While the entire Bruins’ squad wasn’t able to make the trip to Fort Worth, a freshman and senior made the most out of their trip down south.
UCLA gymnastics’ Jordan Chiles and Norah Flatley competed in the NCAA individual championships on Thursday. The duo joined Missouri and Michigan, respectively, in their rotations in the second session of the NCAA team semifinals, a bid the Bruins missed out on by just a few inches and fractions of a point two weeks ago in the Raleigh Regional.
Flatley hit on all four of her routines in the all-around, posting a 39.600 to help her place seventh. That big run started on floor, when Flatley scored a 9.8875.
The next rotation featured Flatley on vault, as she posted yet another 9.8875. Flately was nothing if not consistent as the afternoon progress, posting an identical 9.8875 score on bars on the next rotation.
Flatley broke out of that streak on beam, where she swung big and wound up with a 9.9375. That score was good enough to put Flatley in an eight-way tie for fourth on beam – her highest placement of the day.
Chiles, who had qualified to compete on floor and bars at regionals, was not able to match Flatley 4-for-4 efficiency.
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The freshman Olympic silver medalist missed on a piked Jaeger to open her bars routine. Chiles got back up and ended with a strong full-twisting double back dismount to salvage a 9.3375, and that recovery led into her bounce back performance on floor.
Chiles went for 9.925 on her signature event, but since there were 16 scores of 9.900 or higher in the late session alone, that only put her in a tie for 14th overall.
The pair of Bruins made sure there was still some true blue and gold representation in Forth Worth – not maize and gold. Utah was the only Pac-12 program competing in the team semifinals, but Flatley and Chiles were joined by Oregon State’s Jade Carey, Arizona’s Sirena Linton and Stanford’s Kyla Bryant in repping the West Coast.
Oklahoma and Utah were the top-two teams in the early session, while Florida and Auburn advanced from the late session, meaning Flatley and Chiles were unable to bring Missouri or Michigan any stroke of good luck.
The NCAA championships will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and this will be the second year in a row that UCLA will not be taking part after participating in each of the previous four.
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