Utah’s Cristal Isa performs on the beam during the Arizona State-Utah gymnastics meet at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. | Steve Griffin, Deseret News

The sophomore hasn’t scored below a 9.825 in her last 11 routines and has scored a 9.90 or better in each of the last three competitions

SALT LAKE CITY — When Cristal Isa saluted the judges to signify her readiness to compete on the uneven bars during Utah gymnastics’ season opener against the Kentucky Wildcats on Jan. 3, it was kind of a big deal.

Her last competitive routine had come nearly a calendar year before, on Jan. 26, 2019. Then came a well-chronicled shoulder injury and nearly a year of watching her teammates compete as she rehabbed.

“You know that every time Cristal goes up she is going to get that good score. … You know that no matter what, she is going to put up something that is going to be really good.” — Utah senior Kim Tessen

Before her setback, Isa had been a standout on bars for Utah, never scoring lower than a 9.850. And there was, of course, the 9.925 she earned for her first ever collegiate routine, which won her Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors and a place in the hearts of Red Rocks’ fans everywhere.

As a result, there was anticipation for her comeback routine. She was great at bars and fans wanted to be reminded why. The comeback did not go as she, nor anyone else envisioned, however. Isa struggled immensely in that first routine back on the competition floor, earning a score of 9.375.

Since that moment, though, she has been arguably Utah’s most consistent gymnast.

Of the 13 routines she has performed since bars against Kentucky, 12 have earned a score of …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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