UCLA Wins 13th Pac-10 Gymnastics Championship
March 31, 2007
The eighth-ranked UCLA gymnastics team won its 13th Pac-10 team title, scoring a season-best 197.2 at Wells Fargo Arena on the Arizona State campus. The Bruins came up big under pressure, scoring a 49.425 on balance beam in the final rotation to clinch the victory.
Bruin junior Tasha Schwikert won the all-around with a season-high 39.75, reclaiming the all-around title she shared as a freshman. She scored three 9.95s, winning the vault (tied), balance beam (tied with teammate Anna Li) and floor exercise. She was also honored as the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year. Li tied for third in the all-around with a 39.45.
UCLA started the meet with a bye in the first rotation, during which Oregon State took an early lead with a 48.9 on the uneven bars. The Bruins' competition started on floor exercise in the second rotation. After a slew of 9.75s from Ariana Berlin, Jordan Schwikert and Ashley Peckett and a 9.775 from Michelle Selesky, Anna Li picked things up with a 9.85, and Tasha Schwikert, competing for the first time on floor in two months, was nearly flawless, nailing her half-in, half-out opening tumbling pass, a whip to double full/punch front and a double pike dismount for a 9.95. The Bruins totaled 49.075 to land in fourth place after two rotations.
The Bruins pulled to within a half-tenth of Stanford after a stellar vault rotation in which they scored 49.375. Berlin led things off with a 9.8 after sticking her Yurchenko full. Li took a small hop back on her Yurchenko full and scored 9.775. Ashley Peckett got great distance on her Yurchenko Arabian but took a step forward, scoring 9.825. Jordan Schwikert nailed the landing on her Yurchenko full and scored 9.875. Selesky earned a career-high tying 9.925 after a Yurchenko Arabian vault that had great form and height. Tasha Schwikert also nailed her Yurchenko full to score her second-straight 9.95. The scores brought UCLA's two-event total to 98.45, just behind Stanford's 98.50. Oregon State maintained a three-event lead of 147.625, five-tenths ahead of second-place Oregon State.
UCLA moved to uneven bars needing to score 49.225 to move into first place after three events and surpassed the score with a 49.325. Leadoff performer Natalie Padilla stuck her double pike dismount to score 9.7. Berlin nearly went over on a handstand but held it well and earned a 9.8. Peckett stuck a double layout dismount with great distance and earned a 9.85. Jordan Schwikert nailed a 9.9 routine with a nice Geinger and stuck double pike dismount. Tasha Schwikert had a near-perfect routine going but took a small step on her double layout dismount to score 9.9. Li hopped back on her double layout dismount as well but wowed the crowd and judges with the highest Tkatchev in the competition, earning a 9.875.
With the Bruins ahead of Stanford, 147.775-147.625 heading into the final rotation, UCLA moved to beam, with Stanford closing on vault. The Cardinal put the heat on the Bruins with a 49.325, which gave UCLA little room for error. Berlin led off with strong routine that merited 9.825. Peckett followed with a super-steady 9.85. Ashley Jenkins fell on her side somi, putting the pressure on the rest of the beam competitors. Jordan Schwikert seemed unfazed, nailing her routine for a 9.85. Li followed that up with a 9.95, leaving Tasha Schwikert needing just a 9.725 to clinch the win. The junior showed why she was the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year, closing it out with a 9.95 to claim the victory.
1) UCLA 197.200
2) Stanford 196.950
3) OSU 196.300
4) UA 196.000
5) UW 194.775
6) ASU 194.550
7) CAL 193.650
1) Liz Tricase (Stanford) 9.950
2) Karin Wurm (UA) 9.925, Tabitha Yim (Stanford) 9.925
1) Tasha Schwikert (UCLA) 9.950
2) Tasha Smith (OSU) 9.925
3) Jami Lanz (OSU) 9.900, Carly Janiga (Stanford) 9.900