Zamarripa, McCullough Win NCAA Event Titles
April 24, 2010
Gainesville, Fla. - Team champion UCLA kept the titles coming at the NCAA individual event finals, winning two more trophies, with sophomore Vanessa Zamarripa taking the vault crown and junior Brittani McCullough winning the floor exercise title. UCLA now has 30 NCAA individual titles and six team titles.
On her first vault, Zamarripa stuck her Yurchenko layout full for a 9.95 score. Her second vault was the most difficult being done in the competition - a Yurchenko half on, front layout half. She hit the vault with ease and had just a small shuffle of her feet on the landing, scoring 9.9. Her average of 9.925 was enough to best second-place finisher and defending champion Susan Jackson of LSU, who averaged 9.8938. Zamarripa was the only gymnast to record two 9.9+ vaults.
Zamarripa is UCLA's sixth NCAA vault champion and first since Kristen Maloney won the title in 2005.
On floor exercise, McCullough took the lead after eight competitors with a beautiful routine that merited 9.9375. Her score included a perfect 10 from one of the six judges. McCullough's routine included a huge full-in mount and a stuck double pike dismount. Her floor title is UCLA's ninth on floor and first since Kate Richardson won in 2006.
Bruin sophomore Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs earned a podium placement on vault with an eighth-place finish. She stuck her first vault (Yurchenko layout full) for a 9.9 and scored 9.6625 on her second vault (Yurchenko layout, which only holds a 9.8 start value). Her final average was 9.7813. Senior Anna Li laced 13th with a 9.6688 average. She scored 9.8125 on her first vault (Yurchenko layout full) and went for a Yurchenko 1.5 but bounced out of the landing and scored 9.525 for a final average of 9.6688.
Zamarripa finished in a tie for seventh on floor exercise, following McCullough's winning routine with a playful routine of her own that scored 9.875. The vault champion closed her floor routine with a different end pose, similar to the Heisman Trophy pose, much to the delight and amusement of her teammates.
Li, who was the first to compete on uneven bars, finished in seventh place with a 9.875. Stanford's Carly Janiga won the title with a 9.9375. All-around champion Susan Jackson of LSU won the balance beam crown with a 9.9625.