as a legendary Red Rock, O’Keefe wants one more thing — to win a national title with her team.

“I am very satisfied with my career thus far,” O’Keefe told the Deseret News. “The one really big thing that I still want is a team national championship.”

Pac-12 honors for Utah gymnastics

Utah’s Kara Eaker performs her beam routine during the Pac-12 Gymnastics Championships at the Maverik Center in West Valley City on March 18, 2023. | Ryan Sun, Deseret News

O’Keefe wasn’t the only Utah gymnast honored on Tuesday as the Pac-12 released its all-conference teams, which are determined by national qualifying scores, including the regular season and the Pac-12 championships.

O’Keefe, Kara Eaker and Cristal Isa all earned first team honors on beam (Isa also garnered honorable mention honors on bars), and reigning vault national champion Jaedyn Rucker earned All-Pac-12 first team honors on vault for the third consecutive season.

2023 Pac-12 women’s gymnastics individual awards

Oregon State’s Jade Carey competes during an NCAA gymnastics meet against UCLA on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, in Los Angeles. | Kyusung Gong, Associated Press

Gymnast of the Year: Jade Carey, Oregon State.

Specialist of the Year: Maile O’Keefe, Utah.

Freshman of the Year: Selena Harris, UCLA.

Coach of the Year: Jay Santos, Arizona State.


 All-Pac-12 All-Around First Team

Jade Carey, Oregon State.

Jordan Chiles, UCLA.

Selena Harris, UCLA.

Andi Li, California.

Maddie Williams, California.

Hannah Scharf, Arizona State.

All-Pac-12 All-Around Honorable Mention: Navaeh DeSouza, California; Brenna Neault, Stanford.


 All-Pac-12 Vault First Team

Jade Carey, Oregon State.

Jordan Chiles, UCLA.

Mya Lauzon, California.

Selena Harris, UCLA.

Chae Campbell, UCLA.

Jaedyn Rucker, Utah.

All-Pac-12 Vaut Honorable Mention: Malia Hargrove, Arizona; Navaeh DeSouza, California.


All-Pac-12 Bars First Team

Jordan Chiles, UCLA

Jade Carey, Oregon State.

Andi Li, California.

Maddie Williams, California.

Selena Harris, UCLA.

Chloe Widner, Stanford.

Maile O’Keefe, Utah .

All-Pac-12 Bars Honorable Mention: Cristal Isa, Utah.


All-Pac-12 Beam First Team

Maile O’Keefe, Utah.

Jade Carey, Oregon State.

Kara Eaker, Utah.

Mya Lauzon, California.

Selena Harris, UCLA.

Cristal Isa, Utah.

All-Pac-12 Beam Honorable Mention: Jordan Chiles, UCLA; Sydney Gonzales, Oregon State.


All-Pac-12 Floor First Team

Jade Carey, Oregon State.

Jordan Chiles, UCLA.

eMjae Frazier, California.

Mya Lauzon, California.

Chae Campbell, UCLA.

Hannah Scharf, Arizona State.

Selena Harris, UCLA.

All-Pac-12 Floor Honorable Mention: Madi Dagen, Oregon State.