Monday, 23 April 2018 13:58

UCLA Wins 2018 NCAA Gymnastics Title

Highlights:https://youtu.be/4xoI7o891Uw

Website:https://ucla.in/2HjRn1V

 

Women Gym 350ST. LOUIS - Trailing two-time defending champion Oklahoma by .175 heading into the final rotation of the night, UCLA turned in a performance for the ages at the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships on Saturday evening, scoring an NCAA Championship record 49.75 on balance beam to earn the 2018 NCAA title at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis. The win marks the seventh NCAA gymnastics championship for UCLA, as the Bruins ended the evening with an overall score of 198.075, unseating the Sooners by 0.0375.

 

The championship was decided on the event's final routine, where UCLA sixth-year senior Christine Peng-Peng Lee needed to score at least a 9.975 to give UCLA the title. She went a step further, scoring a perfect 10 to secure the program's first title since 2010. Prior to Lee's performance, Kyla Ross kept UCLA in it with an impressive 9.9875.

 

Lee, competing in her final collegiate meet, tallied two perfect 10s on the night, also scoring one on the uneven bars, the second time this season she has scored two 10s in one meet. She finished her career with 10 perfect 10s.

 

The Bruins' big comeback was keyed in rotation five by a season-high 49.6375 performance on uneven bars. UCLA counted four scores of 9.9 or better – a 9.9 from JaNay Honest, which included a 10.0 from one of the judges, a season-high 9.9375 from Madison Kocian, a 9.95 from Ross and a 10.0 from Lee. The big scores brought the Bruins just .175 behind the first-place Sooners going into the final event.

 

The Bruins' big comeback was keyed by a season-high 49.6375 performance on bars. UCLA counted four scores of 9.9 or better – a 9.9 from JaNay Honest, which included a 10.0 from one of the judges, a season-high 9.9375 from Madison Kocian, a 9.95 from Kyla Ross and a 10.0 from Lee. The big scores brought the Bruins just .175 behind the first-place Sooners going into the final event.

 

Redshirt freshman Grace Glenn led off the final rotation with a monster score of 9.9375 on beam. A fall in the two spot put some pressure on, but the Bruins thrived under that pressure. Brielle Nguyen scored 9.875, and Katelyn Ohashi scored 9.950. Although Oklahoma finished up on uneven bars with a 49.5375, big scores in the final two routines would put UCLA ahead. Ross set it up with a 9.9875, receiving four perfect 10s, setting up Lee for her 10.0 heroics.

 

"I looked at the scoreboard, and I saw UCLA on top, and I am still in shock," Lee said. "My tears have not come out yet. I said they're still dancing and having a party in my eyeballs. They have not come out yet, but I'm still in shock about the whole thing. I'm shocked I'm here, shocked we have the trophy, and I couldn't have asked for a better way to end with this team. Personally, I love this team so much and it's been an incredible season."

 

"I've been doing this at UCLA for 35 years and I have said the last few months and have said repeatedly the last few weeks that in all of my time we've had tremendous, tremendous teams and tremendous, not just athletes, but student-athletes and people," said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. "Which is the reason I feel I have the greatest job in the world. But this team truly is the easiest team that I've ever coached. And that is because this time last year we said if we need, if we want a different result we've got to do things differently and what started that was me and our coaching staff just getting real with them about getting physically fit as you individually can get as making choices outside of the gym, those of a champion. And on and on and they did it. They decided to do it at literally last April and they've been consistent with it and because of that my job has been so easy this year. This is a this truly is a dream team."

 

UCLA has now won 115 overall NCAA Championships.

Last modified on Monday, 23 April 2018 14:07
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