March 6, 2013
UCLA Hosts Michigan, California, Iowa State
Sixth-ranked UCLA (7-3) returns to Pauley Pavilion for the first time in a month, hosting third-ranked Michigan (13-1), California (8-6) and Iowa State (4-6) in a quad meet on Sunday, Mar. 10 at 2 pm in Pauley Pavilion.
Heart of a Champion Meet
UCLA is partnering with Camp del Corazon for Sunday's third annual Heart of a Champion meet. The meet will help raise funds and awareness for Camp del Corazon, a non-profit organization that provides a summer camp to youngsters with heart disease. One way to help is to make a donation of $10 at campdelcorazon.org, which will get you a Camp del Corazon towel and admission to Sunday's meet.
The Heart of a Champion meet is extra special this year, with Iowa State assistant coach Kristen Maloney in attendance with her team. Maloney, who was a nine-time All-American, three-time NCAA team and two-time NCAA individual champion at UCLA, has a team award named after her - the Kristen Maloney Heart of a Champion award.
Honoring Alumnae and 2003 NCAA Champions
UCLA Gymnastics is proud to welcome back its alumnae for Sunday's meet, particularly the 2003 NCAA Championship team, which will be honored in postmeet ceremonies. The 2003 Bruins swept through the postseason and captured UCLA's fourth NCAA title by totaling 197.825 to outscore second-place Alabama by 0.55. Kate Richardson, then a freshman, won two NCAA individual titles, taking first place on balance beam and tying with teammate Jamie Dantzscher for first on uneven bars. UCLA's "Fab Five" seniors Malia Jones, Kristin Parker, Carly Raab, Doni Thompson and Onnie Willis finished their collegiate careers in 2003 as three-time NCAA Champions.
Tickets for the meet are on sale at the UCLA Central Ticket Office and at Ticketmaster. Reserved tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for youth (16 and under). General admission tickets are $8 for adults/$5 for youth. UCLA students are free with ID.
In the Rankings
UCLA held on to the No. 6 ranking with a RQS of 196.765. The Bruins rank fourth on beam (49.195), seventh on bars (49.205) and floor (49.285) and eighth on vault (49.310).
Vanessa Zamarripa remains ranked No. 1 in the nation in the all-around (39.590) for the fourth consecutive week. She also ranks No. 2 on vault (9.930) and floor (9.925), No. 5 on bars (9.905) and No. 21 on beam (9.860). Olivia Courtney ranks 19th on vault (9.890), Danusia Francis is 14th on beam (9.875), and Alyssa Pritchett is 16th on floor (9.885).
Bruins Floored at Alabama
UCLA finished a grueling three-meet road stretch with a 197.075-196.375 loss at fourth-ranked Alabama on Friday evening. The Bruins scored a season-high-tying 49.35 on vault and led at the halfway mark but could not hold on to the lead after a shaky performance on floor exercise. Vanessa Zamarripa won two events, capturing first place on vault (9.95) and uneven bars (9.9). The Bruins also had 9.9 second-place performances from Kaelie Baer and Olivia Courtney on vault (career-high for Baer, season-high for Courtney) and Mattie Larson on beam (season-high).
Zamarripa Earns Record Eighth Special Performance of the Week Award
Vanessa Zamarripa continues to set Pac-12 records, earning her record eighth career Pac-12 Special Performance of the Week award. She also holds the record for most Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week honors in a career (nine) and in a single-season (four, tied with UCLA's Kristen Maloney, 2005). Zamarripa won UCLA's only two events at Alabama last weekend, taking first place on vault with a 9.95 and on uneven bars with a 9.9. She also finished second in the all-around with a score of 38.825.
American Award Finalist
Vanessa Zamarripa has been selected as one of six finalists for the AAI American Award, honoring the nation's top senior gymnast. The Bruin senior has held the No. 1 national ranking in the all-around for the past four weeks and also currently ranks in the Top 5 on three events - No. 2 on vault and floor and No. 5 on bars. She has won Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week honors a record-tying four times this season and leads the Bruins with 17 first-place finishes on 30 routines this season. She also has four all-around victories. Zamarripa is a 12-time All-American, 2010 NCAA team and vault champion, and seven-time perfect 10 scorer. 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.
About The Opponents
Third-ranked Michigan has ranked in the Top 3 all season, including two weeks at No. 1. The Wolverines have a season-high score of 197.375. California ranks 32nd overall and has a season-high team score of 195.925. Close behind Cal in the rankings is Iowa State at No. 36. The Cyclones' season-high is 195.550.
UCLA has winning records against all three teams in the regular season, owning an 8-5 series advantage over Michigan, 57-1 over California and 1-0 over Iowa State.
Nation's Top Two All-Arounders to Face Off
Sunday's meet will be a showcase for the nation's top two all-arounders - UCLA's Vanessa Zamarripa and Michigan's Joanna Sampson, who rank No. 1 and 2, respectively. Zamarripa has a RQS of 39.590 and season average of 39.493, while Sampson has a 39.500 RQS and 39.409 season average. This week, Sampson overtook Zamarripa for the top spot on floor exercise with a 9.940 RQS. Zamarripa is tied for second with a 9.925 RQS. Both gymnasts have scored 9.975 on the event this year.
The Bruins will host 24th-ranked Arkansas on Sunday, Mar. 17 in the final regular season home meet of the season. UCLA will honor its five seniors - Kaelie Baer, Monique De La Torre, Alyssa Pritchett, Lichelle Wong and Vanessa Zamarripa - in postmeet ceremonies.
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.