March 20, 2013
Pac-12 Gymnastics Championships Website
UCLA Looks to Defend Pac-12 Championship
Eighth-ranked UCLA (10-4) will defend its Pac-12 title on Saturday, Mar. 23 at Gill Coliseum at Oregon State. The Bruins are the No. 2 seed and will compete in the evening session at 7 pm, along with Utah, Oregon State and Stanford. Arizona, Washington, Arizona State and California will compete at 1:30 pm in the afternoon session. Seeding is determined by national rankings, which are based on Regional Qualifying Score (RQS).
The afternoon session of the Pac-12 Championships will feature No. 5 seed Arizona, No. 6 seed Washington, No. 7 seed Arizona State and No. 8 seed California. The second session showcases the Top 4 seeds in No. 1 Utah, No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Oregon State and No. 4 Stanford. The Pac-12 champion will be the team with the highest score from the two sessions. Individual champions will also be determined via combined sessions.
The rotation order for the Championships was determined by blind draw last May. The Nos. 4 (Stanford) and 8 (California) seeds will start on the vault. Nos. 2 (UCLA) and 6 (Washington) will start on bars. Nos. 3 (Oregon State) and 7 (Arizona State) will start on the beam, and the Nos. 1 (Utah) and 5 (Arizona) seeds will begin on the floor.
Both sessions of the Pac-12 Championships will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks. Providing the call will be Jim Watson and 1996 Olympic gold medalist Amanda Borden. Live stats will be available at osubeavers.com.
Pride Of The Pac
The Pac-12 is one of the most competitive conferences in the nation, with all eight teams ranked in the Top 32 and four ranked in the Top 11. Utah ranks No. 7, followed by UCLA at No. 8, Oregon State at No. 10 and Stanford at No. 11. Arizona ranks 17th, Washington is 26th, Arizona State ranks 28th, and California is 32nd.
Conference Championship History
UCLA has won the most conference championships among the eight member schools with 16 Pac-12 titles (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012) and 1 WCAA title (1981). Oregon State (1991, 1992, 1994, 1996, 2011) and Stanford (1998, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008) and are the only other teams to win Pac-12 titles. Utah has eight conference titles, winning HCAC Championships from 1986-90 and WAC Championships from 1991-93. The Utes competed as an independent from 1994-2011. Arizona State has four conference titles - the 1986 Pac West crown and the 1982, 1983 and 1985 WCAA titles.
UCLA has dominated individually at the Pac-12 Championships, winning a conference-best 79 individual titles. The Bruins have been especially dominant in the all-around, winning 17 titles, including 11 in the last 16 years (includes ties). UCLA gymnasts have won 20 titles on bars, 15 on vault and floor and 12 on beam.
Back to defend their event titles are vault co-champions Olivia Courtney and Vanessa Zamarripa from UCLA and Ivana Hong from Stanford; uneven bars champion Georgia Dabritz of Utah; and floor exercise champion Ashley Morgan of Stanford. All-Around champion Corrie Lothrop of Utah is out for the season with an Achilles tear. Courtney, Zamarripa and Morgan are two-time champions on their respective events.
Last Year At Pac-12 Championships
At the inaugural Pac-12 Championship in Utah in 2012, UCLA came from behind on balance beam in the final rotation to capture its 17th conference title, scoring 197.425. Stanford held the lead for each of the first three rotations before falling out of contention during the fourth and final rotation. The Bruins kept close throughout the meet and showed tremendous grace under pressure in the final rotation, scoring 49.375 on beam to overtake Stanford and hold off a surging Utah, who scored 49.525 on floor. The Bruins' final three performers on beam came up big, with Vanessa Zamarripa scoring a season-high 9.95, Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs scoring a meet-winning 9.975, and Samantha Peszek clinching the win with a 9.85.
Conference Awards To Be Handed Out
Conference awards for Gymnast of the Year, Freshman/Newcomer of the Year, Specialist of the Year, Toyo Tires Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Coach of the Year will be handed out at the conclusion of the Pac-12 Championship meet. UCLA has won 12 of the last 16 Gymnast of the Year awards, most recently Vanessa Zamarripa in 2010, and a total of 17 in 26 years. Head coach Valorie Kondos Field has won Coach of the Year honors four times (1995, 2000, 2003, 2012). UCLA has produced seven conference Freshmen/Newcomers of the Year since the inception of the award in 2000 - Olivia Courtney in 2011, Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs in 2009, Brittani McCullough in 2008, Ariana Berlin in 2006 (shared with Jami Lanz of Oregon State), Tasha Schwikert in 2005, Kate Richardson in 2003 and Doni Thompson in 2000. The Scholar-Athlete of the Year was established in 2008, and UCLA has one winner - Ariana Berlin in 2009. This is the inaugural year of the Specialist of the Year Award.
In the Rankings
Despite tying its season-high team score of 197.425, UCLA remained at No. 8 in the national rankings with a RQS of 197.000. The Bruins rank fourth on beam (49.220), seventh on floor (49.325), ninth on vault (49.335) and 12th on bars (49.220).
Vanessa Zamarripa remains ranked No. 1 in the nation in the all-around (39.590) for the sixth consecutive week. She also ranks No. 2 on vault (9.960), No. 4 on bars (9.925), and No. 5 on floor (9.925). Olivia Courtney ranks 20th on vault (9.905), Danusia Francis ranks 15th on beam (9.890), and Alyssa Pritchett is 12th on floor (9.905).
Bruins Tie Season-Best in Win over Arkansas
Led by a perfect 10 by Vanessa Zamarripa on vault, UCLA matched its season-high team total in the regular season finale, scoring 197.425 to defeat Arkansas, which scored 196.6. On Senior Day, the Bruins' fifth-year seniors came up big. In addition to scoring a 10 on vault, Zamarripa won uneven bars with a 9.95 and the all-around with a season-high-tying 39.675. Alyssa Pritchett hit career-highs on both vault (9.85) and floor exercise (9.95), and Kaelie Baer scored a career-high 9.9 on vault for the third-straight meet. Zamarripa's 10 gave the Bruins a season-high score of 49.5 on vault and a first-rotation lead they never relinquished. UCLA finished the meet with a season-best 49.55 on floor to seal the victory.