Gymnastics clinches UCLA’s 115th NCAA title in close finish

Peng-Peng Lee scored a 10 to catapult UCLA over Oklahoma to win the NCAA title. The redshirt senior also scored a perfect 10 on uneven bars in what was her final collegiate competition. (Daniel Leibowitz/Daily Bruin staff)

ST. LOUIS—The Bruins needed a 9.975 on the final routine. Just as she did multiple times this season, redshirt senior Peng-Peng Lee delivered.

No. 3 UCLA gymnastics (37-2, 4-1 Pac-12) finished as NCAA champions for the first time since 2010 with a comeback victory in the six-team field in Chaifetz Arena. The Bruins passed the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners (28-2, 3-0 Big 12) on the final event to take the victory, putting up a final score of 198.0750.

The win marks UCLA’s 115th NCAA title. The Bruins are now tied with the Stanford Cardinal for the most team championships in the nation.

UCLA started the night on the floor exercise in the second rotation. Sophomore Kyla Ross, yesterday’s all-around session winner, fell on her routine for the first time this season, dropping her scoreto a 9.3125. After junior Katelyn Ohashi anchored the Bruins with a 9.9500, they held a 49.4625 score after the event.

UCLA moved to the vault for the third rotation. The Bruins put up a consistent showing in the event, with each gymnast scoring between a 9.8000 and 9.8875. They entered the halfway point of the meet in fourth place, trailing the Sooners by .3250 points.

The Bruins competed on uneven bars for the fifth rotation after a bye on the fourth. Lee scored a perfect 10, while Ross concluded the event with a 9.9500 to keep the Bruins within striking distance. UCLA’s team score of 49.6375 on the event is the second-highest ever in Super Six history.

In the final rotation, UCLA ended on the balance beam, needing to come from behind to win the championship. Lee and Ross carried the Bruins again, scoring a 10.0 and 9.9875, respectively. This was just enough to put the Bruins on top to claim the title.

On Friday night, Lee took home the balance beam individual title. Her score of 9.9875 topped the field for her first NCAA title. Ohashi won the national title for the floor exercise. Her Michael Jackson-themed routine scored a 9.9625.

 

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