The Bruins have received several conference honors following the Pac-12 championships.
No. 2 UCLA gymnastics (9-1, 7-0 Pac-12) brought home the Pac-12 championship for the second year in a row March 23. Along with that, the Bruins now boast three individual conference awards and a school-record 16 All-Pac-12 honors.
Coach Valorie Kondos Field said she is proud of the way the Bruins have carried themselves this season.
“Our team meetings aren’t dragged out about gymnastics,” Kondos Field said. “Gymnastics is a mirror of our culture, that’s what we meet about. When you’ve got cracks in your culture, you can’t succeed like we have. I’ve had teams that have been extremely talented, but with no leadership and culture. They don’t win championships.”
Senior Katelyn Ohashi and juniors Kyla Ross, Felicia Hano, Madison Kocian and Grace Glenn – all of whom have won a championship – received first-team All-Pac-12 honors this week.
Ross earned first-team honors on every event, in addition to all-around, for a total of five honors. Ross was also named the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year.
Ross posted a perfect 10 on every event this season, earning her a “gym slam.” She has the highest all-around score recorded in the country this season, with a 39.850, and is ranked first on all-around, uneven bars and vault. Ross earned Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week honors a record-tying seven times this year.
“I feel like that cohesiveness between all the classes has been the source of everyone’s success this year,” Ross said. “We’ve talked a lot about being good gymnasts, but also about being good people overall and about how in all facets of life. You have to be a champion to be able to help live through gymnastics.”
Hano, who made the vault first team, had not been on a first-team roster before. This is the second year in a row Grace Glenn has taken home first-team honors on balance beam, and the second year that Ohashi has earned first-team honors on both floor and beam.
Ohashi was also named Pac-12 Specialist of the Year for the second consecutive season. She has posted six perfect scores on floor this year and is the fourth gymnast in NCAA history to finish the regular season with a national qualifying score of 10 on any event.
“I think it is really cool that I have been here for the last three years and I have seen UCLA gymnastics blossom into a different culture,” Ohashi said. “When one class lags it creates a spiral effect. This year is different for me because I am a part of the leadership group and trying to get everyone on the same mindset has been a fun challenge.”
Kocian, who made the first team on uneven bars, has averaged 9.902 on the event this season. The junior was also the only gymnast in the Pac-12 conference to earn first-team honors on both the Pac-12 and Pac-12 All-Academic teams.
Second-team honors were awarded to sophomore Nia Dennis on vault, freshman Margzetta Frazier on uneven bars, freshman Norah Flatley on uneven bars and balance beam, Hano on floor and junior Gracie Kramer on floor.
Kondos Field, who will be retiring at the end of the season, was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the fifth time in her career. The Pac-12 Gymnastics Coach of the Century said she was focusing on staying in the moment with her team through all of their accomplishments.
“Our mindset hasn’t been ‘Oh gosh, it’s harder,’” Kondos Field said. “It’s on ‘Oh my gosh, it’s funner,’ and you can quote me on that. I know it’s bad grammar and I did graduate from UCLA, but you quote me with ‘funner.’”
UCLA will next be competing in the NCAA regional qualifiers in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Friday and Saturday with a chance to move on to the NCAA championships in Fort Worth, Texas.