#13 UCLA Gymnastics to Compete in NCAA Regionals
UCLA will have to get past #4 Michigan, Kent State, and West Virginia to advance to the national championships.
The UCLA gymnastics team will be on the road in West Virginia this weekend. The Bruins will be the #4 seed at the Morgantown Regional taking on #4 Michigan, Kent State, and West Virginia. The top two finishers in tonight’s competition move on to compete again tomorrow versus the top two teams in today’s first session. Today’s meet begins at 4 pm PT.
Last Time Out
At the Pac-12 Conference Championships two weeks ago, UCLA finished third overall behind Utah and UC Berkeley with a final score of 196.725.
The Bruins started on the floor exercise with Emma Andres in her traditional lead-off spot. Her score of 9.600 was followed by a slew of top-notch performances including a 9.825 from Sekai Wright, a pair of 9.9s from Margzetta Frazier and Nia Dennis, and another matching set of 9.95s from Chae Campbell and Pauline Tratz, who both found themselves in a seven-way tie for the event title. UCLA started the meet out in front with a floor exercise total of 49.525 to Utah’s bars score of 49.325, UC Berkeley’s 49.175 on vault, and Arizona State’s 49.075 on beam.
UCLA had another stellar performance on vault, starting with a pair of 9.9s from Tratz and Dennis. Kendal Poston and Frazier each brought in a 9.825 and Wright earned a near-perfect 9.95 for the event title. Campbell closed with a 9.85 and, at the halfway mark, UCLA was now in second behind Utah with a 99.000. UCLA totaled a 98.950, Berkeley was in third with a 98.650, and ASU was in fourth with 98.050.
On the bars, UCLA had five solid scores to count, beginning with Campbell’s 9.8. Frida Esparza made her championship debut with a 9.95 and Sara Ulias brought in another 9.8. Norah Flatley earned a 9.875 but was unfortunately followed by a fall. However, Frazier was able to close the event strong with a 9.95 while taking a share of the event title. After three, UCLA was still hanging on to second place behind Utah’s 148.675. The Bruins’ score was 148.300 and they were followed by UC Berkeley with a 147.850, and ASU with a 147.250.
UCLA wrapped up the competition on the beam, an event that has given the Bruins some trouble all season and this was no exception. There were two falls which required UCLA to count one of them. The event started off just fine with Poston’s 9.85, but Samantha Satki’s fall followed. Frazier, once again competing after a fall, got the team going again with a 9.8 and Campbell followed with a 9.75. Another fall from Esparza would require Satki’s score to be counted, but Nicole Shapiro was able to close with a strong 9.85. In the end, UCLA would finish in third. Utah took the title with a 197.725, UC Berkeley took second with a 197.375, UCLA’s 196.725 earned them third, and ASU was in fourth with a final score of 196.375.
NCAA Gymnastics Regionals
This weekend, UCLA is competing in session two of the Morgantown Regionals in West Virginia, taking on #4 Michigan, Kent State, and West Virginia. West Virginia competed last night against Penn State and beat them 195.950-195.325 to advance to the second round.
The rotation order for the Regional was determined by blind draw prior to the selections. UCLA will begin the second session on uneven bars and end on vault. If the Bruins move on to the Regional Final in first place, they will start on vault. If they finish second, they will begin on floor exercise.
The top two teams from each of the two sessions will advance to the regional final on Saturday, April 3 at 4:00 pm PT. The Friday and Saturday sessions will be livestreamed on ESPN3.
The top two teams and the top all-around competitor who is not on an advancing team from the regional final will receive an automatic berth in the NCAA Championships, which takes place April 16-17 in Fort Worth, Texas. In addition, the top event specialist on each event who is not part of an advancing team or all-around competitor will also advances in that event only.
NCAA Gymnastics Regionals
What: Morgantown Regional
Where: West Virginia University Coliseum, Morgantown, WV
Morgantown Regional, Second Round, Session Two
Morgantown Regional Finals