Utah gymnastics team ranked second in the country

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Gymnastics team has moved up to number two in the national rankings this week after a season-high school of 197.700 in last week’s win over Washington.

“We feel very good,” said Utah sophomore MyKayla Skinner. “It’s just been so awesome to be able to go out there and just hit all the events last week and build up that big team score.”

MaKenna Merrell-Giles was named the Pac-12 gymnast of the week after winning the all-around with the ninth best mark in school history. The junior from Pleasant Gove is having a tremendous season.

“Last year and my freshman year I think I just put too much pressure on myself,” said Merrell-Giles. “I decided to just take all the pressure away and just start having fun.”

Nothing is more fun that getting a perfect 10. That’s the score she received on the vault.

“That was my first career 10,” said Merrell-Giles. “I mean, unreal. You always hope for that when you stick a landing, but it happened to work out that it was a 10.

Sticking every routine is the goal for the Utes, and when they do, it’s pure excitement.

“It’s insane,” said senior Tiffany Lewis. “I can’t even describe it. My mom actually got a picture of me this last weekend when I stuck my vault and I was like, it was just the funniest expression.

“When the whole crowd lights up on their feet cheering, there’s not better feeling,” said Merrell-Giles.

The Utes host Arizona State on Friday.