Utah gymnastics: Seniors Sydney Soloski and Alexia Burch will compete for Utah next season
Soloski and Burch announced Wednesday that are each going to return to Utah for a fifth season, taking advantage of an NCAA COVID-19 season of competition waiver
Only a few weeks ago, Sydney Soloski said she was wrestling with the idea of returning to Utah for another year.
A senior, Soloski knew she could return for a fifth season, thanks to an NCAA COVID-19 season of competition waiver, but she didn’t know yet if she would.
“I came to Utah to compete in front of the best 15,000 fans in the nation and that’s how I want to go out. I don’t fully know what next year has in store, but I’m optimistic we will be back in the Huntsman with fans and there is no greater feeling than having thousands of people cheering you on while you do the sport you love.” — Sydney Soloski
“It is a big decision,” Soloski told the Deseret News. “Especially when I am kind of prepared to move forward to the next stage of my life. And there are logistical things to figure out, in terms of schooling, because I’ll graduate in the summer with a finance degree, so I’ll have to decide what I want to do in terms of my academic career. There are a lot of things that run into it and I haven’t ruled it out. I am undecided at the moment.”
Maybe not completely undecided, though.
“It is something that I am definitely deeply considering,” Soloski said. “I haven’t made a 100% decision in that direction right now, but I would tell people don’t be surprised if you see me next year.”
As it turns out, Soloski made the decision way back in October that she will indeed be competing for Utah in 2021-22.
Soloski and fellow senior Alexia Burch announced Wednesday that they will both be returning to Utah for a fifth season.
“I came to Utah to compete in front of the best 15,000 fans in the nation and that’s how I want to go out,” Soloski said in a release. “I don’t fully know what next year has in store, but I’m optimistic we will be back in the Huntsman with fans and there is no greater feeling than having thousands of people cheering you on while you do the sport you love.”
Burch was of a similar mind.
“With COVID-19 taking away the end of my junior year and then completely changing how senior year looked, I was thrilled to get the news that we were granted a fifth year,” Burch said. “I could not be more excited to stay with this program and these girls for an extra year!”
The pair of captains have been nothing if not successful in their Red Rock careers, with accolades ranging from All-America honors to All-Pac-12 honors, not to mention a host of event victories (Soloski has 10 in her career, while Burch has seven).
Currently, both gymnasts are ranked in top-15 in the nation on events, Burch on vault and Soloski on floor, and the duo have been among Utah’s most consistent and reliable gymnasts all year, regularly breaking the 9.90 scoring mark on floor (Soloski), vault and beam (Burch).
“With Alexia, it is all about work ethic and improving and getting a half a tenth better each year on every event,” Utah head coach Tom Farden said. “She has had a tremendous time here and really taken advantage of all her opportunities. She is one of the hardest workers I’ve worked with.
“With Sydney, she is uber-talented athlete. When the meet is on the line and the lights are shining bright, she has been able to bring it. Her energy, determination and vocal leadership will be sorely missed.”
Thanks to Wednesday’s announcement, neither gymnast will be missed for another year at least.