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UCLA Gymnastics Hosts Utah Friday Night

Feb 3, 2022
Brooklyn Moors

No. 22 UCLA vs. No. 3 Utah
Friday, Feb. 4, 2022 – 7 pm PT
Los Angeles, Calif. (Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom)

MEET COVERAGE
Broadcast: ESPN2
Talent: Bart Conner, Kathy Johnson Clarke, Samantha Peszek
Live Stats: uclabruins.com

PROMOTIONS
Tickets: uclabruins.com/tickets
Ticket Promotion: $10 reserved seats with promo code BEATUTAH
Giveaways: Rally towels to the first 2,000 fans; 2022 Gymnastics Poster

BRUINS FACE UTES IN FRIDAY NIGHT MATCHUP
Pac-12 rivals UCLA (2-3, 1-1 in conference play) and Utah (6-0, 2-0) will face off in a Friday night matchup in Los Angeles. The meet will be televised live on ESPN at 7pm PT. Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson Clarke will call all of the exciting action while 2015 NCAA all-around and beam champion Samantha Peszek will serve as the reporter from the floor.

IMPORTANT FAN ATTENDANCE INFORMATION
Fans wishing to attend UCLA indoor athletic events must provide proof of fully-vaccinated status or one of the following negative test results: Antigen test administered within one day of event OR PCR test administered within two days of event (all guests, age 2 and older). Fans over the age of 18 will also need to show a valid ID along with their proof of vaccination or negative test result. Face coverings will be required for all individuals aged 2 or older, regardless of vaccination status, at all times unless actively eating or drinking. For more information about the UCLA Athletics COVID-19 policies and procedures, please visit uclabruins.com.

LAST TIME OUT
Then-No. 24 UCLA won its home opener, defeating No. 33 Arizona, 196.400-195.125 (Jan. 30). The team total was a new season-high for the Bruins. Senior Norah Flatley won the all-around for the first time in her career, recording a personal-best 39.450. Flatley recorded a season-high and meet-winning 9.900 on floor exercise, a season-high 9.900 on balance beam and a career-high 9.850 on vault. The Bruins recorded six scores of 9.900 or better, including three on balance beam. Freshman Emma Malabuyo had the highest score of the night with a 9.925 on beam that included a 10.0 from one of the two judges. Her classmate Ana Padurariu led off with her second-straight 9.900 beam, and Flatley earned a 9.95 from one judge and a final score of 9.900. Others hitting 9.900 were Chae Campbell on vault and Jordan Chiles on uneven bars with their meet-winning routines. Four Bruins scored above 39.1 in the all-around – Flatley (39.450), Chiles (39.350 in her all-around debut), Malabuyo (career-high 39.250) and Campbell (39.175).

BRUINS STEADILY IMPROVING
Last week in the home-opening win over Arizona, UCLA had at least one Bruin post a 9.900 or better on all four rotations for the first time this season. Chae Campbell won the vault with a season-best 9.900 while Jordan Chiles finished first in the uneven bars with a 9.900. Three Bruins posted a 9.900 or better on the balance beam, paced by the personal-best mark of 9.925 by Emma Malabuyo. Ana Padurariu's personal-best of 9.900 matched Norah Flatley as the two tied for second place on beam. Flatley then posted a season-best 9.900 on floor exercise (second in rotation) to win the event.

FRESHMEN MAKING BIG CONTRIBUTIONS
UCLA's heralded freshman class is making big contributions so far this season, with 45.8% of the Bruins' routines (33 of 72) coming from that class alone. Emma Malabuyo has competed 11 routines, second only to senior Norah Flatley's 12. Malabuyo, who made her all-around debut at Oregon State (Jan. 23 - 3rd - 39.100), also placed tied for third with a season-best 39.250 against Arizona (Jan. 30). Against Arizona, UCLA's top marks on uneven bars (9.900 from Jordan Chiles) and balance beam (9.925 from Malabuyo) came from freshmen. At Oregon State, UCLA's top marks on vault (9.875 from Chiles), uneven bars (9.925 from Chiles) and balance beam (9.900 from Ana Padurariu) also came from freshmen. In the season opener at Minnesota on Jan. 17, Brooklyn Moors provided the Bruins' top mark on floor exercise (9.875) and second-highest mark on vault (9.850).

FLATLEY BACK AT FULL STRENGTH
After missing the entire 2021 regular season with an ankle injury, senior Norah Flatley is back at full strength for 2022, competing in the all-around in all three of the Bruins' competitions so far. In her last meet (Jan. 30), Flatley won the all-around for the first time in her career, recording a personal-best 39.450. She recorded a season-high and meet-winning 9.900 on floor exercise, a season-high 9.900 on balance beam and a career-high 9.850 on vault. In the season opener, Flatley scored 39.225 to place third in her first all-around competition since the second meet of her freshman campaign. During warmups of the Bruins' 2021 season opener, Flatley injured her ankle and did not return until she competed on uneven bars at the Pac-12 Championships, where she scored 9.875. She returned to balance beam at the NCAA Regionals and scored 9.875 on day one and 9.900 on day two. Flatley earned All-America honors on uneven bars as a freshman in 2019 and is a two-time All-Pac-12 selection on beam. She holds career-bests of 9.975 on bars and 9.950 on beam and floor.

ABOUT THE BRUINS
UCLA returns four Pac-12 champions in Chae Campbell (floor), Margzetta Frazier (bars), Pauline Tratz (floor) and Sekai Wright (vault). Campbell went on to earn All-America honors in the all-around, beam and floor, and Frazier picked up her third consecutive All-America honor on uneven bars. The Bruins return 20 of 24 routines from their 2021 postseason squad. The freshman class, ranked No. 2 nationally by College Gym News, is led by Olympic silver medalist Jordan Chiles, Canadian Olympian Brooklyn Moors, Olympic alternate Emma Malabuyo and World beam medalist Ana Padurariu, all of whom deferred enrollment a year ago while training for the delayed Olympics. The Bruins went 14-7 overall in 2021 and finished third at the NCAA Morgantown Regional.

SUPER SENIORS RETURN
The Bruins regained the services of fifth-year seniors Kendal Poston and Pauline Tratz when the pair opted to return for an extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their leadership and experience will be a huge asset for a Bruin team that has six freshmen and just five athletes who have competed at the NCAA Championships. Poston and Tratz are the last remaining Bruins from their last NCAA Championship squad in 2018. Poston, a three-time Scholastic All-American, competed on vault and beam in every meet in 2021 and has career-high marks of 9.9 on those two events. She delivered a season-best 9.875 on beam at Oregon State to place fifth. Tratz, the 2021 Pac-12 Gymnastics Scholar-Athlete of the Year, earned All-Pac-12 honors on floor in both 2018 and 2021 and earned a share of the Pac-12 floor title last season. Tratz's top marks are 9.95 on floor, 9.925 on vault and 9.775 on bars. She earned a team-best 9.875 on floor to place fourth at Oregon State (Jan. 23).

FROM TOKYO TO WESTWOOD
Before arriving to Westwood for their freshman season, a trio of Bruins spent part of their summer in Tokyo at the 2020 Olympics. Jordan Chiles, who deferred enrollment two seasons to pursue her Olympic dream after originally signing her national letter of intent in November 2018, made her dream a reality by being selected to the U.S. team in June 2021 after third-place finishes and eight-for-eight performances at both the U.S. Championships and the Olympic Trials. Chiles memorably stepped in unexpectedly with hit routines on bars and beam during the team final in place of teammate Simone Biles, who was unable to compete. Emma Malabuyo deferred enrollment for a year after the Olympics were delayed, and her UCLA postponement also paid off, as she was named an alternate for the U.S. squad after a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Championships and a ninth-place finish at the Trials. Brooklyn Moors redshirted in 2021, enrolling remotely while she continued to train in Canada for the Olympics. She qualified for the all-around final at the Olympics, finishing 16th overall. Also joining the three freshmen in Tokyo was UCLA alumna Danusia Francis, who represented Jamaica as an individual competitor.

NCAA COMPETITORS
Although UCLA did not qualify as a team to the 2021 NCAA Championships after finishing third at the NCAA Morgantown Regional, three Bruins qualified as individuals - all-arounder Chae Campbell and individual event competitors Nia Dennis (vault) and Margzetta Frazier (bars). Campbell had an outstanding all-around competition, finishing 14th overall in the all-around and earning second-team All-America honors. She also finished fifth overall on beam with a career-high-tying 9.925 and was seventh overall on floor with a 9.9375. Frazier scored 9.875 on bars and finished in the Top 25, and Dennis successfully completed a double-twisting Yurchenko, the hardest vault in the competition.

SCOUTING THE UTES
Utah slid one spot in the national rankings to third despite posting its second-best score of the season (197.675) to defeat No. 19 Stanford (Jan. 29) in its last meet. The Utes are ranked 6th nationally in vault (49.240 avg.) and uneven bars (49.350 avg.). Utah leads the nation in balance beam (49.400 avg.) and is third in floor exercise (49.444 avg.). Utah is led by Maile O'Keefe, who ninth nationally in the all-around and 14th on the balance beam. She posted one of the nation's three perfect scores on beam last weekend, the second of her career. Cristal Isa, a two-time All-American on beam, ranks 14th on balance beam and has recorded a 9.90 or better on every beam routine this season.

SCHOLAR-ATHLETES
Seven returners, including five members of this year's senior class, earned WCGA Scholastic All-America honors in 2021. Pauline Tratz (Communications) earned her fourth honor, while Kendal Poston (Political Science), Samantha Sakti (Psychology) and Sara Taubman (Human Biology & Society) were selected for the third time and Norah Flatley (Political Science) for the first. Also receiving Scholastic All-America honors were junior Paige Hogan (Environmental Science) and sophomore Sara Ulias (Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology). The WCGA Scholastic All-America team recognizes gymnasts who carry a 3.5 or higher cumulative grade point average or a 3.5 grade point average for the academic year.

LOOKING AHEAD
The Bruins hit the road to face No. 19 Stanford on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 2pm in a meet streamed on Pac-12 Insider.