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Gymnastics sets season record defeating Stanford with perfect 10s, personal records

Junior Kyla Ross notched her first 10 on balance beam this season for UCLA gymnastics in its win over Stanford on Sunday. The 10 marked Ross’ sixth straight meet with at least one perfect score. (Liz Ketcham/Assistant Photo editor)

By Cassidy Hunt

March 10, 2019 6:00 pm

Pauley Pavilion was silent as Kyla Ross dismounted from the balance beam.

The only thing louder than the crowd after the junior stuck her landing were the chants of “Kyla Boss” when it was announced that Ross had scored a perfect 10.

“I would never call myself that, but it’s definitely fun to have that be my ‘gymnastics name,'” Ross said.

No. 2 UCLA gymnastics (8-1, 7-0 Pac-12) posted a 198.325 − its highest score of the season − in its defeat of No. 24 Stanford (1-6, 1-6) on Sunday in Pauley Pavilion. The sold-out crowd totaled 12,907, setting a UCLA gymnastics attendance record.

UCLA’s score ties the top score in the country, posted by No. 1 Oklahoma. The win comes one week after the Bruins suffered their first loss of the year to the Sooners.

Ross extended her streak of straight meets with a perfect 10 to six. The junior’s perfect score on beam was her eighth of the year and the 13th of her UCLA career.

The Bruins posted their season bests on both vault and balance beam against the Cardinal.

UCLA recorded a 49.450 on vault behind Ross’ first-place score of 9.950, while sophomore Pauline Tratz recorded a season-high 9.900.

Junior Felicia Hano and sophomore Nia Dennis tied their career bests on uneven bars, with Dennis’ 9.925 earning her first place on the event.

“I try to do my routines for my teammates,” Dennis said. “I always pick someone out and say ‘this is for you,’ and tell them that I have their back and they always have mine. Today I picked (junior Madison Kocian).”

UCLA’s top five balance beam scores were all 9.900 or higher, giving them a 49.700 on the event − the highest balance beam team score in the country this season.

Ross said that she had been struggling with focus during her beam routines before Sunday.

“It felt really good to finally have a solid beam routine,” Ross said. “Over the last few meets I have found my rhythm on beam. I always get really excited when I am having a good beam routine and I mess up right before the dismount, so I was glad I was able to calm myself and really dial into my cues.”

Freshman Margzetta Frazier opened floor exercise with a 9.950, tying her career high on the event. Hano’s 9.950 on the event tied her season-high. All six Bruins posted a 9.900 or higher on floor, giving them a 49.700 total score on the event.

Frazier, Hano and senior Katelyn Ohashi tied for first on the event. Ohashi said that she decided to compete despite having the flu on Sunday.

“I thought about if I was capable,” Ohashi said. “I decided I was, but it got harder once I was doing it. It all worked out in the end because I just couldn’t make excuses. People (compete while sick) all the time.”

Ross has scored a perfect 10 on every event except floor exercise this season − an event in which she did not compete Sunday.

There have been 22 total perfect scores in the nation this season and as a team, the Bruins have posted 13 of them.

The last time the Bruins posted a score below 49 on an individual event was 24 meets ago, on Jan. 6, 2018. UCLA holds the longest active streak of above-49 scores in the country, with 99.

The Bruins’ two highest scores this season have been at home.

Coach Valorie Kondos Field said that their home stadium makes it possible for the Bruins to perform the way they do.

“We call it the magic of Pauley,” Kondos Field said. “It’s holy ground. The greatest humans on the planet have chosen to share their message in this arena. We’ve had the Dalai Lama, presidential debates, the Grateful Dead − even Justin Bieber. You feel the energy of excellence of the human beings that have stood on that floor when you walk in the door. I’ve been walking through those doors for 37 years and I still feel it.”

UCLA’s dual meet against Utah State (5-9, 0-6 MW) on Saturday will be their final home meet and Kondos Field’s last meet at Pauley Pavilion.

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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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