The UCLA Bruins Gymnastics team won their 18th Pac-12 Championship last night, but it looked a little iffy in the first half of the meet as the Bruins didn’t score well on their first two events.
As the #1 seed, UCLA was competing in the Olympic order, meaning they first competed on vault then bars and they finished up with the beam and the floor.
On their vault, UCLA scored a 49.275. Kyla Ross scored the Bruins’ high score in the event with a 9.90 while Napualani Hall earned a 9.875. Felicia Hano had UCLA’s third highest score with a 9.850 while Nia Dennis and Pauline Tratz both scored 9.825.
UCLA scored slightly lower on the bars where they earned a 49.150. Kyla Ross again led the Bruins with a near-perfect 9.975, followed by JaNay Honest with a 9.900. Nia Dennis added a 9.850 while Sonya Meraz scored 9.775 and Katelyn Ohashi recorded a 9.650. Christine Peng-Peng Lee, who is normally one of the highest scoring Bruins on the bars received a 9.425 which was the score that was dropped.
But the Bruins saved their best two events for last.
UCLA was up on the beam next. Grace Glenn led off for the Bruins and picked up a 9.875. She was followed by Madison Kocian who scored a 9.850, but her score would be UCLA’s lowest on the event and, as a result, it was dropped. Brielle Nguyen and Katelyn Ohashi performed their routines after Kocian and each one scored a 9.900, which proved to be important because it allowed Kocian’s score to be dropped. If either of these two gymnasts had scored 0.25 lower, UCLA would not have won the title.
UCLA’s final two competitors on the beam were Ross and Peng-Peng Lee. Ross earned a 9.925, setting the stage for Lee. As she has done seven other times in her career, Lee nailed her routine to score a Perfect 10 and UCLA took the lead by 0.15 points over Utah after three rotations.
That would prove to be enough as both UCLA and Utah would post identical scores of 49.475 on their respective final events. On the floor, each UCLA competitor posted a higher score than their previous teammates with one exception. Kocian started with the Bruins’ lowest score of 9.825, which, of course, would be dropped. Next came Gracie Kramer who scored a 9.850. She was followed by Ross who earned a 9.875. Pauline Tratz and Hano were the next two up for UCLA and they each scored a 9.900.
Ohashi was the final competitor for the Bruins. Before she took to the floor, UCLA had already clinched a victory by at least 0.025 points. But, of course, her Michael Jackson-inspired routine did not disappoint and she earned a 9.950. That gave UCLA a final margin of victory of 0.15 points, which was the same as their lead after three events.
Of course, UCLA wasn’t competing against just Utah. All 8 Pac-12 schools who have women’s gymnastics teams competed.
2018 Pac-12 Gymnastics Championships Final Team Scores
Next up, the top 36 teams who will compete for the national championship are scheduled to be announced tomorrow with regional competition next weekend. UCLA should receive the 2 seed behind Oklahoma. That will likely earn the Bruins the top seed in the West region, which will take place this year in Salt Lake City.
The top two teams from each of the six regionals will advance to the national championships in St. Louis on April 20-21.
Go Bruins! Bring home NC #115!