Gymnastics records lowest single-event score since 2011 in loss to Washington
Senior Gracie Kramer recorded her first career perfect 10 on Friday night as No. 3 UCLA gymnastics hosted No. 11 Washington. Despite Kramer and the Bruins scoring 49.675 on floor, the squad was unable to overcome the Huskies, losing for the first time this season. (Kristie-Valerie Hoang/Daily Bruin senior staff)
|No. 11 Washington||196.700|
|No. 3 UCLA||196.250|
By Riley Segal
Feb. 1, 2020 5:28 p.m.
The beam was the Bruins’ downfall.
No. 3 UCLA (3-1, 1-1 Pac-12) suffered its first loss of the season to No. 11 Washington (3-0, 2-0 Pac-12) on Friday night in Pauley Pavilion, falling 196.700-196.250. Despite leading after the first two rotations, the Bruins’ beam showing allowed the Huskies to propel themselves to the front and stick with the lead. This was UCLA’s first Pac-12 loss since 2018.
The Bruins earned a 49.275 on vault and a 49.425 on bars to put themselves ahead of the Huskies 98.700-98.100.
Then, it was UCLA’s turn on beam.
One pass went by. On the second, a gymnast fell. Two more Bruins performed – senior Kyla Ross and sophomore Norah Flatley – who each scored 9.950. The next athlete fell, and then the next.
The three falls culminated in a 47.875, the lowest score UCLA has produced in any event since 2011.
Four days prior, the Bruins had garnered their best beam score of the season – a 49.375.
But despite the season-low outing as a team, several Bruins managed to set season highs on their own. Flatley’s 9.950 came after adding a new series to her routine, which coach Chris Waller said she had only practiced for one day before the competition.
“It’s been a struggle for her to find a routine … that has great rhythm and her potential at a 10,” Waller said. “Literally what happened was she had a dream of doing the series – which she’s never done – and told us, and we’re like, ‘Great, let’s do that,’ and she trained it one day.”
However, a quick change in routine did not work out as well for one of the gymnasts who fell.
“We actually had changed (junior) Nia Dennis’s routine because she was lacking in back skill on the routine, and that whole change happened in one day as well,” Waller said. “But we knew we were rolling the dice. You change routines with one day of training, and we know that there’s a risk, so at this point it worked for (Flatley) and not for (Dennis), but I’m confident that looking forward, both of them are going to keep getting stronger.”
Flatley was also the leadoff on floor, the Bruins’ best rotation of the night. UCLA scored a 49.675, but it was not enough to make up the lost ground.
Despite being the first to come off a struggling event, Flatley said she was not feeling the pressure.
“I hate to lose, so I did everything I could do to try to get the highest score I could to help this team win,” Flatley said. “I think that’s the best routine I’ve done this season, and as the routine went on, I just built up energy and got stronger.”
Floor also brought a shining moment for senior Gracie Kramer, who earned the first perfect 10 of her collegiate career – a moment that sparked cheers and tears from the crowd and her teammates.
“It still hasn’t really sunken in at all,” Kramer said. “I think, if anything, it really just felt like a normal routine, and it was just like the icing on the cake. Even before I went, I honestly thought I was going to cry – I didn’t know why. I’m really weirdly intuitive about my energy, and so I kind of already knew I was going to get a 10, which is kind of weird to say out loud.”
Kramer won floor, and the Bruins picked up the individual wins on every event in the meet. However, the overall event scores were not enough to put the team on top.
However, UCLA is positive it will keep working hard to make improvements, Waller said.
“This is the first loss that’s hurt. This is going to end up being fuel for what we do this week,” Waller said. “I’m certain it’ll just motivate us to figure out and fast-track the ways in which we need to improve. We were a little flat when we started the day, and I think this is just fuel for us to come out like the first event’s our last event, like it’s floor.”