Today the Bruins compete at Fayetteville in the NCAA Gymnastics Regionals Competition for a chance to move on to NCAA Championships weekend starting on April 18th. The Bruins are currently ranked 8th in the country, with a RQS score of 197.005 (calculated by taking their top six scores this season, not counting the highest score of the season, and averaging the remaining scores, with at least three scores from road meets) and are in good position to move on to the next round.
The meet starts at 4pm Fayetteville time, so at 2pm UCLA time.
2014 Regional Rotation
|Vault||#3 Arkansas||Alyssa Tucker, SEMO|
||Catherine Dion, UIC|
|Bars||#5 Utah State
||Gabrielle May, UIC|
|Beam||#6 UC Davis
||VT- Rachel Updike, Mizzou
UB- Brittainy Johnson, TWU
BM- Samantha King, ILSU
FX- Amanda Stepp, NIU
||Kim Gotlund, NIU|
|Floor||#4 Arizona State
||Taryn Vanderpool, SEMO|
This means UCLA starts with a bye, moves to floor, then to vault, then a bye, to bars, and finishes on beam, which is a nervewracking order. Coach Val has stated she prefers to end on floor, second preference would be vault, and she hates starting on floor. Considering floor scores tend to be the highest and it is the apparatus with the fewest mistakes, I think all Bruins will be biting their nails as they watch this regional. However, remember, UCLA won the national title in 2010 ending on the beam, so it is possible, and the Bruins have two of the best beam workers in the country in Samantha Peszek (#4 in the country, average score 9.930) and Danusia Francis (#5 in the country, average score 9.925.)
UCLA ended the regular season ranked 12th on the vault (average 49.305 team score), 6th on bars (49.380) 6th on beam (49.240), and 7th on the floor (49.400.)
In this regional, UCLA has already defeated Arizona State (196.925-194.950), is 1-2 against Utah (loss at Utah, win at Michigan, loss at Pac-12 Championships) and defeated Utah State (197.050-196).
UCLA should easily take second in this regional and move on to the NCAA Semi-Finals on the 18th, based on average scores alone. The RQS of each team coming in:
Utah: 197.575, ranked #5
UCLA: 197.005, ranked #8
Arkansas: 196.355, ranked #17
Arizona State: 195.855, ranked #24
Utah State: 195.570, ranked #30
UC Davis: 195.260, ranked #34
Utah will most likely win this regional, unless they have problems on the beam, which has been their ONLY weakness this year, as they are "only" ranked 9th in the country on that event. They are third on the vault, 4th on he bars, and 1st on the floor.
The objective is to take at least second, and to get a decently high score. You want to be in the top six teams after all the regional competitions on Saturday, so you're seeded in the top three of your group at semifinals, which will help in you moving on to the finals. It is possible for UCLA - they had moved up to sixth at one point this reason, and they have shown they can score in the 197s if they hit their routines. I'd feel better if they can score 197.2 or 197.3. The high this season was a 197.500.
Let's get this competition going. GO BRUINS. The question for #111 begins here.