UCLA Gymnastics - Pac-12 Champions and on to NCAA Regionals

UCLA Gymnastics greeted at the airport as champions (from UCLA Gymnastics Twitter)

Once again, we would like to congratulate the UCLA Gymnastics team for winning the inaugural Pac-12 Championships and their 17th overall conference title.

The Lady Bruins are now moving onto NCAA Regionals against Arkansas, Boise State, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Maryland. UCLA is currently ranked 3rd in the nation, while Arkansas (10th), Boise State (15th) and Missouri (19th) are ranked in the top 25. The meet will be in Fayetteville, Arkansas on April 7th at 4pm CT (2pm UCLA time.)

More on the All-Pac-12 Bruins, Regionals, and eventually the NCAA Championships after the jump.

In All Pac-12 Honors, seven Bruins were honored as members of the All-Pac-12 Team. The team is chosen based on their regional qualifying score (which is a composite of all their scores this season) plus the conference championship scores. The honorees are:

VAULT:
First team:
Vanessa Zamarripa
Olivia Courtney
Tauny Frattone

UNEVEN BARS:
First Team
Aisha Gerber

BALANCE BEAM:
First Team
Elyse Hopfber-Hibbs

Second Team
Samantha Peszek

FLOOR EXERCISE:
First Team
Olivia Courtney

Second Team
Alyssa Pritchett

Coach Valerie Kondos-Field was named Coach of the Year for the fourth time in her career. Congratulations on all the accolades!

Looking ahead to NCAA Regionals, UCLA is paired with three other top 25 teams in Arkansas, Boise State and Missouri. The top 2 teams from the region will advance to the NCAA Championships April 20-22nd in Duluth, GA. UCLA's day will begin on the uneven bars before moving to the beam, a bye, then floor exercise, then vault, and then finishing the day with a bye. UCLA does end the meet on their two strongest events, but they will need to set the bar high when they finish on vault as they will have to watch the other schools finish their final rotation.

Last year, UCLA won their regional and placed second at the NCAA Championships

In a brief look at our competition, we can look at the results of a meet between Arkansas and Missouri, where Missouri upset Arkansas 196.1 to 195.45. If you want to extrapolate from that head to head however, UCLA's average score this season is in the high 196 range, so hopefully UCLA can continue that trend at Regionals. Boise State is heading to Regionals for the fifth straight year, barely missing out on the top two last year by 0.025 points. Boise State averages a 195.616, with a team high of 197 this season. Boise State's gymnast to watch is Brittany Potvin-Green who had a high score of 39.575 this season and senior Amy Glass who has made her mark in the Boise State record books.

New Hampshire's qualifying score is a 195.12 and their average is a 194.358. Maryland is heading to regionals for the fourth consecutive year and recently placed third in the East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) Championships with a score of 195.950. The Terps will be a force to be reckoned with on the floor, if they can pull off another score of 49.450, with junior Ally Krikorian leading the way with a 9.925 and an event win on the floor.

UCLA only needs to be in the top two at Regionals to advance to the NCAA Championships, so while they can probably afford one or two performances that are off, ideally the goal is to be six for six per event so they are prepared for the first day of the NCAA Championships and then the Super Six Team Finals.

GO BRUINS! The Hunt for 109 is on.

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