ANAHEIM, Calif. — When senior Katelyn Ohashi hit the final pass of her floor routine, Valorie Kondos Field started to lean forward – then almost face-planted onto the podium.
It was a perfect 10.
“Her whole floor routine is ridiculously hard,” the coach said. “Every single thing about it including the backwards split that she does after her leap pass – it’s insane.”
No. 2 UCLA gymnastics (1-0) took first place with a score of 197.700 at the Collegiate Challenge on Saturday night against No. 9 California (0-1), Michigan State (0-1) and No. 14 UC Davis (0-0).
Ohashi’s perfect score was the second of the night after junior Kyla Ross hit an uneven bars routine in the Bruins’ second rotation, snagging their first 10 of the season.
“I said to myself, ‘Okay, she’s back,’” Kondos Field said. “And when I went to hug her afterwards, she goes ‘I’m back.’”
UCLA started the meet on vault and picked up three scores of at least 9.800. Freshman Margzetta Frazier competed on vault for the first time this year and notched a 9.825. Sophomore Pauline Tratz and Ross added a 9.850 and a 9.875, respectively, to give the Bruins the lead after the first rotation.
Frazier carried her momentum into uneven bars, scoring a near-perfect 9.925. Freshman Norah Flatley – who competed in the all-around in only the second meet of her collegiate career – recorded a 9.900.
UCLA held nearly a one-point lead heading into the balance beam. Senior Brielle Nguyen kicked off the rotation with a 9.775, which was followed with three scores of 9.850 or above. Ross and Ohashi topped it off with a 9.900 and a 9.975, respectively.
Ross competed in the all-around for the second meet this season and tied her career high of 39.700.
“I love competing all-around,” Ross said. “I need to work (on my) landing a little bit on vault, but I feel like everything else was pretty solid.”
Ross was one of four Bruins to score a 9.925 on floor exercise, along with Frazier, Tratz and junior Gracie Kramer. UCLA’s total of 49.700 surpassed its total from last week against Nebraska by nearly 0.2 points.
Kondos Field said a change in the team’s mentality took this meet up a notch in comparison to the Bruins’ performance against the Cornhuskers.
“They doubted their preparation (against Nebraska),” Kondos Field said. “(But for this meet) they said they just decided to be great and they decided to trust their training, and when your mind decides, there is no other option.”
Ohashi added that while there may have been some opening-meet jitters, the Bruins were able to build from where they left off last meet.
“I feel like maybe (Kondos Field) was the only one that doubted us,” Ohashi said. “I know that we’ve been prepared for the longest time, so in terms of that it was just going out and being more confident in ourselves and everything that we have prepared to do.”
UCLA will next face No. 13 Arizona State on Jan. 21 in Pauley Pavilion.