Last night was the roll-out of Utah's 2014 gymnastics team. The Red Rocks Preview was run as an intra-squad meet, with two 'teams' competing so that for each rotation, 5-6 athletes competed on one or the other event. Vault and bars comprised the first two rotations (with the teams switching between the two at the end of the first rotation); rotations three and four consisted of beam and floor. It was an opportunity for the team to get out of the gym and in front of some of their fans, and for the lone freshman to experience competition in the Jon Huntsman Center. It also was an opportunity for photographers to knock some of the rust off by having something of a practice run at shooting a meet.
I've noted in previous blog posts that for me, gymnastics is among the most difficult sports to photograph while also being the sport with the greatest potential for photographic rewards. At least when we're talking about the Red Rocks, we're talking about athletes at the top of their game, and the combination of strength, power, beauty, gracefulness and athleticism can go a long way toward making for a great photo. It's a surprisingly difficult thing to accomplish, but that's what I and a bunch of other photogs were playing at last night. Here are a few of my images from the night. (Click on an image for a larger version.)