UCLA Wins 15th Pac-10 Gymnastics Title

March 27, 2010

Tucson, AZ - The third-ranked UCLA Gymnastics team won its 15th Pac-10 Conference title and second consecutive, scoring 197.35 to record the highest score amongst all conference championships this weekend. The Bruins hit 24-for-24 routines, with all but the very first routine of the day scoring 9.8 or better.

Bruin sophomore Vanessa Zamarripa won the all-around with a 39.575 and vault with a 9.95 to capture her first career Pac-10 titles. She was also named the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year. Senior Anna Li recorded her first-ever perfect 10 on uneven bars to win the event, her third Pac-10 event title in her career. Junior Brittani McCullough also won a Pac-10 title, tying for first on floor exercise with a career-best 9.925.

UCLA started the meet on its sometimes-nemesis, the balance beam. But the Bruins conquered the beam with ease, with six strong routines that all scored 9.775 or better. Li led off with a 9.775, followed by a 9.875 from Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs and a pair of 9.8s from Niki Tom and Aisha Gerber. Zamarripa and Mizuki Sato closed the set with a pair of 9.9s for a team total of 49.275, good for first place after the first rotation. Oregon State was in second with a 49.0 on floor.

After a bye, the Bruins resumed competition on floor exercise. After a strong leadoff routine from Tauny Frattone scored 9.85, the Bruins recorded three consecutive 9.875s from Niki Tom (tying her career-high), Lichelle Wong, and Zamarripa. McCullough tied her career-high with a 9.925, and Hopfner-Hibbs earned another 9.875 to give the Bruins a team total of 49.425 and a two-event mark of 98.7, .675 ahead of second-place Arizona, .70 ahead of Stanford and .75 ahead of Oregon State.

UCLA went to vault for rotation five and knocked out six scores of 9.8 or higher. Monique De La Torre started off with a 9.8, followed by a 9.85 from Li and a 9.875 from Hopfner-Hibbs. Frattone went 9.85, McCullough scored 9.825, and Zamarripa closed with a meet-winning 9.95 for a team total of 49.35 and a three-event mark of 148.05, .625 ahead of Stanford, who gained a little bit of ground after scoring 49.425 on floor.

The Bruins finished the meet on uneven bars in the last rotation, looking to wrap things up. And once again, the Bruins earned six 9.8+ scores, including Li's perfect 10, to total 49.3.

UCLA's win gave the Bruins back-to-back conference titles for the first time since 2002/2003.

The Bruins (19-3) will next compete at the NCAA Regionals in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday, Apr. 10. Participating teams will be announced on Monday.

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