Despite a flurry of Perfect 10s, the UCLA gymnastics team fell short last weekend against the Oklahoma Sooners, 197.775-197.575 in Norman, Oklahoma. The meet featured the top two teams in women’s collegiate gymnastics, and according to announcer Bart Conners, “if you can only watch one meet this year, watch this one!”. Every competitor was at the top of their game and deserves recognition for their part in this hard fought battle.
Last Time Out
In the opening rotation, UCLA began on bars as the visiting team. The first three competitors, Margzetta Frazier, Felicia Hano, and Macy Toronjo, all received a score of 9.800. Norah Flatley was in the fourth spot and earned a 9.875 while Madison Kocian notched a 9.825. Rounding out the rotation was Kyla Ross, who earned yet another perfect 10 in this event, making it her fourth of the season. That gave the Bruins a 49.300 for the rotation. Meanwhile, Oklahoma was on the vault where the Sooners earned a 49.425.
The Bruins moved to the vault for the second rotation. This event that has been the weakest for UCLA for most of the season. Gracie Kramer led off with a 9.750 and Hano came next with a 9.825. Sekai Wright made another appearance in the third spot with a 9.725 while Nia Dennis would push the Bruins in the right direction with a 9.875. Ross hit yet another perfect vault, earning a 10 for the third time this season. Pauline Tratz was in the anchor spot and finished the rotation off with a 9.775. The result was a 49.225 score on the vault for UCLA while the Sooners scored 49.575 on the bars. After two rotations, UCLA trailed 99.000-98.525.
The Bruins were up on the floor for the third rotation, beginning with Frazier’s drag show routine including her “death drop” final pose, earning a 9.825. Kramer’s ever-popular Twilight Zone routine came next and earned a solid 9.925. Tratz followed with a 9.850 and Ross narrowly missed grabbing her third perfect 10 of the day, earning a 9.975. Hano’s routine would be rewarded with a 9.925 and the rotation concluded with Katelyn Ohashi, the top ranked floor specialist in the country who earned yet another perfect 10 on floor, making it her fourth of the season. For the rotation, UCLA scored 49.675 as a team as Oklahoma scored 49.200 on the beam to tie the meet up 148.200-148.200.
It all came down to the final rotation where UCLA was on the balance beam and Oklahoma was on the floor. The Bruins had a solid rotation. Grace Glenn started off the rotation with a 9.900, but Brielle Nguyen appeared in the second spot, only earning a 9.775 which would get dropped. Kocian and Flatley each earned a 9.825 and Ross followed with a 9.875. Ohashi finished the rotation with a 9.950, which continues to tie her for the top spot in the country on beam. That gave UCLA a team score of 49.375 as the Sooners finished on the floor with a 49.575. Of course, that meant the Bruins fell .200 short. Oklahoma had pieced together a 197.775 over the four events, but UCLA only had a 197.575, giving the Sooners the win.
Ross finished the day winning the all-around, tying her career and season high all-around score of 39.850, making it her eighth all-around victory of the season. She has scored at least one perfect 10 in five consecutive meets and leads the nation with seven perfect 10s this season, owning as many 10s as all other schools combined. Ross and Ohashi set Pac-12 records this week, garnering conference honors yet again. Ross received her record-breaking fifth consecutive Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week award and Ohashi tied the Pac-12 record for her Specialist of the Week award, earning it for the fifth time this season and ninth time in her career.
#2 UCLA and #24 Stanford meet for the second time this season today. Stanford won their last meet on February 24 against Arizona with a score of 196.525, which was their first win since they beat Sacramento State and Seattle Pacific on January 11, and it was their first conference win since February 18, 2017 against Arizona State. One of their top gymnasts, sophomore Taylor Lawson, was unable to perform due to illness. Nevertheless, the Cardinal prevailed. It had been their fourth meet in 14 days and was their final home meet of the season.
Individually, Kyla Bryant and Morgan Hoang matched career-highs on floor. earning a 9.925 and 9.875 respectively. Wesley Stephenson had a career high on beam with a 9.875, as did Lauren Navarro, earning a 9.800. Madison Brunette hit a career-high on bars with a 9.875, and Aleeza Yu set a career-high on vault, earning a 9.850. Rachael Flam matched her career-high on vault with a 9.875, and Catherine Rogers notched a 9.800, setting a new career-high on bars. Additionally, Bryant won her sixth all-around title of the season.
This is your UCLA gymnastics vs. Stanford open thread.