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Bruins to Compete at Pac-12 Championships Saturday Afternoon

Mar 17, 2022
Sekai Wright

#18 UCLA at Pac-12 Championships
Saturday, March 19, 2022 – 1 pm MT / 12 pm PT

Venue: Maverik Center (West Valley City, Utah)
Time: Session 1: 1 p.m. MT / 12 p.m. PT; Session 2: 5 p.m. MT / 4 p.m. PT
Television: Pac-12 Network
TV Talent: Jim Watson (play-by-play), Amanda Borden (analyst)
Event Streams:

No. 18 UCLA (5-6) is the No. 5 seed at the Pac-12 Gymnastics Championships, which will take place on Saturday, Mar. 19 in West Valley City, Utah. The 19-time Pac-12 champion Bruins will compete in the afternoon session at 1pm MT, along with No. 6 seed Stanford, No. 7 seed Washington and No. 8 seed Arizona. Competing in the evening session at 6pm MT are No. 1 seed Utah, No. 2 seed California, No. 3 seed Oregon State and No. 4 seed Arizona State. Seeding is determined by national rankings, which are based on National Qualifying Score (NQS). The Pac-12 champion will be the team with the highest score from the two sessions. Individual champions will also be determined via combined sessions.

Both sessions of the Pac-12 Championships will be televised live on Pac-12 Network, with Jim Watson and Amanda Borden on the call. For the first time since 2011, the Championships will be conducted shotgun style, with all four events going at the same time. Live streams of each individual apparatus will be available to authenticated subscribers on and on the Pac-12 Now app.

UCLA will have Olympic order and will begin the meet on vault. After vault, the Bruins will move to uneven bars, balance beam and then conclude on floor exercise. No. 2 seed Stanford will start on uneven bars. No. 3 seed Washington will begin on floor exercise, and No. 4 seed Arizona will start on balance beam. In Session 1, Utah starts on vault, California on uneven bars, Oregon State on balance beam and Arizona State on floor exercise.

UCLA has won the most conference championships among the eight member schools with 19 Pac-12 titles (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2016, 2018, 2019) and 1 WCAA title (1981) in 33 years. Oregon State (1991, 1992, 1994, 1996, 2011, 2013), Stanford (1998, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008) and Utah (2014, 2015, 2017, 2021) are the only other teams to win Pac-12 titles.

Only one team has ever won the Pac-12 championship out of the afternoon session - Utah in 2014. The championship that season was held in Berkeley, and with host California seeded fifth, the Top 4 seeds competed in the afternoon session, while 5-8 competed in the evening. Utah scored 197.925 to take the lead after the afternoon session, followed by Stanford with a 197.75 and UCLA with a 196.525. In the evening, California squeezed past UCLA for third place overall with a 196.550.

UCLA has dominated individually at the Pac-12 Championships, winning a conference-best 104 individual titles, including four last year (Sekai Wright on vault, Margzetta Frazier on uneven bars, and Chae Campbell and Pauline Tratz on floor exercise). The Bruins have been especially dominant in the all-around, winning 20 titles. UCLA gymnasts have won 24 titles on uneven bars, 22 on floor exercise, 20 on balance beam and 18 on vault.

UCLA recorded season-highs on floor exercise and vault and led early at the Pac-12 Gymnastics Championships but faltered on balance beam in the final rotation and fell to third place with a score of 196.725. Utah won the championship with a score of 197.725, and California placed second with a 197.375. Arizona State was fourth with a 196.375. The Bruins took home four individual titles, however. Sekai Wright won the vault championship with a career-high 9.950, and Margzetta Frazier tied for first on uneven bars with a 9.950. Chae Campbell and Pauline Tratz tied for first on floor exercise with scores of 9.950.

UCLA earned a 197.700-193.975 victory over UC Davis in the regular season finale at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday afternoon. On Senior Day, UCLA underclassmen Chae Campbell and Emma Malabuyo were perfect, scoring perfect 10s on floor exercise and balance beam, respectively. Campbell also had a second perfect routine, scoring 9.95 on her 9.95 start-valued vault. The sophomore won the all-around with a career-high 39.725. Freshman Jordan Chiles also captured an event title, taking first place on uneven bars with a 9.950. Norah Flatley led the seniors with a second-place all-around mark of 39.575 and a career-high 9.975 on floor exercise. Samantha Sakti tied for third place on balance beam with a 9.875. Sekai Wright tied her season-high on vault with a 9.875 to place third. The Bruins hit every routine without a fall, including all four exhibition routines.

Sophomore Chae Campbell was named the Pac-12's Gymnast of the Week, and senior Norah Flatley earned the Pac-12 Coaches Choice award for the final week of the regular season. Campbell, the first Bruin to win Gymnast of the Week honors this season, had two perfect scores in UCLA's 197.00-193.975 win over UC Davis on Mar. 12, earning the maximum score on her 9.950 vault for the second consecutive week and scoring her second perfect 10 on floor in three weeks. Campbell recorded a new career-high of 39.725 in the all-around to capture her third all-around win of the season. She also placed second on balance beam with a 9.900 and fourth on uneven bars with a leadoff 9.875 that helped the Bruins record a season-high team score of 49.475 on the event. Flatley is the first Coaches Choice winner for UCLA this season. In her last home meet, the senior scored 39.575 in the all-around, the second-highest all-around score in her career, and nearly scored a leadoff perfect 10 on floor, recording a career-best 9.975. She also scored 9.925 on uneven bars to tie for second place, contributing greatly to UCLA's season-high total of 49.475 on the event. Flatley leads the team in routines competed with 33 out of a possible 36 and is the team's leading point-scorer with 324.35 points.

Sophomore Chae Campbell has been on another level in her last three meets, recording four perfect scores on her last nine routines competed. Her first came on Feb. 27 vs. Washington, as she earned her first career 10 on floor exercise in the final rotation. She followed that up with a perfect vault in the first rotation in the Bruins' next meet on Mar. 6. Campbell's Yurchenko layout full vault has a 9.95 start value, and she received the maximum score for it for the second time in her career. This was the second time this year a Bruin hit back-to-back perfect routines, as Jordan Chiles accomplished the feat with a 10 on floor exercise at home on Feb. 4 and a 10 on uneven bars at Stanford on Feb. 12. Campbell received two perfect scores in the regular season finale on Mar. 12, scoring another 9.95 on her vault and closing with her second 10 on floor exercise.

Freshman Emma Malabuyo earned her first career perfect 10 on balance beam on Mar. 12, becoming only the fourth UCLA freshman ever to score a 10 on beam and the first freshman to do it since Kyla Ross in 2017. The 2020 Olympic alternate had been flirting with perfection all season, with two previous routines earning a perfect 10 from one judge. She has scored 9.9 or higher on beam in five straight meets and leads the team with five victories on the event.

Jordan Chiles' perfect 10 on floor exercise Feb. 4 was UCLA's 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. Chiles' perfect 10 on uneven bars a week later was the first by a Bruin on that event since Ross did it at BYU on Jan. 18, 2020. Chiles, a 2020 Olympic medalist, was 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. With two perfect 10s on floor this season, Chiles joins Schwikert and Jamie Dantzscher as the only Bruins to ever record multiple 10s on the event during their freshman season.

Two Bruins who have missed significant time due to injuries made a welcomed return last week. Sophomore Frida Esparza, who has been out since Jan. 23, returned to the uneven bars lineup as if she never left, scoring a career-high-tying 9.925. She also dazzled in an exhibition balance beam routine that scored 9.775. Junior Chloe Lashbrooke, who ruptured her Achilles tendon in January of 2021, performed as well, hitting two tumbling passes in her first floor exercise routine in Pauley since Mar. 8, 2020.

UCLA's heralded freshman class is making big contributions so far this season, with 46% of the Bruins' routines (99 of 216) coming from that class alone. Jordan Chiles leads all freshmen and is second on the team with 32 routines competed. She has competed all-around in her last seven meets and has an all-around season average of 39.407 and a season-high of 39.800, set Mar. 6 vs. Cal en route to Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors. She averages over 9.785 on every event, including a team-high of 9.904 on floor, and has three perfect 10s to her credit already, one on bars and two on floor. She leads all Bruins with 16 scores of 9.900 or higher and seven scores of 9.95 or higher. Emma Malabuyo has competed 31 routines, third-most on the squad. Malabuyo has been consistently delivering strong routines all season, 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 and at ASU with career-best marks of 39.475. After setting career-highs on balance beam (9.975) and floor exercise (9.950) against Cal on Mar. 6, she was named the Pac-12 Specialist of the Week. She followed up that performance with her first career perfect 10 on balance beam on Mar. 12. Malabuyo averages 9.775 or higher on every event and has scored 9.9 or higher on beam in five consecutive meets. Ana Padurariu has been the ultimate leadoff performer on balance beam for the Bruins, scoring 9.900 three times in seven meets and averaging 9.847 on the event, the second-best average on the team. Brooklyn Moors has top marks of 9.9 on floor (including three consecutive), 9.875 on beam and 9.85 on vault.

UCLA's highest-ranked event all year has been balance beam, as the Bruins stand at No. 16 nationally with a 49.265 NQS. The Bruins, who hold a season average of 49.253 on beam, hit a season-high 49.625 Mar. 6 against Cal, the fifth-highest beam score in school history, and have not scored lower than 48.925 this season. Leading the way for UCLA on beam, literally, has been freshman Ana Padurariu. The Bruins' usual leadoff performer, Padurariu has posted three scores of 9.900 and a season average of 9.847, second-highest behind only Chae Campbell's 9.850 average. Freshman Emma Malabuyo has UCLA's highest single score of the season on beam with a 10.0 last week against UC Davis and has scored 9.9 or higher in five straight meets. Senior Samantha Sakti also has a perfect score from one judge, receving one on her 9.950 routine at Stanford Feb. 12. Seven different Bruins have scored 9.9 or higher on beam this season - Chae Campbell, Chiles, Flatley, Malabuyo, Padurariu, Kendal Poston and Sakti.

UCLA's floor squad made a hug statement Mar. 6 against Cal, scoring a season-high 49.775, the fifth-highest floor score in school history and the second-highest mark in the nation this season. In that meet, the Bruins had all six routines go 9.9 or higher, led by Jordan Chiles' second perfect 10. Chae Campbell delivered a 9.975, Norah Flatley led off with a 9.95, a score that was matched by Emma Malabuyo, and Brooklyn Moors and Pauline Tratz each scored 9.9. The Bruin floor routines are an impeccable mix of showmanship, artistry and diverse and difficult tumbling. Each Bruin in the lineup against Cal tumbled a different opening pass - Flatley with a triple full, Moors with a front double full/punch front, Malabuyo with a double tuck, Tratz with a double pike, Chiles with a double layout and Campbell with a full-in. Two floor workers have scored a pair of perfect 10s - Chiles on Feb. 4 and Mar. 6 and Campbell on Feb. 27 and Mar. 12. UCLA floor routines have been receiving much attention online, with Wright's DMX tribute nearing 11 million views on Facebook, Chiles'perfect 10 routine receiving 1.4 million views on Twitter, Campbell's first 10 hitting a million views on Facebook, and Samantha Sakti's floor routine set to BTS' "Mic Drop" hitting over 100k views on Twitter.

UCLA has been trending up on vault, moving up to 16th in the national rankings. After starting the season with two sub-49 scores, the Bruins have scored 49.15 or higher in every meet since and are averaging 49.450 in their last two meets. UCLA hit a season-high 49.475 on Mar. 6 against Cal, with three scores of 9.9 or higher (perfect 9.950 from Chae Campbell and 9.900s from Jordan Chiles and Norah Flatley). Campbell is averaging 9.903 this season and has six consecutive 9.9 or higher vaults, including two consecutive 9.95s on her 9.95-start value vault (Yurchenko full). Chiles has scored 9.9 on four consecutive vaults (Kasamatsu full) and had a four-meet streak of 9.875 vaults prior to that. Sekai Wright, the reigning Pac-12 vault champion, averages 9.850 and has brought back her Yurchenko 1.5, scoring 9.875 last week on her first one this year. Flatley and Emma Malabuyo also average over 9.8 on vault for the Bruins, with 9.819 and 9.804, respectively.

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 30 of her routines this season, with 20 going 9.85 or higher and all 30 scoring 9.7 or higher. On vault, she has scored 9.900 or higher in seven of the eight meets she has competed and in her last six, earning a perfect score of 9.95 the last two weeks. 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 74 consecutive routines without a fall.