Muscle Milk Rotator Sponsor
UCLA Athletics
Samantha Peszek (photo by Jeff Sipsey)
Peszek Wins Beam, UCLA Places Fourth at Pac-12 Championships
By: UCLA Athletics
Berkeley, Calif. - Difficulties on bars and floor put UCLA in third place after the first session of the Pac-12 Gymnastics Championships with a score of 196.525, and host California outscored the Bruins by a quarter of a tenth in the second session, dropping UCLA to fourth place overall. Utah won its first Pac-12 title in any sport, scoring 197.925. Stanford claimed second with 197.175. The Bruins did not come away empty-handed, however, as senior Samantha Peszek claimed the balance beam title with a 9.925.

The Bruins had a rough start on the first rotation, scoring 48.9 on uneven bars, with just three scores of 9.8 or higher. Danusia Francis started the competition with a strong leadoff routine, scoring 9.825, but Hallie Mossett missed her first routine of the season, falling twice on her stalder to dismount and scoring just 8.175. Sydney Sawa took steps on her dismount and had scores ranging from 9.65-9.8 for a final score of 9.725. Olivia Courtney delivered a 9.8, and Sophina DeJesus was dinged on handstands and scored 9.75. Peszek came through in the anchor position to score 9.9, but the Bruins fell behind the other three teams in the rotation.

UCLA bounced back with a great balance beam rotation, scoring 49.3. Mossett shook off her uneven bars mishaps to hit an outstanding leadoff routine that scored 9.825. DeJesus also bounced back from her low bars score to score 9.825. Courtney had to do some extra tumbling on beam due to a delayed connection, but she hit that extra pass too and finished with a 9.825. Peszek had a flawless routine with no wobbles and a stuck dismount and received a 10.0 from one of the four judges but 9.85, 9.95 and 9.9 from the other three for a final score of 9.925. Francis had small wobbles on her leap series and full turn but nailed her sideways side aerial to layout full dismount to score 9.9. Ellette Craddock finished the set with a beautiful routine that scored 9.8, giving UCLA one of its strongest beam sets of the season. However, Utah began to pull away, scoring 49.6 on bars, thanks to a 10.0 from Georgia Dabritz.

UCLA lost some of its momentum on floor exercise in the third rotation with short landings and a dubious out of bounds deduction. Jennifer Pinches started the rotation with a strong leadoff routine that scored 9.85. Francis had a good routine going but was ruled out of bounds on her final pass although video showed that her toes stayed in bounds. Peszek also had trouble on her final pass, landing short on a double pike and scoring 9.775. Courtney saved her middle pass from near disaster but landed on her feet and nailed the rest of her routine, scoring 9.775. Sawa came up big to close, scoring 9.9 to improve UCLA's floor score to 49.025.

Heading into the final rotation, the Bruins were in third place, almost a point behind Utah and four-tenths behind second-place Stanford. After vault scores of 9.775 from Pinches and Mossett, Bynum scored 9.8, and Sawa stuck a 9.9. Peszek scored 9.825, and Courtney finished the meet with a 9.9, giving UCLA 49.2. Utah secured first place with a 49.65 on floor, and Stanford stayed ahead of the Bruins with a 49.45 on bars.

Peszek finished in second place in the all-around with a score of 39.425. Utah's Tory Wilson, the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year, squeaked past Peszek with a 39.45.

The Bruins (13-6) will await the pairings of the NCAA Regionals, which will be announced Monday at 12pm PT on

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Saturday, Apr 02
vs. NCAA Regionals
Salt Lake City, UT
2nd, 196,375
Friday, Apr 15
vs. NCAA Team Semifinals
Fort Worth, TX
3rd, 196.700
Saturday, Apr 16
vs. NCAA Super Six
Fort Worth, TX
5th, 196.825