After laying a beatdown on 2018 Super Six competitor Nebraska, UCLA will face fellow Pac-12 team #9 UC Berkeley, #14 UC Davis, and #33 Michigan State this evening at the Collegiate Challenge at the Anaheim Arena at the Anaheim Convention Center.
In their last outing, UCLA beat Nebraska 197.250-195.700, with junior Kyla Ross winning the all-around with a final total score of 39.650. Ross, junior Gracie Kramer, and senior Katelyn Ohashi, tied for a first place finish on the floor exercise with a score of 9.950. Ohashi also won the balance beam event with a 9.900.
Following the meet, Ross was selected as the UCLA/Muscle Milk Athlete of the Week, and Ohashi was the Pac-12 Gymnastics Specialist of the Week.
After an opening misstep on vault, UCLA finished strong and never looked back. The Bruins led after each rotation and ended the meet with the always anticipated “Bruin Dance Party.” Ohashi debuted her 2019 floor routine, which was an entertaining mash-up of genres and artists that included her ever-famous split jump that has earned her rave reviews around the country.
The UC Berkeley Golden Bears will be the toughest competitor and highest-ranked opponent that UCLA will face today. They scored 195.650 last weekend against the LSU Tigers. The two teams were tied at the halfway mark, but LSU finished strong to win the meet. The Bears took an early lead on LSU with a strong debut on bars, but the Tigers came back to tie after the second rotation. LSU pulled away with a strong finish on both the beam and the floor to earn the win.
UC Davis opened their season at home with a quad meet against Stanford, San Jose State, and Sacramento State. They finished in second place with help from a strong performance on the beam with a score of 49.100, which is a school record for a season-opening performance. Their final score, a 194.950, was also a program best for a season-opening meet and good enough to move them to #14 in the nation.
Finally, the Michigan State Spartans are coming off a season opening loss against North Carolina State with a score of 191.700. Ashley Hofelich won the vault with a 9.800, while Alaina Raybon took the top spot on floor with a 9.850. Their highest event total was a 48.725 on floor.
Today’s competition will feature some of the top gymnasts in the country, but the Bruins are likely to take first in this meet. In the rotation, UCLA will begin the meet on vault and end on floor exercise. UC Berkeley starts on uneven bars, UC Davis begins on balance beam, and Michigan State starts on floor.
This is your Collegiate Challenge open thread.