Wednesday, February 26

Gymnastics takes first place in quad meet

Minor setbacks did not stop UCLA’s momentum as several Bruins came out on top in all events

Freshman Danusia Francis and the UCLA gymnastics team came away from Sunday's quad meet victorious, taking first place overall. Neil Bedi / Daily Bruin


UCLA - 196.950
WASHINGTON - 195.950

The crowd clapped on beat to freshman Danusia Francis’ floor routine Sunday in Pauley Pavilion.

Francis stepped out of bounds on her last move, dropping her score to a 9.725, but her teammates ran to her with words of encouragement nonetheless.

Although the Bruins performance was less than their best, it was still enough to end up on top of the four-way meet.

No. 4 UCLA (7-0) defeated No. 25 Washington, UC Davis and Sacramento State Sunday with a score of 196.950.

“I was thrilled with their performances (Sunday) because I felt that they were flat but they kept plugging through,” said coach Valorie Kondos Field. “They didn’t give up. You are going to have highs and lows in your season and that’s when you see what your team is really made of.”

The Bruins have had to bounce back from several lows this season, including multiple injuries and sickness, but this weekend saw one gymnast return to competition.

Senior Monique De La Torre, who tore her labrum during the preseason, made her return to uneven bars, scoring a 9.850 for the Bruins and earning third place.

“I’m so blessed to be competing. It has been a struggle with my labrum so to be able to go out there and contribute was awesome,” De La Torre said.

De La Torre came in on bars after freshman Sophina DeJesus was unable to compete because of a concussion she sustained last week during practice.

The injury forced the Bruins to tap into the depth of their team, since DeJesus normally competes on beam, bars and floor.

Junior Olivia Courtney stepped in on beam, with an impressive performance of 9.875, a score that earned her a tie for first place for the event.

“That was such a good feeling,” Courtney said. “I know there are a lot of things I can improve on, so it was surprising to me. But to know that I can achieve that with what I did makes me feel a lot more confident.”

UCLA heads on the road the next three weekends forconsecutive away meets. The team’s first trip will be to Oregon State.

“I’m really looking forward to getting even closer with my teammates these next three weekends and just going through the journey with them,” De La Torre said. “It’s an adventure.”

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