Five Bruins Place In Top 8 at NCAA Event Finals
April 22, 2012
Duluth, Ga. - UCLA wrapped up competition at the 2012 NCAA Championships with strong performances in the individual event finals. Senior Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs tied for second on floor exercise, sophomore Olivia Courtney placed third on uneven bars, and junior Vanessa Zamarripa earned Top 6 finishes on both bars and floor.
On floor exercise, Hopfner-Hibbs received standing ovations from not only UCLA's section but from the Utah and Alabama sections and earned a score of 9.9375 to take the lead after the first flight of competitors. Hopfner-Hibbs put together the best package of dance, high tumbling, impeccable form and stuck landings but was eventually overtaken by Georgia's Kat Ding, who scored 9.95 to win her second title of the day (she also won bars). Zamarripa put together one of her best floor routines of the season, scoring 9.9 to tie for sixth place.
Courtney led three Bruins in the Top 6 on uneven bars with her third-place showing. Competing third on the event, Courtney hit a very clean routine with a stuck full-in dismount, scoring 9.8875, which was good for first place at the time. She, too, was overtaken by Ding, the defending bars champion, who earned 10s from several of the judges and a final score of 9.9875. Zamarripa was the first competitor on bars and finished in fifth place with a 9.85 after hopping on her double layout dismount. Gerber also took a step on her dismount and finished in a tie for sixth place with a score of 9.825.
Defending balance beam champion Peszek had the most difficult routine of the competition, with a standing full, front aerial/back pike, and a front tuck, as well as a backhandspring/layout/full dismount. A balance check on the standing full ended up costing her, and she scored 9.85, which was good for a tie for seventh place. Hopfner-Hibbs had two balance checks and scored 9.775 to place 11th. Alabama's Geralen Stack-Eaton won the beam title with a score of 9.9375.
Florida's Kytra Hunter added to her all-around title by winning vault with a total of 9.875.
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