SALT LAKE CITY — Immediately following Utah’s win at the Best of Utah meet earlier this month, Red Rocks’ head coach Tom Farden spoke at length about freshman Maile O’Keefe.
Amid much praise and a few critiques of the freshman’s performance, Farden made a prediction: O’Keefe was on the cusp of a breakout performance.
“I think she is closing in on a complete, amazing meet,” he told the Deseret News.
That meet came over the weekend against Arizona State. O’Keefe recorded three career-highs, including a 9.80 on vault, a 9.775 on uneven bars and a 9.875 on floor exercise, on the way to an all-around winning score of 39.225.
Wednesday afternoon, in recognition of her breakout showing, she was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.
This @UtahGymnastics rising star is trending up!— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) January 29, 2020
Maile O'Keefe led the Red Rocks with career highs in vault, bars and floor to take the all-around title (39.225) in the victory vs. Arizona State.
O'Keefe is the #Pac12Gym Freshman of the Week ➡️ https://t.co/XMbWIQg1ia pic.twitter.com/srreeugG9N
O’Keefe is the first Utah gymnast to win the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award this season and just the second Red Rock to earn one of the conference’s weekly awards. The first was senior Kim Tessen, who took home Specialist of the Week honors on Jan. 14.
O’Keefe is the first Utah freshman to win Freshman of the Week honors since Adrienne Randall did so on Feb. 2, 2019, following a breakout performance against Arizona.
The Las Vegas native is also the first Utah freshman to compete in the all-around since 2017, when MyKayla Skinner competed as an all-arounder in every meet (Missy Reinstadtler competed once in the all-around that year, against California).
Red Rocks on the air
No. 4 Utah (5-0, 1-0) at No. 21 Arizona (5-2, 0-1)
McKale Center, Tucson, AZ
Saturday, 2 p.m. MST