Needing to score 49.1 on floor exercise in the final rotation to win the NCAA Championship, UCLA scored 49.55 to easily win the title with a 197.725. The gymnastics championship was UCLA’s sixth in school history and its first since 2004. UCLA has now won a national-best 105 NCAA titles.
Oklahoma finished in second place with 197.25. Alabama was third with 197.225, followed by Stanford with 197.1, Florida with 197.0 and Utah with 196.225.
The Bruins had 11 scores of 9.9 or better, including a 9.95 on floor from Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs and a 9.95 on vault from Brittani McCullough. Vanessa Zamarripa’s all-around score of 39.625 was the highest of the night, followed by Anna Li’s 39.575.
UCLA got off to a great start on vault, scoring 49.475. Monique De La Torre led off with her third-straight career-high 9.85 score. Li followed up with a 9.9. Hopfner-Hibbs recorded a 9.825, and Tauny Frattone scored 9.85. McCullough competed her Yurchenko 1.5 for just the third time collegiately and scored a career-high 9.95. Zamarripa ended the Bruin set with a 9.925, giving UCLA a .05 lead over Oklahoma (49.425) after one rotation. Trailing both teams were Florida (49.125) and Stanford (49.1).
While the Bruins were on a bye in the second rotation, Oklahoma was scoring 49.3 on vault, and Utah matched that number with a 49.3 on bars. Alabama, meanwhile, had three out-of-bounds deductions on floor and scored 49.1, while Florida overcame a fall in the middle of the order to score a solid 49.2 on beam.
In the third rotation, UCLA scored 49.325 on uneven bars to maintain the lead. Aisha Gerber started things off with a 9.8, and McCullough followed with a 9.85 after sticking her dismount. Monique De La Torre matched McCullough with a 9.85, and Hopfner-Hibbs added a 9.825. Zamarripa and Li gave the Bruins the big scores at the end of the lineup, with each scoring 9.9.
The Bruins finished with a two-rotation score of 98.8, with Oklahoma a close second with 98.725. Alabama earned 49.375 on vault to move into third place with 98.475, followed by Stanford (98.425), Florida (98.325) and Utah (97.725).
The fourth rotation saw the Bruins move to balance beam, known as the make-or-break event. It was all make for UCLA, who hit six routines for 9.8 or better, including a pair of 9.9s from Hopfner-Hibbs and Zamarripa. Li in the leadoff position was perfect on the beam with the only deduction coming on a little side shuffler on her dismount. One judge gave her a 9.95, and she finished with a final score of 9.875. Hopfner-Hibbs had a wobble-free routine on the beam but took a hop back on her dismount, scoring 9.9. Tom
delivered another strong routine on the beam with just a hop on the dismount and scored 9.8. Gerber and Zamarripa made sure to stick their dismounts to leave little room for deduction, and they scored 9.85 and 9.9, respectively. Mizuki Sato finished the set with a 9.85, bringing the Bruins’ beam score to 49.375 and their three-event total to 148.175, .275 ahead of Alabama and needing 49.1 on floor to pass Oklahoma, who finished with 49.2 on beam for a final total of 197.25.
On floor exercise, Frattone led off with one of her best floor performances of the year, scoring 9.875. After a 9.725 from Tom, Zamarripa and Li each hit 9.9s, leaving it up to McCullough or Hopfner-Hibbs to score 9.7 or better to clinch the title. McCullough had the first attempt and clinched it with a career-high tying 9.925. Hopfner-Hibbs’ 9.95 was just icing on the cake and helped bump the Bruins’ final floor total to a season-high
49.55 and its team final score to 197.725