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UCLA gymnastics stays steady against Sun Devils to notch victory

Senior Felicia Hano competed in the all-around for the second week in a row versus Arizona State, scoring a 39.100 in No. 4 UCLA gymnastics’ victory Saturday afternoon. (Amy Dixon/Daily Bruin senior staff)


No. 4 UCLA197.200
Arizona State195.475

By Cassidy Hunt

February 15, 2020 9:14 pm

Coach Chris Waller said the Bruins were happy with their consistency.

“The bottom line is: We hit 24 for 24 routines,” Waller said. “We are a gritty team. Even when it’s not dazzling, we do the work, and it was solid.”

No. 4 UCLA gymnastics (5-1, 3-1 Pac-12) defeated Arizona State (2-4, 1-2) in Tempe on Saturday. The Bruins took first place in every event, despite recording a season-low event score in the first rotation of the meet.

The Bruins, who rank No. 2 nationally on uneven bars, opened the meet with a 49.200 – their lowest score of the season on bars.

With the exception of event-winner senior Kyla Ross, every UCLA gymnast scored 9.850 or lower, led by freshman Kalyany Steele’s 9.850 – which ties her season-high score from last week.

“We just had to forget about (the uneven bars scores),” said senior Felicia Hano. “We knew what kind of gymnastics we were doing, and the judges weren’t acknowledging it, and that was a little hard to accept, but we had to move on because we don’t want to carry that negative energy. We knew we were great.”

Ross took first place in both of her events – uneven bars and balance beam – with a pair of 9.950s. It was the former Olympian’s sixth straight bars win and third straight beam win.

UCLA has recorded one vault score lower than Saturday’s 49.200 – in its third meet of the season Jan. 18. Vault was also the Bruins’ narrowest victory, besting the Sun Devils by .100.

Senior Gracie Kramer took first place on floor exercise for the third week in a row with a 9.950, while freshman Chloe Lashbrooke, Hano and junior Nia Dennis tied for second with 9.900s.

Lashbrooke posted her 9.900 season-high floor score in front of her hometown crowd in Arizona.

“That was a breakout performance for me,” Lashbrooke said. “I was breaking out of my shell, and I was really proud of myself because I’ve been working really hard to nail my landings and get more height on my second pass, so it felt really good to finally do it in competition.”

UCLA’s 49.525 floor score was the Bruins’ third-highest score on the event this season, while only three other NCAA teams have managed to surpass 49.525 on floor at any point this year.

Hano competed in all-around for the third time in her career and scored a 39.100 after a balance check on her beam routine earned her a 9.575.

“I’m getting used to (all-around) now,” Hano said. “It’s not a question mark anymore – I expect to do it every time. I was only disappointed (on beam) because I’ve been doing a lot better in the gym, but I was still proud that I stayed on the beam and fought through.”

For the first time this season, Ross did not compete in the all-around. Waller said Ross and sophomore Margzetta Frazier – who did not compete in any events Saturday – were rested this week to allow time to recover before the postseason starts.

The Bruins have three home meets and one away meet left on their schedule before postseason competition begins.

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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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