SALT LAKE CITY — Utah gymnastics just won the Pac-12 championship.

Most years, you’d have to wait until late March to read that, but not in 2020. This year was the first where the Pac-12 Conference mandated that every one of its eight gymnastics programs compete against each other in the regular season. Because of that, a regular-season conference championship became a reality. 

Sunday afternoon in Seattle, Washington, Utah gymnastics won that regular-season conference championship.

No. 4 Utah defeated No. 13 Washington 197.675 to 197.600 at Alaska Airlines Arena in the de facto championship meet. 

“What a battle it was in Pac-12 gymnastics today,” Utah head coach Tom Farden said. “Winning the regular season title is very impressive because you have to be very consistent and bring it every week. To be the inaugural Pac-12 regular season champs is such an honor for our program.”

The win over the Huskies came in the only way these Red Rocks know how — on balance beam. Utah trailed entering the final rotation, but with the meet in the balance, the Red Rocks scored a 49.600 to come away with the victory.

Abby Paulson, Adrienne Randall and Cristal Isa each scored a 9.95, while Maile O’Keefe added a 9.90 and Alexia Burch a 9.85.

“I felt that our team was very focused and we really appeared to be together as a team tonight,” said Farden. “We didn’t let the intensity of the competition change how we competed.”

Utah’s beam performance was just more of the same for the No. 3-ranked beam team in the country. The Utes have now scored a 49.600 or better on beam in four meets this season, a program record.

Results


No. 4 Utah 197.675, No. 13 Washington 197.600


Event winners


All-around — Evanni Roberson (Washington), 39.575


Vault — Kim Tessen (Utah), 9.925


Uneven bars — Missy Reinstadtler (Utah), 9.925


Balance beam — Evanni Roberson (Washington), 10.0


Floor exercise — Missy Reinstadtler (Utah), 9.975

The team also set a new season-high on floor exercise, with a 49.550. Senior Missy Reinstadtler proved the standout, with a career-high 9.975 in her return to the rotation, while Sydney Soloski added a 9.950, her third score of 9.950 this season. 

“We had a last minute lineup change with Missy entering the floor lineup and it payed dividends in the end,” said Farden. “She had an incredible routine to finish floor.”

The meet was Reinstadtler’s best of the year, as she led Utah’s uneven bars rotation with a 9.925 — the Utes scored a 49.300 on bars — and finished the meet with two event victories.

Fellow senior Kim Tessen picked up her ninth event win of the season with a 9.925 to lead Utah’s vault lineup, which finished with a 49.225.

The 197.675 was Utah’s second-highest score of the year, as the team improved to 10-0 overall.

Making everything all the sweeter, the victory was Farden’s 100th at Utah.