Utah Gymnastics signs junior Olympic champion Makenna Smith
SALT LAKE CITY – Two-time junior Olympic champion Makenna Smith will join the University of Utah gymnastics program, head coach Tom Farden Announced Wednesday morning. Smith will join the Red Rocks in the fall of 2022.
“We are very excited to have Makenna join our program next fall,” said head coach Tom Farden. “Her love of gymnastics is contagious! She has all-round potential and comes from the same gym as the great Tory Wilson from Utah. Makenna has jumped 9.95 or more three times in the past two years, including a perfect 10, which is rare at the club level. It was very important to our program to continue to incorporate Vaults that not only start at 10.0 in the NCAA, but also Vaulter who are showing a high level of success with this event. “
Smith comes to Utah as a three-time qualifier for the Olympic Junior Championships. In her first appearance at the JO National Championships in 2018, she won a silver medal on the ground and then continued her run the next year with another silver medal on the ground in 2019. Most recently, Smith finished fifth in the jump and sixth in the ground at the national championship in 2021.
Smith also qualified for the 2019 Nastia Liukin Cup on the national stage. Born in Albuquerque, NM, he won the gold medal on the floor, tied third on the bar and finished eighth overall in the all-around event.
Smith, who is a five-time regional champion, won gold medals in the jump, bar and floor at the 2021 Region 3 Championships last April. She scored a perfect 10.0 in the jump for victory while she scored a 9.90 on the bar and a 9.925 on the bottom. All three values were career highs in their level 10 careers. In addition to three wins this year at the Regionals, Smith was also the 2019 regional balance beam champion and 2018 regional all-around champion. In addition to her perfect jump points at this year’s regional championships, Smith scored a 9.95 at the Gravitational Invitational 2021 and the Biles International Invitational 2020 a 9.95.
She also excelled against state competition, winning seven gold medals at the New Mexico State Championships in two years. Smith won the all-round and the Vault and Beam tournaments at the optional State Meet 2021. In 2019, she almost took up the clean swing after winning gold medals in the jump, beam, floor and all-around event, while finishing up as a silver medalist on parallel bars.
Smith trains at Gold Cup Gymnastics and attends the Rio Rancho Cyber Academy. The daughter of Craig and Stefanie Smith is about to graduate with a diploma and a grade point average of 4.0. She has a sister, Marleigh.