Zamarripa Named Finalist for AAI Award
March 7, 2013
UCLA's Vanessa Zamarripa (O'Fallon, Ill.) has been selected as one of six finalists for the 2013 AAI Award, which honors the nation's top senior gymnast. Zamarripa 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.
This season, Zamarripa has won Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week honors a record-tying four times, as well as Pac-12 Special Performance of the Week honors once. She holds the Pac-12 records for most career Gymnast of the Week awards (nine) and most Special Performance of the Week awards (eight). Zamarripa has been an invaluable leader on a team hit hart by injuries this year, competing 30 out of a possible 32 routines and capturing an astonishing 17 individual event victories, along with four all-around victories.
Zamarripa is a 12-time All-American, two-time NCAA champion, and seven-time perfect 10 scorer. In 2010, after winning the NCAA vault and team championships and Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year honors, 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. In 2011, she suffered a season-ending Achilles injury, but came roaring back in 2012 to score two perfect 10s on vault, win the Pac-12 vault title and earn a career-high all-around score of 39.775 at the NCAA Super Six Team Finals.
"Beyond her stats and her resume, Vanessa is an amazing ambassador for all of us involved with college athletics," said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. "Her zest for life, kindness toward others and pure enjoyment of our sport is authentic, without pretense, and without concern for reward. She is one of those individuals that will be deeply missed both on and off the competition floor."
Also selected as finalists for the AAI Award are Florida's Marissa King, Penn State's Sharaya Musser, Alabama's Ashley Priess, Oklahoma's Brie Olson and Michigan's Katie Zurales.
The AAI Award is voted upon by the NCAA women's gymnastics head coaches. The six finalists will be recognized and the winner announced at the NCAA Championship banquet in Los Angeles on Apr. 18.
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