NCAA Championship Blog - April 13, 2008
April 13, 2008
The Bruins are on their way back to LA (we're on a layover in Houston) after a successful Regional Championships. There were a few bumps along the way, but they fought through it and took second place with a 196.625, qualifying for the NCAA Championships for the 24th time in school history.
One of the aforementioned bumps happened after floor. Tasha was last up on floor and had to water down her tumbling and then nearly stepped out of bounds on her last pass. Needless to say, she was not happy. As she put it, she went into the locker room to give herself a 'pity party' and sat there waiting for the rest of the team to come in ... before realizing that we didn't have a bye and that we were about to start vault. She went running back to the floor to start warm-ups and then realized that she didn't have her wrist guards. Marci raced in to the locker room to get them, and Tasha did maybe one warm-up vault during the three-minute touch. And then proceeded to stick her vault and score a 9.925 to help send the team to Nationals.
The competition at NCAAs this year is as fierce as ever. There is a new seeding formula to determine who competes in what session in the team prelims. In the past, they would take the six first-place teams from Regionals and randomly draw half in the afternoon session and half in the evening session. Then they would do the same with the second-place teams from Regionals. Now, they are taking each team's season RQS and adding in their score from Regionals to get a National Qualifying Score. The teams seeded 1, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 12 are then placed in one session, while teams 2, 3, 6, 7, 10 and 11 are in the other. UCLA is the No. 9 seed, so we get placed in what turned out to be the 'Group of Death' with No. 1 Georgia, No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Utah, No. 8 Michigan and No. 12 Denver. The afternoon session will be No. 2 Florida, No. 3 LSU, No. 6 Alabama, No. 7 Oregon State, No. 10 Oklahoma and No. 11 Arkansas.
It will definitely be a challenge, but it's one the Bruins are eager to take on and ready to fight for. We have never not made it to Super Six when we've had a team at NCAAs, so we have history and experience on our side.
Stay tuned right here at UCLABruins.com for more coverage from Athens, GA in two weeks.