The Bruins posted a season-worst team performance up in Seattle on Saturday, but they managed to do just enough to emerge from their first dual meet with a comfortable victory.
No. 4 UCLA gymnastics beat No. 22 Washington by a score of 196.900-195.825, failing to break 197.000 for the first time in 2023. A handful of big individual outings helped lift the Bruins to a win in their Pac-12 opener, though, headlined by freshman Selena Harris.
Harris did more than just win the all-around with a 39.725, emerging with the top scores from either team on vault, bars and beam. She was only 0.025 off tying for the top score on floor as well, cementing herself as one of the top gymnasts in the Pac-12 in only her third career meet.
As a team, however, UCLA had plenty of ups and downs on the day.
The Bruins opened up competition with a 49.350 on bars, a step down from the back-to-back 49.500s they posted in their first two meets. Junior Chae Campbell and sophomore Emily Lee started the day with a pair of 9.800s.
Senior Kalyany Steele stepped things up with a 9.825, and then Harris and sophomore Jordan Chiles came through with consecutive 9.925s. Redshirt senior Margzetta Frazier wrapped things up with a 9.875, and UCLA led by .600 after the first rotation.
The extremes defined the Bruins turn on vault, as Chiles, Frazier and freshman Madisyn Anyimi all came in with scores under 9.750. Lee earned a 9.800, while Campbell put up a 9.900 and Harris led the way with a 9.950. UCLA’s 49.125 on vault was their lowest score of the young season.
Midway through the meet, the Bruins had actually increased their lead to .825 despite taking steps back compared to their performance at the Wasatch Classic in Utah on Jan. 14.
UCLA also fell short of their score on floor from a week ago, but the 49.475 was not a season-worst.
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Junior Katie McNamara opened the rotation with a 9.825, then senior Chloe Lashbrooke earned a 9.850 and sophomore Emma Malabuyo got a 9.825 of her own. Harris and Campbell stuck 9.925s – sandwiching Chiles’ 9.950 – to build their overall advantage to 1.325.
Even finishing with a 48.950 on beam – their lowest score on any event all season – didn’t spoil UCLA’s day, and they still beat Washington by over a point.
Lee’s 9.825 was the Bruins’ second-highest score, as freshman Ciena Alipio led off with a 9.575 before Campbell and Chiles were given a 9.725 and a 9.700, respectively. Harris was the lone standout with a 9.925, while Malabuyo put a bow on the meet with a 9.775.
The Huskies closed things out on floor, earning their only event score than broke 49.000 in the process, but it was too little, too late.
Campbell placed second in the all-around. Chiles finished fourth due to her misses on beam and vault, but managed to tie for the lead on bars and floor.
UCLA will host its first home meet of the season against Oregon State on Jan. 29. That meet will start at 3 p.m. and it will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.
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PHOTO COURTESY OF JAMIE MITCHELL
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