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Two UCLA gymnasts to compete at NCAA national championships

Sophomore Selena Harris leaps on beam. (Jeremy Chen/Photo editor)

Gymnastics


First NCAA Semifinal
Thursday, 1:30 p.m.

Fort Worth, Texas
ESPN2
Second NCAA Semifinal
Thursday, 6 p.m.

Fort Worth, Texas
ESPN2

By Aaron Doyle

April 17, 2024 12:10 p.m.

Selena Harris’ eyes aren’t just set on a national beam title.

The Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year will observe the nationals field in the hopes of getting her team back on the stage next season.

“I’m really excited to watch how other teams function out there,” Harris said. “Just to watch the other teams compete so next year, we know what we’re doing.”

No. 17 UCLA gymnastics is sending Harris and senior Chae Campbell to Fort Worth, Texas, to compete in the NCAA national championships. Harris is set to compete on the beam, while Campbell qualified for the floor.

After being upset by Arizona State in the second round of NCAA regionals, UCLA failed to qualify for the national championships for the first time since 2021.

“We had a lot of inconsistency throughout the year and that’s just something we have to dial in ahead of time,” said coach Janelle McDonald. “I’m excited for what is to come. Obviously disappointed, but we are going to turn the page and look forward.”

Regional title-winning performances from Harris and Campbell on beam and floor, respectively, punched their tickets to the national championships as individuals.

Harris finished the regular season tied for No. 13 on beam, the highest of any Bruin on the event. The sophomore has also scored three straight 9.950s in her last three performances and holds a season-high of 9.975.

Junior Brooklyn Moors and graduate student Nya Reed shared the floor title with Campbell at regionals, but after a tie-breaking procedure, Campbell was given the bid to nationals.

Senior Chae Campbell competes on floor at Haas Pavilion. (Neha Krishnakumar/Daily Bruin staff)
Senior Chae Campbell competes on floor at Haas Pavilion. (Neha Krishnakumar/Daily Bruin staff)

“It’s weird being an individual,” Campbell said. “It’s different from being with your team. It’s been great to have the support of them throughout the week when they didn’t have to come in to watch at all because it’s their week off.”

Though competing alone at nationals is a unique experience, Campbell is no stranger to heading to nationals as an individual.

In 2021, Campbell qualified for nationals as an all-arounder, and took home seventh place on floor, earning a second-team All-America honor at the event.

“Chae has been there as an individual, she’s been there with a team, so she’s experienced this before,” McDonald said. “When anybody can learn from those experiences, it’s growth for our team.”

While Harris and Campbell compete at NCAA nationals, junior Emma Malabuyo is back at another World Cup with hopes of qualifying for the Olympics.

The Philippines national team member is currently in second in the World Cup standings on floor, holding 69 points and needing to maintain her position to officially qualify for Paris.

“She’s going to head there and compete on floor, and hopefully grab those points that’ll secure her spot to the Olympic Games for the Philippines,” McDonald said. “I’m really excited for her.”

While Campbell and Harris get the opportunity to compete at nationals, the season is over for the rest of the team.

UCLA finished its season ranked No. 17. The final ranking matches its lowest in 2006.

While McDonald said this is not how the Bruins wanted their season to end, they viewed the regionals loss as an opportunity to grow.

“We’ve talked a lot about going there and trying to watch what we’re seeing and be able to take back some things to help our team move forward and build upon what we’re doing here,” McDonald said.

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