This post was updated Jan. 17 at 11:53 a.m.
The Bruins will have a chance to spread their success on floor to its other rotations.
No. 5 UCLA gymnastics (1-0) will compete against No. 15 BYU (1-0) and Utah State (0-0) for the Bruins’ first true road meet of the season Saturday in Provo, Utah. Last weekend, UCLA posted a 49.725 on floor against Boise State, a national-best performance.
“That rotation is always different for us because we really know how to have fun on floor and pull the energy up,” sophomore Norah Flatley said. “We’re taking what we do on floor to all the other events and figuring out how to pull the energy and excitement up on the other three events.”
After receiving a 48.400 on beam versus the Broncos, the Bruins bounced back on floor to give what coach Chris Waller called a “championship performance.”
“Honestly, floor in our last meet was just a breakout performance,” Waller said. “I feel like the team saw this incredibly bright, shining moment and we felt it, and we’re gonna tap into that and spread that into other events.”
The floor rotation also showcased the depth of the roster, bringing in a fresh face. Freshman Chloe Lashbrooke made her debut for the Bruins at Pauley, raking in a 9.875.
Flatley – who is recovering from a small hip pull – was initially on the roster for floor, but Lashbrooke subbed in as a last-minute replacement once the meet was underway.
“It was really exciting, especially because I didn’t know I was going into the meet,” Lashbrooke said. “(Floor is) my favorite event to compete and it was (great) to break into that very hard floor lineup.”
Both BYU and Utah State have already faced each other in competition. The teams squared off at the Rio Tinto Best of Utah meet, where the Cougars placed second with a score of 195.575 and the Aggies earned fourth, tallying a 194.150.
In its last two meets, BYU has surpassed the 49 point mark on vault, bars and floor, though no score exceeded 49.200. In contrast, Utah State has not reached the 49 point mark in any event so far this season. However, both Utah teams’ best scores on balance beam exceed UCLA’s. The Cougars’ top beam score is 48.800 and the Aggies’ is 48.625, while the Bruins have not broken a 48.500.
Waller said the Bruins are looking to combat this by shaking up the rotation.
“We’re going to do something really different this weekend in terms of the order of the lineup to help them gain that confidence,” Waller said. “We’re going to mix it up.”
Waller said that the mindset the team has on floor is the same the Bruins need on their other events, beam especially.
“Even though they’re doing real hard flips (on floor), they’re not overthinking it,” Waller said. “The whole thing is a performance, they’re trusting their training. We’re looking to do the same thing on each event to bring that same performance quality. That’s especially true for us on beam because we’ve been training great, we just need to find our rhythm on beam and just go for it.”