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UCLA to Face ASU Sunday in Final Regular Season Road Meet

Feb 19, 2022
Sekai Wright

UCLA at Arizona State
Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022 – 3 pm MT / 2 pm PT
Tempe, Ariz. (Desert Financial Arena)

TV: Pac-12 Network
TV Talent: Jim Watson, Amanda Borden
Live Stats:

No. 15 UCLA (2-5, 1-3 in Pac-12 play) will travel to Tempe, Ariz. for its final regular season road dual on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 3pm MT/2pm PT against No. 20 Arizona State (2-3, 2-2). The meet will be televised live on Pac-Network.

UCLA received season-high all-around performances from Chae Campbell (39.500) and Emma Malabuyo (39.475), a perfect 10 from Jordan Chiles on uneven bars, and closed out the meet with four consecutive scores of 9.9 or higher on balance beam but was edged out by host Stanford by a slim .050 margin, 196.900-196.850. Kyla Bryant's 9.975 on floor exercise on the final routine was the Cardinal's fourth 9.9+ score in the rotation and clinched the victory.

Freshman Jordan Chiles recorded two consecutive perfect 10s, earning her first career 10 on floor exercise on Feb. 4 and then following it up the next week with another perfect 10 on uneven bars on her first routine of the day at Stanford on Feb. 12. The back-to-back 10s marked the first time a Bruin gymnast has scored perfect 10s on consecutive routines since Peng-Peng Lee on uneven bars and balance beam at the 2018 NCAA Championships. After just five competitions, Chiles is already halfway to a Gym Slam with perfect 10s on two of the four events.

Jordan Chiles' perfect 10 on floor exercise Feb. 4 was the Bruins' first 10 since Kyla Ross on vault vs. Cal on Mar. 8, 2020 and the program's first on floor exercise since Gracie Kramer vs. Washington on Jan. 31, 2020, a meet that Chiles attended. The perfect 10 on bars was the first by a Bruin on that event since Ross did it at BYU on Jan. 18, 2020. Chiles, a 2020 Olympic medalist, is the first UCLA freshman to score a perfect 10 on any event since Ross on beam in 2017. The last Bruin freshman to score a 10 on floor was Tasha Schwikert in 2005, and the last UCLA rookie to score a 10 on bars was Ross at Utah on Feb. 18, 2017.

UCLA's heralded freshman class is making big contributions so far this season, with 45% of the Bruins' routines (54 of 120) coming from that class alone. Emma Malabuyo has competed 17 routines, tied with sophomore Chae Campbell for second on the squad behind only senior Norah Flatley's 19. Malabuyo has been steadily improving her all-around scores, starting with a 39.100 in her all-around debut at Oregon State Jan. 23, improving to a third-place mark of 39.250 against Arizona and then finishing third again at Stanford with a career-best 39.475. Jordan Chiles has competed in the all-around in her last three meets and has a season average of 39.433 and a high of 39.700 (vs. Utah). Chiles has two perfect 10s to her credit already, on bars and floor, and is ranked No. 9 in the nation on uneven bars with an average of 9.915. Ana Padurariu has been the ultimate leadoff performer on balance beam for the Bruins, scoring 9.900 three times in five meets. Brooklyn Moors has the Bruins' top average on beam with a 9.863.

Freshmen led the way for the Bruins on beam and floor against Utah, with Chiles' perfect 10 on floor and 9.9s from Chiles and Padurariu on beam. Against Arizona, UCLA's top marks on uneven bars (9.900 from 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 Padurariu) also came from freshmen. In the season opener at Minnesota on Jan. 17, Moors provided the Bruins' top mark on floor exercise (9.875) and second-highest mark on vault (9.850).

UCLA's top event this year has been balance beam, as the Bruins rank No. 10 in the nation with a 49.220 average. The Bruins have posted season-highs of 49.325 in their last two meets. Leading the way for UCLA on beam have been freshmen Brooklyn Moors and Ana Padurariu. Moors has competed twice on beam and holds UCLA's highest average with a 9.863. Leadoff performer Ana Padurariu has posted three scores of 9.900 and a season average of 9.840. Senior Samantha Sakti has UCLA's highest single score of the season on beam with a 9.95 last week awt Stanford. Her score included a perfect 10 from one judge. Seven different Bruins have scored 9.9 or higher on beam this season - Chae Campbell, Chiles, Norah Flatley, Emma Malabuyo, Padurariu, Kendal Poston and Sakti.

UCLA's floor squad made a big statement against Utah on Feb. 4, scoring a season-high 49.600 with four scores of 9.925 or higher - 10.00 from Jordan Chiles and 9.925s from Norah Flatley, Pauline Tratz and Chae Campbell. The Bruin floor routines are an impeccable mix of showmanship, artistry and diverse and difficult tumbling. Each Bruin in the lineup against Utah tumbled a different opening pass - Flatley with a triple full, Sekai Wright with a 2.5 twist/punch front, Brooklyn Moors with a front handspring double front, Tratz with a double pike, Chiles with a double layout and Campbell with a full-in. The Bruins have two floor routines that have gone viral already this season - Wright's DMX tribute and Chiles'perfect 10 routine, which was shared by musical artists Lizzo, Normani and Cardi B.

Sophomore Chae Campbell continues to be UCLA's go-to gymnast meet in and meet out. The three-time All-American and 2021 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year has hit all 17 of her routines this season, with nine going 9.85 or higher and all 17 scoring 9.7 or higher. On vault, she has scored 9.900 in four out of five meets and in her last three. Campbell has not missed a routine since the first meet of the 2021 season, a fluke fall on uneven bars. Since then, she has hit 61 consecutive routines without a fall.

After missing the entire 2021 regular season with an ankle injury, senior Norah Flatley is back for 2022, competing in the all-around in UCLA's first four competitions of the season. Flatley posted career-highs in each of her last two all-around meets, going 39.450 against Arizona on Jan. 30 and then improving to 39.525 against Utah on Feb. 4. She also earned season-highs on uneven bars (9.950) and floor exercise (9.925) in the Utah meet and a career-high 9.850 on vault in the Arizona meet. Prior to this season, Flatley had only competed all-around once, in her second collegiate meet in 2019, and vault twice, in the first two meets of 2019.

Sophomore Sara Ulias will miss the remainder of the 2022 season with a torn ACL in her right knee. Ulias suffered the injury at Stanford on Feb. 12. The Thousand Oaks native and WCGA Scholastic All-American competed on uneven bars in the Bruins' first five meets of the season and earned a high of 9.875 Feb. 4 against Utah. She also competed three times on floor exercise, scoring a career-best 9.850 at Oregon State Jan. 23.

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) and scored a season-high 9.925 on floor against Utah (Feb. 4), with one of the two judges issuing a perfect 10 on the routine.

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.

Arizona State is coming off a road victory at Arizona, where they posted their best score of the season, a 196.600. Hannah Scharf, a 2021 All-American on uneven bars, is one of the top all-arounders in the nation, ranking 25th overall with an average of 39.406 and season-high of 39.500. She has competed in the all-around in all five meets with no score lower than 39.300. Scharf also ranks 25th on vault with an average of 9.875 and a high of 9.900 in her last two meets.

The Bruins will host three-straight home meets to close the regular season, starting with a Sunday, Feb. 27 meet against Washington at 3pm.