The UCLA gymnastics team is in St. Louis, competing in session one of today’s NCAA semifinals. After winning the Columbus Regional, the Bruins earned a spot in today’s competition and the chance to advance to tomorrow’s Super Six final.
UCLA will compete in the first session against LSU, Alabama, Nebraska, Arkansas and Georgia. The teams competing in session two are Oklahoma, Florida, Utah, Washington, UC Berkeley and Kentucky. The top three teams from each session will compete tomorrow in the Super Six, beginning at 4:00 pm PT.
The Bruins enter today’s competition ranked third in the country. UCLA will compete in the Olympic order, beginning the competition on vault and finishing on the floor. This is also the rotation UCLA has for the team’s home meets. This has been a solid order for them throughout the season, but, today, there is one wrinkle. UCLA will have a bye after the vault and after the beam. Nebraska begins on a bye before the bars. Alabama begins on bars. LSU is on the beam. Arkansas begins on a bye before the floor. Finally, Georgia starts on the floor.
Georgia (10), Utah (9), UCLA (6), Alabama (6), Florida (3) and Oklahoma (3) are the only teams to have won a title in the 36 years of the NCAA gymnastics championships and all of these teams are competing in St. Louis today. The competition between UCLA and Utah this season has been stiff with these teams trading wins. UCLA beat Utah at the Elevate the Stage quad meet on January 14, but Utah came to Pauley Pavilion on February 18 and narrowly beat the Bruins by .125 after UCLA uncharacteristically struggled on the floor exercise. UCLA and Utah went #1 and #2 at the Pac-12 Championships, with UCLA beating Utah by .15 and UCLA’s Kyla Ross and Utah’s Mykayla Skinner tying in the all-around.
But, the Bruins won’t see Utah until the Super Six tomorrow. UCLA has already defeated two of today’s opponents during the regular season. The Bruins competed against LSU at the Metroplex Challenge on January 27 where UCLA defeated the Tigers, 197.625 to 197.375. They also topped Nebraska at the Masters Classic in Lincoln, Nebraska where the Bruins won 197.500 to 197.125.
The UCLA gymnastics team could be just one day away from competing for NC #115.
Go Bruins!! Bring home #115!!