UCLA Competes for NCAA Championship Berth at Raleigh Regional
#14 UCLA at NCAA Raleigh Regional Second Round
Date: Thursday, March 31, 2022
Time: Session 1: 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT; Session 2: 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT
Location: Raleigh, N.C. (Valvano Arena at Reynolds Coliseum)
Talent: John Roethlisberger, Alicia Sacramone, Sam Gore
UCLA COMPETES FOR NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP BERTH AT RALEIGH REGIONAL
No. 14 UCLA (9-9) is the No. 4 seed at the NCAA Raleigh Regional and will compete for one of two available berths in the NCAA Championships, which will be held in Fort Worth, Texas Apr. 14-16. The NCAA Regional meet will take place March 30-April 2 at North Carolina State's Reynolds Coliseum, beginning with a first-round play-in dual meet between Towson and North Carolina on Wednesday, March 30 at 3 pm ET. The winner of that dual will advance to the second round on Thursday, March 31. Session 1 of the second round with LSU, Missouri, Iowa and North Carolina State will take place at 1 pm, followed by Session 2 featuring Michigan, UCLA, Maryland and the winner of Towson/North Carolina at 7 pm. The top two teams from each semifinal will advance to the regional final on Saturday, Apr. 2 at 7 pm. The top two finishers in the final will advance to the NCAA Championships, along with the top individual all-arounder and event finishers not on a qualifying team.
All four sessions of the NCAA Regional will be streamed on ESPN+. Live stats will be available at gopack.com.
UCLA will have Olympic order in the second round and will begin the meet on vault. After vault, the Bruins will move to uneven bars, balance beam and then conclude on floor exercise. Maryland will start on uneven bars. The Towson/North Carolina winner will begin on balance beam, and Michigan will start on floor exercise. In Session 1, Missouri starts on vault, Iowa on uneven bars, NC State on balance beam and LSU on floor exercise.
REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
The Bruins have won 24 NCAA Regional titles, most recently in 2019. At last season's regional final in West Virginia, the Bruins finished third behind Michigan and California and had three individuals qualify for the NCAA Championships - Chae Campbell in the all-around, Nia Dennis on vault and Margzetta Frazier on uneven bars. This is the third consecutive Regional the Bruins will be in with Michigan and the Bruins' fifth consecutive Regional held at least two time zones away (2021 - West Virginia, 2019 - Michigan, 2018 - Ohio State, 2017 - Illinois).
CAMPBELL BECOMES FOUR-TIME ALL-AMERICAN
Sophomore Chae Campbell earned second-team regular season All-America honors on vault, her fourth All-America honor of her career. Campbell averages a team-high 9.903 on vault, a figure that ranks fourth-best in the nation. Her National Qualifying Score (NQS) of 9.915 puts her at 15th in the nation. She has scored 9.900 or higher on seven consecutive vaults and recorded a pair of perfect marks of 9.950 on Mar. 6 and Mar. 12. Campbell placed second on vault at the Pac-12 Championships and earned first-team All-Pac-12 distinction. Last season, she was a three-time postseason All-American, receiving first-team acclaim on balance beam and second-team honors in the all-around and on floor exercise.
FOUR BRUINS EARN ALL-PAC-12 HONORS
Chae Campbell, Jordan Chiles, Norah Flatley and Emma Malabuyo combined to earn a total of six All-Pac-12 honors in 2022. Campbell earned first-team honors on vault for the second year in a row. Chiles earned the most all-conference nods for the Bruins, totaling three. She was a first-team honoree on uneven bars and floor exercise and an honorable mention selection on vault. Flatley received her fourth career all-conference honor by earning first-team acclaim on uneven bars, and Malabuyo earned second-team honors on balance beam.
SAKTI HONORED AS ARTHUR ASHE JR. SPORT SCHOLAR WINNER
Senior Samantha Sakti was selected as the women's gymnastics winner among the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars for 2022. Sakti, a two-time Sports Scholar, is a seven-time Athletic Director's Honor Roll member (3.0 GPA or better while passing at least 12 quarter units) at UCLA, a three-time WCGA Scholastic All-American and a 2021 Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll selection. Last season, she was named to the UCLA Athletics All-Academic Team as the team member with the highest cumulative GPA. Sakti is a psychology major with aspirations of becoming a physician assistant. The Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars program recognizes outstanding minority young men and women who have distinguished themselves in their academic and athletic pursuits. In addition to their athletic ability, students named Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars must maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5, be at least a sophomore academically, and be active on their campuses or in their communities.
LAST TIME OUT
Fifth-seeded UCLA finished in first place after Session 1 and fourth place overall at the Pac-12 Championships, scoring 196.950, a new season-high road score for the team. Norah Flatley led four UCLA all-arounders with a fifth-place finish and 39.450 score. She led the field on balance beam after Session 1 with a 9.925 and finished fifth overall. Emma Malabuyo led on floor exercise after Session 1 and earned third place overall with a 9.925. Chae Campbell was UCLA's other Top 3 finisher, tying for second on vault with a 9.900.
CAMPBELL 4x PERFECT IN MARCH
Sophomore Chae Campbell has been on another level in March, recording four perfect scores. 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 of 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. It 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.
MALABUYO SCORES FIRST PERFECT 10
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 of her last six meets and leads the team with five victories on the event.
CHILES ACHIEVES RARE PERFECTION FOR FRESHMAN
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 on Mar. 12. 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.
FRESHMEN MAKING BIG CONTRIBUTIONS
UCLA's heralded freshman class is making big contributions so far this season, with 46% of the Bruins' routines (110 of 240) coming from that class alone. Jordan Chiles leads all freshmen and is second on the team with 36 routines competed. She has competed all-around in her last eight meets and has an all-around season average of 39.409 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 9.79 on every event, including a team-high of 9.9 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 35 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 9.79 or higher on every event and has scored 9.9 or higher on beam in five of her last six meets. Ana Padurariu has been the ultimate leadoff performer on balance beam for the Bruins, scoring 9.900 four times in eight meets and averaging a team-best 9.853 on the event. Brooklyn Moors has top marks of 9.9 on floor (including four consecutive), 9.875 on beam and 9.85 on vault.
BRUINS ARE BEAMING
UCLA's highest-ranked event all year has been balance beam, as the Bruins stand at No. 12 nationally with a 49.355 NQS. The Bruins, who hold a season average of 49.265 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 four scores of 9.900 and a team-best season average of 9.853, just ahead of Chae Campbell's 9.850 average. Freshman Emma Malabuyo has UCLA's highest single score of the season on beam with a 10.0 against UC Davis on Mar. 12 and has scored 9.9 or higher in five of her last six 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, Jordan Chiles, Norah Flatley, Malabuyo, Padurariu, Kendal Poston and Sakti.
FLOOR SQUAD MAKES STATEMENT
UCLA's floor squad made a huge 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 1.1 million views on Facebook, and Samantha Sakti's floor routine set to BTS' "Mic Drop" hitting over 105k views on Twitter.
UCLA has been trending up on vault, moving up to 12th in the national rankings. After starting the season with two sub-49 scores, the Bruins have scored 49 or higher in every meet since. 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 seven consecutive 9.9 or higher vaults, including two 9.95s on her 9.95-start value vault (Yurchenko full). Chiles has scored 9.9 on four of her last five vaults (Kasamatsu full) and had a four-meet streak of 9.875 vaults prior to that. Flatley and Emma Malabuyo also average 9.8+ on vault for the Bruins, with 9.818 and 9.800, respectively. Sekai Wright has scored 9.8 or higher on five of her six vaults this season, with highs of 9.875 hit three times.
COUNT ON CAMPBELL
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 34 of her routines this season, with 23 going 9.85 or higher and all 34 scoring 9.7 or higher. On vault, she has scored 9.900 or higher in eight of the nine meets she has competed and in her last seven, earning a perfect score of 9.95 twice. 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 78 consecutive routines without a fall.
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 have been 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 has scored 9.900 on beam in her last two routines and earned her first career individual beam title, tying for first at Arizona State. Poston has competed on vault in nine of 10 meets this season and has a high of 9.850. 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 season-highs of 9.925 on floor against Utah (Feb. 4), with one of the two judges issuing a perfect 10 on the routine, and against Washington (Feb. 27).
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.
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.
UCLA SIGNS HARRIS, ALIPIO
UCLA signed Selena Harris and Ciena Alipio to national letters of intent in the early signing period. Harris, from Gymcats in Las Vegas, is College Gym News' No. 1 recruit and the reigning Level 10 all-around, bars and beam champion. She finished fourth in the all-around and first on uneven bars at the 2022 Nastia Liukin Cup. Last weekend, she nearly swept the standings at the Level 10 State Championships, capturing the all-around, vault, uneven bars and balance beam titles while finishing second on floor exercise. Alipio, a San Jose, Calif. native who currently trains at Midwest Gymnastics Center, won bronze in the all-around at her first senior international competition, the Arthur Gander Memorial, in November. Alipio is a current member of the U.S. National Team.