Defending Champion UCLA Seeks Seventh NCAA Gymnastics Title
April 11, 2011
NCAA Championships - Second-seeded UCLA (16-8) will travel to Cleveland, OH for the 2011 National Collegiate Women's Gymnastics Championships. The championships, hosted by Kent State University and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, will be held at the Wolstein Center, Apr. 15-17.
Championship Schedule - The competition begins on Friday, Apr. 15 with two semifinal sessions at 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm ET. UCLA is in the afternoon semifinal session at 12:00 pm. The top three teams from each session will advance to the Super Six Team Finals on Saturday, Apr. 16 at 4:00 pm ET. Individual event finals will take place on Sunday, Apr. 17 at 1:00 pm ET. The all-around champion and individual event finalists will be determined during Friday's semifinals. Individuals qualify for event finals by placing in the Top 4 (including ties) of that particular event during their own semifinal session.
Coverage - Live scoring and video for all sessions will be available at ncaa.com. Fans can also follow along via live chat at UCLABruins.com when the Bruins are competing. Also make sure to follow the UCLA Athletics twitter (@uclaathletics) for updates. The meet will be televised by CBS on May 14 at Noon PT.
Rotation Order - The Bruins will begin the semifinals on a bye before floor and will end on beam. Arkansas has Olympic order and will begin on vault. Illinois has a bye before bars. Georgia starts on bars. Michigan begins on beam, and Oklahoma starts on floor. Rotating with UCLA will be individual all-around qualifier Sharaya Musser from Penn State.
UCLA's NCAA Championship History - The Bruins have won six NCAA gymnastics titles - in 1997 at Florida, 2000 at Boise State, 2001 at Georgia, 2003 at Nebraska, 2004 at UCLA and 2010 at Florida. This is UCLA's 27th overall appearance in the 30 NCAA Championships.
Individual NCAA History - A total of 15 Bruins have won 30 NCAA titles to rank second behind only Georgia (37) in individual NCAA titles. UCLA's NCAA champions are: Kim Hamilton (1987-88-89 floor, 1989 vault), Jill Andrews (1988 vault, 1989 beam), Stella Umeh (1995 and 1998 floor), Heidi Moneymaker (1988 bars, 1999 vault), Kiralee Hayashi (1999 beam), Mohini Bhardwaj (2000 bars, 2001 floor), Lena Degteva (2000 beam), Onnie Willis (2001 all-around), Yvonne Tousek (2001 bars), Jamie Dantzscher (2002 all-around, vault and floor; 2003 bars), Kate Richardson (2003 bars and beam, 2006 floor), Kristen Maloney (2005 vault and beam), Tasha Schwikert (2005 all-around, 2008 all-around and bars), Vanessa Zamarripa (2010 vault) and Brittani McCullough (2010 floor). Two other Bruins won AIAW national titles - Sharon Shapiro (1980 sweep of all all-around and all four events, 1981 all-around and vault) and Diane Dovas (1981 bars). Shapiro remains the only gymnast ever to sweep the all-around and all four events in one year at a national championship. Hamilton is the only woman to win three consecutive floor titles. UCLA has won at least two individual titles in nine of the last 13 years. The Bruins have won a team or individual title in 12 of the last 14 years and have won more individual titles (17) in the last 10 years than any other team.
Last Year At NCAAs - UCLA closed its near-perfect run in postseason competition with a dominating 24-for-24 performance at the NCAA Super Six Team Championships, winning its sixth NCAA title at the site of its first, Gainesville, FL. In the team finals, the Bruins hit every routine without any major mistakes and outscored their nearest competitor by nearly half a point, recording 197.725 to runner-up Oklahoma's 197.25. UCLA needed to score 49.1 on floor exercise in the final rotation to win the title and did that with ease, scoring 49.55. Leadoff performer Tauny Frattone got things started with a 9.875, and the final four Bruins scored 9.9 or better to wrap up the crown. The Bruins added two more NCAA titles at the individual event finals when sophomore Vanessa Zamarripa won the vault crown and junior Brittani McCullough captured the floor exercise title. The Bruins hit 95 of their 96 routines in the postseason.
NCAA Championship Notes
UCLA vs. 2011 Field - The Bruins have matched up against three of the 11 other teams in the NCAA field this season. UCLA is 2-2 against Oregon State, 1-1 against Georgia and 0-1 against Utah.
In The Rankings - UCLA finished the regular season ranked No. 6 with a RQS of 196.685 and is ranked fifth on vault (49.275), seventh on bars (49.240), sixth on beam (49.125) and tied for fourth on floor (49.240). Individually, Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs ranked No. 1 on balance beam with a RQS of 9.910 and tied for eighth in the all-around (39.385). Tauny Frattone and Olivia Courtney are tied for No. 6 in the nation on vault with a matching RQS of 9.905.
Bruins Win NCAA Athens Regional - UCLA won the NCAA Athens Regional on Apr. 2, advancing to the NCAA Championships with the top score amongst the six Regionals. The Bruins dominated the competition, winning with a score of 197.425 and scoring 49.4 or better on three events. Host team Georgia also qualified for NCAAs with a second-place score of 196.75.Bruin freshman Olivia Courtney won the all-around with a career-high 39.5. Junior Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs was a close second, scoring 39.475. Junior Tauny Frattone won vault with a 9.925, Hopfner-Hibbs won beam with a 9.875, and senior Brittani McCullough won floor with a 9.925.
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