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Gymnastics becomes third team in country to cross 198 points as it beats Arizona

Junior Kyla Ross recorded four scores above 9.925 against Arizona on Saturday, including her second straight perfect 10 on vault. Her all-around score marked the highest in the NCAA so far this season. (MacKenzie Coffman/Assistant Photo editor)

By Cassidy Hunt

February 16, 2019 7:45 pm

The Bruins have hit the “big 198.”

No. 3 UCLA gymnastics (6-0, 5-0 Pac-12) defeated No. 25 Arizona (1-5, 1-4) in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday 198.025-194.975, marking the Bruins’ highest score of the season. For the second time in six days, junior Kyla Ross scored a perfect 10 on vault and senior Katelyn Ohashi scored a perfect 10 on floor exercise.

“I think (scoring 198.025) says a lot considering that we didn’t have a flawless meet,” said coach Valorie Kondos Field. “We should be scoring a mid-198 every single time. We have trained like that, they have prepared to do just that. They just need to believe it.”

Ross’ perfect score on vault was among three other scores over 9.925 that earned her an all-around score of 39.850 − an increase of 0.075 on her previous personal best set last weekend. Ross owns the highest all-around score recorded by an NCAA athlete this year and the fourth highest all-around score in UCLA gymnastics history.

“I was hoping for a 40,” Ross said. “But I’m really happy with the 39.850. Bars and beam were my strengths last year and I’ve been trying to bring up vault and floor routines. So, to see those two do so well this year is amazing.”

Ross is the only gymnast in the country to score a 10 on multiple events this season. The junior is one perfect score on floor away from a “gym slam” − recording a 10 on all four events. Ross posted a 9.950 on floor Saturday.

“I really thought I had it today,” Ross said. “It was just that last pass.”

Ohashi scored her first at-home perfect 10 of the year on her viral floor routine. It was her third perfect score this season. Ohashi has earned first place on floor in all six of her competitions this year.

Ohashi said that performing in front of her home crowd changes her experience.

“I feed off of energy,” Ohashi said. “It’s so funny. On floor, I really do hear a lot. I can always hear them get quiet on the snappy parts and loud at other times. A 10 anywhere is good but the home crowd is the best place to do it.”

Ohashi said that she has been trying to make the most out her final year in college gymnastics, and that she is thrilled by the way her season has been going.

“I just want to soak everything in,” Ohashi said. “If things go wrong, you turn the page. My parents have decided to come to all of (my meets) because for the first two years, they missed a lot of them and they want to see everything too.”

UCLA recorded a 9.900 or above on all five routines that counted on the uneven bars and a 9.925 or above on all five floor routines.

The Bruins are now the third team in the nation this year with a high score of 198 or better. The No. 2 Florida Gators have also recorded a high score of 198.025 this season.

UCLA will return to the road Saturday when it meets No. 4 Utah (6-0, 4-0) in Salt Lake City.

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Cassidy Hunt | Sports staff
Hunt is currently a Sports staff writer on the gymnastics beat. She was previously a reporter on the women's soccer, women's water polo and swim & dive beats.
Hunt is currently a Sports staff writer on the gymnastics beat. She was previously a reporter on the women's soccer, women's water polo and swim & dive beats.
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