After a pretty amazing season, the Bruins are poised to add conference title #18 to their resume. Today, the UCLA gymnastics team will compete against No. 2 seed Utah, No. 3 seed Washington and No. 4 seed California in the evening session of the Pac 12 Championships at 6:00 pm PT.
UCLA is the top-ranked Pac-12 school with a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 197.840, which earns the Bruins the top seed in the Pac-12 Championships. The RQS takes a team’s Top 6 scores, three of which must be on the road, throwing out the high and averaging the remaining five.
UCLA held its last home meet on Tuesday, March 13 against San Jose State and scored a season-high 198.275. In fact, this score was the Bruins’ highest since scoring 198.325 on March 7, 2004. They also earned season-high marks on vault and bars with scores of 49.625 in both events.
March 13 was also Senior Night and the UCLA seniors definitely left their mark. Napualani Hall scored a career-high 9.975 on vault to win the event and on uneven bars in rotation two, JaNay Honest earned a season-high 9.9. Sonya Meraz scored a new career-high of 9.9, and Christine Peng-Peng Lee earned a 9.925. Lee’s final routine on beam in Pauley Pavilion earned a 9.95, which was enough to win the event. After her performance, she received a standing ovation while being carried off by her teammates. On floor exercise in the final rotation, Meraz tied her career-high with a 9.9, and Honest scored a 9.8.
While UCLA does not compete until tonight, the scores from Session One are used for those teams. So, while the Bruins are competing with the the second, third and fourth seeds, any of the teams from Session One could potentially outperform any or all of the teams from Session Two in the final results.
Tonight, the Bruins have chosen to start the meet on vault and end on floor exercise, giving the Bruins the Olympic order, which they have had the last three seasons. This order has led to major success this year in home meets and should offer some familiarity in tonight’s competition.