April 1, 2013
UCLA Seeks NCAA Berth at Columbus Regional
Sixth-ranked UCLA (16-5) is the top seed at the NCAA Columbus Regional and will compete for one of two available berths in the NCAA Championships, which are being held at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion. The Regional meet will take place at Ohio State's St. John Arena on Saturday, Apr. 6 at 6 pm ET. Also competing at the Regional are seventh-ranked LSU, 18th-ranked Arizona, 20th-ranked Ohio State, 24th-ranked Central Michigan and 31st-ranked North Carolina State.
The rotation order for the Regional was determined by blind draw prior to the selections. The No. 1 seed, UCLA, will have Olympic order and start on vault. No. 2 seed LSU starts on a bye before bars. No. 3 seed Arizona begins on a bye before floor. No. 4 seed Ohio State starts on floor, while No. 5 seed Central Michigan kicks off on bars, and No. 6 seed North Carolina State begins on beam.
Regional Championship History
The Bruins have won 20 regional titles, including three consecutive. UCLA captured last season's Regional meet at Arkansas with a score of 197.225, four-tenths ahead of second-place Arkansas. The Bruins had a rough start at the top of the meet when the leadoff competitor posted a sub-9 score on bars. But the team remained unrattled, hitting five routines to avoid counting the fall. Stuck landings on beam in rotation two helped the team pick up momentum, and in their final two events, floor and vault, the Bruins dominated, scoring 49.475 and 49.45, respectively, to take the title.
A Look At The Regional Field
LSU (15-6) is the No. 2 seed in the Regional and ranked No. 7 in the nation. The Tigers led at the SEC Championships after two rotations and finished in third place with a mark of 197.7, the third-highest score in school history. SEC Gymnast of the year Rheagan Courville tied for first in the all-around and beam and won vault with a perfect 10. Additionally, Lloimincia Hall and Jessica Savona tied for first on floor exercise. LSU ranks first nationally on vault with a RQS of 49.495.
Arizona (11-9) is the No. 3 seed at the regional and ranks 18th nationally. The Wildcats, who finished in sixth place at the Pac-12 Championships, have an RQS of 196.090 and season-high score of 196.625. Arizona is led by All-Pac-12 all-arounder Aubree Cristello, who ranks 17th in the nation with a RQS of 39.405. Host team and No. 4 seed Ohio State (9-10) is coming off a fifth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships, where Sarah Miller and Alyssa Marohn tied for first on beam. Miller ranks eighth in the nation on beam with a RQS of 9.9. Rounding out the field are No. 5 seed and co-MAC Champion Central Michigan (17-5-1) and No. 6 seed and EAGL Champion North Carolina State (11-9-1).
UCLA Second at Pac-12 Championships
UCLA earned a season road-best score of 197.375 to finish in second place behind host Oregon State at the Pac-12 Championships. The Bruins grabbed an early lead after a season-best performance on uneven bars to start the meet but lost the advantage in the second rotation after a low-scoring beam set. UCLA bounced back in the final two rotations, scoring 49.45 on floor and a season-high-tying 49.5 on vault to pull up to second place.
Bruins Capture Four of Five Individual Titles
Vanessa Zamarripa won the Pac-12 all-around title for the second time in her career, scoring a season-high 39.75. She also won her third vault title, scoring the sixth perfect 10 in Pac-12 Championship history and first in nine years, and first beam title, tying for first place on beam with Stanford's Amanda Spinner with a season-high-tying 9.925. Olivia Courtney tied for first place on floor with a season-high-tying 9.95, capturing the fourth Pac-12 title of her career.
Courtney, Wong Set New Career-Highs in All-Around at Pac-12s
Junior Olivia Courtney and senior Lichelle Wong also had standout all-around performances at the Pac-12 Championships, each recording new career-highs. Courtney placed third with a score of 39.55, scoring 9.95 on both vault and floor. Wong finished seventh with a 39.375, scoring 9.85s on three events.
Zamarripa Named Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year
Senior Vanessa Zamarripa was voted the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year for the second time in her career (she previously won as a sophomore in 2010). Zamarripa has dominated not just as the conference level but nationally as well, ranking No. 1 in the nation in the all-around for the last seven weeks of the season and No. 2 the other five weeks. She has competed in the all-around in all but one meet this season, winning six times and scoring a season-high 39.75 to win the Pac-12 title. Zamarripa also won the conference vault and beam titles.
In 42 routines competed, she has placed first 22 times, winning her event 52% of the time. She has scored three perfect 10s on vault (nine in her career), a 9.975 on both bars and floor and scored above 39.5 eight times in the all-around.
Zamarripa was awarded Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week four times this year and Special Performance of the Week once. She set or tied conference records for most career Gymnast of the Week awards (nine), most career Special Performance of the Week awards (eight), most Gymnast of the Week awards in a season (four). She is a finalist for the AAI Award as the nation's top senior gymnast.
Zamarripa is a 12-time All-American and 2010 NCAA team and vault champion. In 2010, she made the rare jump to the elite level from the collegiate level, making the U.S. National Team after her sophomore season. Also that year, she became the first U.S. gymnast ever to land the Cheng vault in competition, sticking the vault at the VISA National Championships. She is tied for No. 3 with two-time Olympian Kate Richardson in UCLA's record books for most career perfect 10s with nine and ranks second for most 10s on vault.
Five Bruins Earn All-Conference Honors
Five members the UCLA Gymnastics squad were named to the 2013 Pac-12 All-Conference team, led by Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year Vanessa Zamarripa, who earned first-team acclaim in the all-around for the third time in her career. Junior Olivia Courtney received first-team honors on vault for the third-straight year. Senior Kaelie Baer and freshman Danusia Francis each picked up their first career All-Pac-12 nods, with Baer earning second-team acclaim on vault and Francis landing a spot on the second team on beam. Senior Alyssa Pritchett received second-team honors on floor exercise for the second-straight year.
Bruins Dominate Weekly Conference Awards
UCLA led all conference schools in 2013 with 10 weekly Pac-12 awards. Vanessa Zamarripa led all gymnasts with five total awards - four Gymnast of the Week awards (tied for most ever in one season) and one Special Performance of the Week award. Olivia Courtney and Alyssa Pritchett each won one Special Performance of the Week award. Sophina DeJesus was the Freshman of the Week twice, and Danusia Francis won the award once.
In the Rankings
UCLA closed the regular season strong, scoring its season-high on the road at the Pac-12 Championships (197.375) to jump up two spots to No. 6 nationally with a RQS of 197.2. The Bruins rank sixth on beam (49.220) and floor (49.430) and ninth on vault (49.375) and bars (49.280).
Vanessa Zamarripa remains ranked No. 1 in the nation in the all-around (39.660) for the seventh consecutive week and jumped up to No. 1 on vault (9.970). Her No. 1 ranking on vault gives her the distinction of finishing each of her four seasons ranked No. 1 in the nation on that event. Zamarripa also ranks in the Top 25 on the other three events, checking in at No. 4 on bars (9.935), No. 7 on floor (9.925) and No. 22 on beam (9.880). Olivia Courtney ranks eighth on vault (9.920) and 17th on floor (9.910), Danusia Francis ranks 16th on beam (9.890), and Alyssa Pritchett is 17th on floor (9.910).
UCLA to Host 2013 NCAA Championships
UCLA will host the 2013 NCAA Championships in Pauley Pavilion on Apr. 19-21. This will be UCLA's fourth time hosting the NCAAs. The Bruins won the national title the last time they hosted in 2004, scoring an NCAA record 198.125.
UCLA also previously hosted in 1998 and 1984. Tickets for the Championships are on sale now at uclabruins.com/tickets.