If you decide to attend one of the four remaining gymnastics meets this season, you might want to sit as close to the uneven bars as possible. That’s because the Bruins have firmly established the bars as their best overall event.
Two weeks ago, it was Kyla Ross who scored the team’s first Perfect Ten of the season when she performed a flawless routine against Oregon State on the road in Corvallis. Today, it was Madison Kocian and Christine Peng-Peng Lee achieving perfection on the bars as the pair each earned a Perfect Ten during the team’s meet against Stanford.
What was even more amazing is the fact that it was nearly three straight Perfect Tens for UCLA.
However, before the Bruins got to the bars, their first rotation was on the vault. In this event, it was the other Madison, Madison Preston, who excelled for UCLA. Preston scored a 9.95 on the vault and none of the five Bruins whose scores were counted received a score lower than 9.85 as UCLA finished the first rotation with a score of 49.500. Meanwhile, Stanford was competing on the bars and the team scored a 47.650.
UCLA took nearly a two-point lead into the second rotation. The first three gymnasts on the bars for the Bruins were Sonya Meraz, JaNay Honest and Stella Savvidou. They all performed well. Meraz and Savvidou each earned a 9.875 score while Honest posted a 9.775.
Next up for UCLA was Kocian who performed a flawless routine. Madison scored the Bruins’ first Perfect Ten since Kyla Ross did it two weeks ago at Oregon State. Ross followed her and she added an impeccable routine which earned a 10 from one judge and should have probably received a 10 from the second judge, but didn’t. The second judge only gave her a 9.95, meaning her score was averaged to a 9.975.
Perhaps it was Kocian’s performance that caused the one judge to score Ross’ routine a tad bit lower. I’m not sure, but she should have had her second Perfect Ten in three weeks. She was followed by Christine Peng-Peng Lee. Lee flirted with perfection two weeks ago at Oregon State, but she had to follow Ross after her Perfect Ten and may have suffered as a result then. Today was different. Today, she executed her routine flawlessly and got the score she deserved. It was the second ten of the rotation and of the meet for the Bruins and UCLA led 99.225 to 96.925 after the second rotation.
UCLA increased their lead to more than three points on the third rotation. The Bruins were led on the beam by Katelyn Ohashi’s 9.975, who also just missed UCLA’s third Perfect Ten of the meet. Even though the Bruins scored their lowest of their four rotations on the beam, UCLA still managed to increase their overall lead over the Cardinal and the score was 148.650 to 145.300 after three rotations.
The Bruins finished up the meet with spirited performances on the floor which the entire crowd loved even though it proved to be only their third-best rotation of the meet with a 49.475. It was still more than a half a point better than Stanford’s rotation on the beam and, as a result, UCLA defeated Stanford 198.125 to 194.175.
It was UCLA’s best score in a meet so far this season as the Bruins continue to improving their scores each week. It was also the highest score posted by any gymnastics team in the country this season, even higher than #1 Oklahoma.
Madison Kocian won the meet’s all-around title with a score of 39.575.
Pac-12 Networks and UCLA Athletics shared a video recap on YouTube.
After the meet, former Bruin Samantha Peszak interviewed both Kocian and Lee.
Next up, UCLA heads to Utah for a meet on Saturday against the Utes and quickly returns home to host Utah State and the University of Bridgeport on President’s Day.