Every gymnast competes to earn the perfect 10. Every collegiate gymnastics team tries to earn that perfect 200, or get as close to that perfect score as possible.
On Sunday, the No. 6 UCLA gymnastics team (8-1-1, 4-1-1 Pac-12) got closer than ever to that perfect 200 with a 198.050 to 194.850 victory over visiting No. 24 Arizona State (4-4, 2-3).
Although no individuals earned a 10 on Sunday, many gymnasts tied or beat their season-highs and even their career-highs on various events.
Sophomore Olivia Courtney was one of those individuals, beating her old career-high on vault with a 9.975 and also beating her career-high on floor with a 9.95.
“I actually didn’t realize I had two career-highs today,” Courtney said. “But it feels so great. A few nights (ago), I had a dream of getting a 10 on vault. I didn’t get the 10, but I improved my score so I’m happy about that.”
Redshirt junior Vanessa Zamarripa also beat two of her season-high scores on uneven bars and floor. She has been on a road to recovery all season since sitting out last year with an injury, and her numbers just keep getting better. Her scores earned her the highest all-around in the match with a season-high 39.625.
“I’m starting to get more comfortable competing,” Zamarripa said. “I basically do what I train in practice. I told myself to enjoy the journey and not worry about what I can’t control and focus on what I can control.”
The Sun Devils would have had to perform at their best to have a chance at beating the near-perfect Bruins. However, missed landings on vault and out-of-bounds penalties on the floor took away points they could not afford to lose.
The Bruins swept every event and scored the top three in the all-around as well.
“I feel like we’re right on track,” said coach Valorie Kondos Field. “It’s not a big surprise that we were able to come out and do this.”
Kondos Field’s confidence in her team’s ability comes from the work that her team puts in at the gym.
“We had a full, hard week of training,” Kondos Field said. “It’s the first full week of training we had in a while because of our competition schedule. And they took full advantage of it so they felt better prepared to go out and complete better routines.”
The Bruins knew how well they performed when they saw the scores.
“We had a goal of 197.8, so to score even higher made us so excited,” Courtney said. “That’s why we’re screaming, jumping and happy.”
What’s more is that the team believes they can do even better.
“This was normal gymnastics to us,” Zamarripa said. “We didn’t score our bests. I could’ve scored higher on vault. We had some small mishaps on other events. We could’ve scored higher.”