April 23, 2013
UCLA senior Vanessa Zamarripa is one of four finalists for the Honda Award for gymnastics, honoring the nation's top gymnast.
Zamarripa, who hails from O'Fallon, Ill., won the 2013 AAI Award as the top senior gymnast in the nation and was also the West Region and Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year. She earned All-America honors on vault, floor and all-around, as well as regular season All-America honors on vault, bars, floor and all-around to improve her All-America haul to a school- record 19.
The Bruin senior had a dominating year in 2013, ranking No. 1 in the nation in the all-around for the final six weeks of the regular season after spending the first five weeks at No. 2. She also finished the regular season ranked No. 1 on vault, an accomplishment she achieved every year she competed. Zamarripa scored nine career perfect 10s, including three in 2013.
En route to winning her second career Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year award, Zamarripa captured Pac-12 titles in the all-around, vault and beam. She had a grand total of 28 individual victories in 2013, including team-highs of eight on vault, seven on bars, four on floor and six in the all-around. Season-high scores for Zamarripa this year were 10.0 on vault, 9.975 on bars and floor, 9.925 on beam and 39.75 to win the Pac-12 all-around title.
She set or tied conference records for most career Gymnast of the Week awards (nine), most career Special Performance of the Week awards (eight) and most Gymnast of the Week awards in a season (four). Zamarripa was also honored by the Pac-12 Conference as an All-Academic selection.
Also nominated for the Honda Award for gymnastics are Rheagan Courville from LSU, Bridget Sloan from Florida and Alina Weinstein from Illinois. The winner after nationwide balloting will become a candidate for the Honda-Broderick Cup awarded annually to The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.
UCLA has had five Honda Award recipients for gymnastics - Kristen Maloney in 2004-05, Onnie Willis in 2002-03, Mohini Bhardwaj in 2000-01, Jill Andrews in 1989-90 and Sharon Shapiro in 1980-81 - and 26 Honda Award winners overall.