There is no doubt that this year’s Pac-12 is loaded in women’s gymnastics. With six out of the conference’s eight teams holding national rankings, and a seventh just missing the cut, there are standouts from every team making strides and getting national attention. Here’s how the teams break down:
No.1 UCLA (7-2, 4-1 Pac-12) NATIONAL RANKING: 6
REGIONAL QUALIFYING SCORE: 196.729 AVERAGE SCORE: 196.729
It’s rough when one of your only losses comes to a team in your own conference, (Oregon State) but when that meet — which your team describes as its low meet of the season — still gets a 196.075, you’re in very good shape. The third-place finisher in last year’s national championship has easily controlled the Pac-12 this year, even with injuries to All-Americans Samantha Peszek and Monique De La Torre.
De La Torre’s shoulder injury didn’t hinder the senior too much, but the Bruins appear to have lost Peszek for the season.
Senior Vanessa Zamarripa has more than carried the team this season, scoring career highs in three events, including a 10.000 on vault against Stanford.
No. 2 Utah (7-1-1, 4-1-1 Pac-12) NATIONAL RANKING: 8
RQS: 196.375 AVERAGE SCORE: 196.514
The Utes have handled their competition with ease this season, with only one loss to UCLA and a bizarre tie against Washington in Seattle. The team is undefeated at home where they have averaged a crowd of almost 15,000 in the Jon Huntsman Center cheering them on. Utah boasts a lot of youth, losing one of only a handful of juniors in its fourth meet of the season, Corrie Lothrop.
Sophomore Tory Wilson has taken over the all around spot and handled the position well, with a 10.0 on vault that made ESPN’s top plays of the day. Fellow sophomore Georgia Dabritz was named Pac-12 Specialist of the Week on Feb. 12 with a 9.975 on floor and a 9.90 on beam against Cal.
No. 3 Oregon State (8-5, 5-1 Pac-12) NATIONAL RANKING : 9
RQS: 196.370 AVERAGE SCORE: 195.969
Like Utah, the Beavers are also undefeated at home, including a huge win against UCLA and a season high 196.825 against UA the following week. Oregon State has a lot of all-arounders, boasting consistency from the 12 gymnasts they use to fill its 24 lineup spots.
While a team effort has been coach Tanya Chaplin’s strategy, senior Makayla Stambaugh has been the leader for the Beavers. Stambaugh gave UCLA’s Zamarripa her first head-to-head loss of the season in the all-around and putting up career numbers on floor (9.95) and vault (9.875).
No. 4 Stanford (8-3, 3-2 Pac-12) NATIONAL RANKING: 12
RQS: 196.235 AVERAGE SCORE: 196.264
Stanford was in no way struggling before its two-week bye, but the break really benefited the team. After the gap in the competition, the Cardinal obliterated their previous season high with a 197.275 against ASU and followed that up with a 197.075 against Utah.
Stanford started off the season with four away meets: Two quad-meets with minimal competition, followed by an almost two-point loss to powerhouse Georgia. The Cardinal back to handle California with an almost one-point improvement in scores.
Senior Ashley Morgan leads the Cardinal in the all-around position on an incredibly consistent team that routinely earns 9.8 and above from the top to the bottom of their lineups.
No. 5 UA (7-7, 0-5 Pac-12) NATIONAL RANKING: 15
RQS: 195.640 AVERAGE SCORE: 195.500
While Stanford is consistent throughout its lineup, the Wildcats have had issues in that department, going from 194s to high-196s to counting a fall against Oregon State last weekend. UA fell short against all of their Pac-12 opponents but still managed to stay in the national rankings.
Senior Aubree Cristello has been the leader of the team putting up big numbers throughout the Gym Cats’ tough schedule.
No. 6 Washington (5-6-1, 3-2-1 Pac-12) NATIONAL RANKING: 17
RQS: 195.520 AVERAGE SCORE: 195.304
Washington started off a little rough, with scores below 195, but it made a push for the national rankings with a huge jump in its fourth week, putting up a 196.025 against UA. The Huskies then took second place to UCLA in a quad meet and had the rare tie with Utah, but Washington got back to its winning ways against ASU scoring its second highest point total of the season with 196.000. The Huskies display a lot of personality on beam and floor, the latter which features a Michael Jackson tribute routine.
Washington can look to a strong leader for the future with freshman Allison Northey putting up big numbers and earning the Huskies’ only conference honor this season with the Newcomer Award on Feb. 19.
No. 7 ASU (2-6, 0-5 Pac-12) NATIONAL RANKING: 26
RQS: 195.200 AVERAGE SCORE: 195.032
Just left out of the top 25, the Gym Devils have the distinction of being the youngest team in the Pac-12. With two seniors and one injured junior, 11 spots on the roster belong to underclassmen with seven freshmen among them. Despite only one first-place finish against San Jose State and Sacramento State in a tri-meet, the Sun Devils have held their own against all ranked teams and been consistent with close to identical scores every week.
The meet against Standford was the first time ASU featured an all-around gymnast in freshman Stephanie Miceli. Sophomores Brianna Gades and Natasha Sundby have put up the strongest scores with 9.875s commonplace among the two.
No. 8 California (8-4, 1-4 Pac-12) NATIONAL RANKING: 35
RQS: 194.530 AVERAGE SCORE: 194.754
Rounding out the conference, Cal started out strong with a win against UA and non-conference opponents, but it faltered against the rest of its Pac-12 foes, including a rough bout against Utah where the Golden Bears only put up a 192.750.
Senior Alicia Asturias has brought home the most event titles for the Golden Bears in the all-around spot including a career high 9.95 on vault.
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