April 7, 2012
Fayetteville, Ark. - The third-ranked UCLA Gymnastics team advanced to the NCAA Championships for the 28th time in school history after winning the Fayetteville Regional with a score of 197.225. Host team Arkansas placed second with a score of 196.825 to also advance to the Championships.
The Bruins had a challenging start to the meet when the leadoff on uneven bars scored under 9.0. With the remaining five competitors needing to hit, the team did just that. Olivia Courtney scored 9.825, and Mattie Larson followed with a 9.775. Peszek provided a big routine that scored 9.85 after a stuck double layout dismount. Zamarripa showed off her trademark held handstands and scored 9.9. Aisha Gerber took a few steps back on her dismount but stayed on her feet, scoring 9.725 to keep the Bruins from counting a fall. UCLA's bars score of 49.075 was good for first place ahead of Maryland (48.85), Missouri (48.775) and New Hampshire (47.675).
In rotation two, the Bruins went on a tear, sticking five straight balance beam dismounts to start the rotation. Gerber kicked things off with a solid leadoff routine that scored 9.725. Kaelie Baer provided one of her best routines of the season, scoring 9.775, and Larson scored 9.8. Zamarripa was nearly flawless, scoring 9.9, and Hopfner-Hibbs earned 9.85. Peszek had nary a wobble in her routine, scoring 9.9, and the Bruins made it 6-for-6 in the rotation with a team total of 49.225.
With two events in the bag, the Bruins went into a third rotation bye with a 98.3 first-place total, but Arkansas moved ahead with a 98.425 after scoring 49.2 on vault. Standing in third was Maryland (97.725), followed by Boise State (97.625), Missouri (97.4) and New Hampshire (96.575).
UCLA finished up on its best two events, however - floor and vault. Tauny Frattone's leadoff score of 9.825 on floor set the tone for a 49.475 team total. Zamarripa followed with a 9.85, and Courtney scored 9.9. Alyssa Pritchett tumbled her way to a 9.875, and Peszek scored 9.9. Hopfner-Hibbs closed the set with a career-high tying 9.95.
The Bruins closed it out on vault with a total of 49.45 to clinch a Top 2 placement and spot at the National Championships. Baer got things started with a 9.825. Hopfner-Hibbs landed a nice vault for a 9.85. Peszek stuck her Yurchenko layout full vault cold for a 9.95. Courtney had a near stick on a vault that had great height and scored 9.925. Frattone had a small step back on her vault and earned 9.825, and Zamarripa ended the Bruins' competition with a 9.9 vault.
Arkansas, who needed to score 49.6 on beam to overtake UCLA in the final rotation, scored 49.175 to take second place. Boise State was third with 196.05, followed by Missouri with 195.45, Maryland with 194.4 and New Hampshire with 193.9.
Qualifying to the NCAA Championships along with UCLA and Arkansas are all-around qualifiers Amy Glass (Boise State) and Rachel Updike (Missouri).
In addition, UCLA assistant coach Randy Lane was named the West Region Assistant Coach of the Year.