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UCLA's Samantha Peszek is Your NCAA Gymnastics All-Around Champion & Beam Champion

On an otherwise disappointing day for UCLA's gymnastic's team, Samantha Peszek wins a share of the NCAA Gymnastics All-Around championship.

Congratulations to NCAA All-Around Champion Samantha Peszek
Congratulations to NCAA All-Around Champion Samantha Peszek


Samatha Peszek finished her collegiate career today by winning the beam competition. She's bringing home two NCAA 1st place trophies.  Congratulations and well done, Samantha!

Samantha with her trophies:


A huge congratulations to senior UCLA gymnast Samantha Peszek for becoming this year's NCAA All-Around Champion. While the team was having a really rough day, Samantha was consistently brilliant, scoring 9.9s in each event, giving her an overall score of 36.9 and tying her with Florida's Kytra Hunter for the all-around champion.

While I know she was disappointed to not have the team advance, she was rock solid in doing her part for the team:

If I could give it up to win the team national championship, I would. But to end on this note for myself and to leave this sport in peace knowing that I did everything that I could possibly do and have no regrets is something that I will forever remember.

Sounds a lot like another Coach's definition of success!

From the official website:

She started her day with a strong and powerful floor exercise routine that finished tied for fourth in the session. In rotation two, she stuck a Yurchenko layout full and finished just shy of event finals in fifth place. Peszek showcased her fight and competitiveness, as she nearly overarched on a handstand but held it together and then stuck her double layout dismount cold. Her balance beam was nearly perfect, with the only visible deduction being a bend at the waist to hold on to the stick on her dismount.

Samantha also placed within the top four in her semi on the beam and floor and will compete to be the champion in those events on Sunday at 11 am UCLA time (ESPN3).

The team on the other hand had their worst outing since January. They had the highest score coming into the first semifinal, a 197.500, but left in last place with a 196.400, placing behind Florida (197.475), Utah (197.475), Stanford (197.175), Michigan (197.025), and Georgia (196.600). Florida, Utah and Stanford will advance, along with Alabama, Oklahoma and Auburn, to the Super Six today.

The team started on the floor and were just off - landing short, out of bounds, and taking big steps on dismounts. Only Danusha Francis (9.85) and Samantha (9.9) were able to have clean routines. Things didn't improve on their 2nd apparatus, the vault, where again short landings and hops yielded opening scores of 9.65, 9.7, 9.775, and  9.72. Jordan Williams and Samantha, again, were the only two to nail their vaults each earning a 9.9. Samantha stuck a Yurchenko layout full which you can see in the highlight video below.

Half-way through the meet, UCLA was in a deep hole that would be nearly impossible to dig its way out of. The team had 97.950 points behind Florida (98.750), Michigan (98.750), Stanford (98.750), Utah (98.525) and Georgia (98.450). With only two events left, UCLA would not only need to be great to advance to today's Super Six, but would need three other teams to falter.

During their bye, UCLA regrouped and did come out stronger on the bars and in their usual best event, the beam. On the bars, Danusia Francis, Sonya Meraz, and Sophina DeJesus each scored a 9.8. Hallie Mossett stuck her dismount for a 9.85, Samantha got her 9.9, and after a slight hop on her landing, Christine Peng-Peng Lee still scored a 9.9. The stream didn't show any of the routines except for Samantha's, which was remarkable, especially as she was able to hold onto a beautiful handstand after overarching a bit. Her strength and beauty were phenomenal.

The bruins moved to the beam which has been their go to event all year, but only did alright this time. This time they stuck all of their dismounts but still scored below what they have become accustomed to. They started with a 9.75 and a 9.775, before DeJesus landed a 9.80, Francis and Lee a 9.875, and Samantha another 9.9. In the regionals the team scored a 49.550 on the beam, yesterday only a 49.200 which was not enough to get them back into the top three spots to move on.

You can watch a complete replay of UCLA's session, get the complete results, and watch the highlights of the UCLA's semis including Samantha's vault at the NCAA website:

The women, I know were disappointed yesterday as they didn't perform to their normal best. But other than yesterday, they had an excellent season with only two losses, both to Utah, and came away with the highest score of the six teams coming into their semifinal, which included last year's champion Florida.

And best of all, their senior leader finishes her career at UCLA with the NCAA Gymnastic's top individual championship. Congratulations to Samantha and to all her teammates for a great year.

Go Bruins!