Eight Bruins Named To All-Pac-10 Gymnastics Team
March 24, 2009
Walnut Creek, Calif. - All eight Bruin competitors at the Pac-10 Championships were named to the 2009 Pac-10 All-Conference team, marking the most honorees from one school in one season in Pac-10 history. Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs and Vanessa Zamarripa earned first-team honors in the all-around, while Ariana Berlin (vault), Anna Li (uneven bars), Aisha Gerber (balance beam), Niki Tom (balance beam) and Mizuki Sato (floor exercise) received first-team acclaim on individual events. Brittani McCullough was a second-team selection on vault.
Hopfner-Hibbs, who was also named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, placed fifth in the all-around and tied for second on balance beam at the Pac-10 Championships. She is ranked 15th in the nation in the all-around with a RQS of 39.410 and leads the Bruin team with four all-around victories on the year. She has posted season-highs of 39.525 in the all-around, 9.95 on vault and floor, 9.925 on beam and 9.875 on bars. She earned Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week honors a conference-best three times this season.
Zamarripa was UCLA's top all-around finisher at the Pac-10 meet, placing third with a score of 39.4. She also tied for second on balance beam with a career-high 9.9. She ranks first in the nation on vault with a RQS of 9.955 with three perfect 10s. She leads the team with 13 individual victories and has season-highs of 10.0 on vault, 9.95 on bars, 9.925 on floor and 9.9 on beam. The freshman is no stranger to Pac-10 awards, having won three Pac-10 Special Performance of the Week awards and one Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week honor.
Berlin's career-high-tying 9.9 score at Pac-10s on vault helped her gain all-conference honors on the event. She had previously earned All-Pac-10 honors in the all-around in 2006 and 2008. Berlin, the Pac-10's Scholar-Athlete of the Year for gymnastics, has been one of UCLA's most consistent gymnasts ever, hitting over 96% of her career routines, including 32 of 33 this season. She has competed in every meet of her collegiate career, a streak that is now at 55 consecutive meets.
In her only event of the Championships, Li won a share of the Pac-10 title on uneven bars, scoring a season-high 9.9 to earn all-conference acclaim on the event. She was an All-Pac-10 performer in the all-around during her freshman and sophomore years. Li's uneven bars title was her first on the event and her second overall after previously winning the balance beam crown in 2007. The five-time All-American has been competing with injuries all season long but has a career-high of 9.975 on uneven bars.
Gerber has been the Bruins' most consistent performer on beam this season and was rewarded with first-team All-Pac-10 honors on the event. She leads the team with five beam victories and a 9.818 season average and currently ranks 11th in the nation with a 9.885 RQS. With a 9.825 on beam, she helped the Bruins score a season-high 49.325 at the Pac-10 Championships.
Tom earned her first all-conference honor with a first-team selection on beam. The sophomore scored a 9.875 on the beam to place sixth at the Pac-10 meet and holds an RQS of 9.855 to rank eighth in the conference. She has three beam wins on the season and set a new career-high at Arizona State with a 9.9. Tom was also named to the Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention team last week.
Sato also earned her first All-Pac-10 honor, grabbing first-team acclaim on floor exercise after her 9.85 leadoff performance at Pac-10s. Sato, who has competed on floor for the Bruins in 21 straight meets, ranks sixth in the conference with a 9.860 RQS and has a season average of 9.764. She has two floor victories on the year and has twice scored a career-high 9.9. Sato earned Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention honors as well.
McCullough received second-team honors on vault after competing in her first ever postseason meet. The 2008 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year was unable to compete at Pac-10s last season after suffering a season-ending injury two weeks prior. This year, she competed on three events and scored 9.825 or better on all three. Her 9.85 score on vault coupled with her Top 15 Pac-10 ranking enabled her to receive Pac-10 honors.
"Having each student-athlete who competed at Pac-10s earn all-conference honors indicates just what a true team performance that was last Saturday," said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. "Every single person on the floor contributed in such a big way, and I'm so pleased to see all of them being rewarded for it."
The All-Conference first team consists of the top six all-around competitors, plus the top three competitors in each individual event who are not among the all-around honorees. Individuals may earn All-Conference honors in multiple individual events. Scores are determined by a combination of 50 percent regional qualifying score (entire regular season composite) and 50 percent Pacific-10 Conference Championships score. The All-Conference second team consists of 10 individuals who were not honored on the first team.
The Pac-10 Championships, which UCLA won for the 14th time, will be broadcast Thursday, Mar. 26 on FSN West at 12 pm and on Prime Ticket at 3 pm.
2009 ALL-PAC-10 WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS TEAM
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