NCAA 2019 Preview: UCLA

Coming off of a fantastic 2018 season, and the NCAA title, UCLA is under pressure to repeat their success in 2019. While the likes of Oklahoma and Florida won’t make it easy for them, the talent is there, manifested in strong veterans and talented incoming freshmen. UCLA is only without Peng Peng Lee and Janay Honest this year, so while two bars holes will need filled, UCLA´s lineups should remain otherwise untouched. Today, I´ll go over the key contributors for the team, lineup options, my lineups, and vice versa. Enjoy!

Seniors: 

Katelyn Ohashi; Senior: 2018 Weekly contributor on BB, FX lock for the FX and BB lineup can contend for VT, maybe UB

Brielle Nguyen: 2018 weekly beamer, lock for BB.

Stella Savvidou: Made UB in 2017, can contend for UB lineup

Macy Toronjo: Has not competed since 2017, can contend for UB and FX

Juniors: 

Kyla Ross: Olympic gold medalist, competed AA regularly in 2018 -Finally upgraded to a Y 1.5 on vault- Lock for UB, BB, and VT, has a chance at FX, too

Madison Kocian: Olympic gold medalist, out for much of 2018 season, lock for UB, probably FX as well, can contend for BB

Gracie Kramer: Inconsistent Y1.5, made floor lineup in 2018 -Can contend for VT and FX

Felicia Hano: Y1.5, DLO on floor, 2018 weekly contributor on VT and FX, can contend for BB as well.

Anna Glenn: Weekly contributor on VT, UB in 2018. Should contend for UB, BB, maybe VT??

Grace Glenn: 2018 weekly beamer, likely candidate for BB, can fight for UB as well.

Sophomores: 

Nia Dennis: Competed VT and UB regularly in 2018, Y1.5 on vault, lock for vault.

Pauline Tratz: Weekly FX and VT contributor, lock for both lineups.

Savannah Kooyman: Contender for BB, FX

Freshmen: 

Marz Frazier: 2017 USA national team member, DTY, lock for VT, UB, FX, can contend for BB.

Norah Flatley: The one who was a gr8 junior, Chow’s gymnastics, new Peng Peng Lee..?, please?, lock for UB, BB, and contender for FX as well.

Sekai Wright: DLO, Y1.5, lock for VT and FX?

Lineups: 

Vault: Lineup locks: Felicia Hano, Nia Dennis, Sekai Wright, Kyla Ross, Marz Frazier, Pauline Tratz

Lineup options: Gracie Kramer, Anna Glenn, Madison Kocian, Katelyn Ohashi

Things are looking better for the Bruins on vault this year. The introduction of both Sekai  Wright and Marz Frazier, both of whom bring 10.0 start value vaults, along with Kyla Ross showing a Y1.5 at Meet the Bruins, lend themselves to the fact that vault is improving for UCLA. Beyond them, Hano has a great 1.5, and Pauline Tratz has shown a handspring pike 1/2 in training before, but even if she doesn’t show it, her full is by far the best available for UCLA, so she is a lock. Gracie Kramer also has a tucked Y1.5 that can be used if she shows consistency (a big IF). Nia Dennis casually stuck her Y1.5 at M.T.B, and will be a staple in the vault lineup as well.

Uneven Bars: Lineup locks: Kyla Ross, Madison Kocian, Marz Frazier, Anna Glenn

Lineup options: Norah Flatley, Nia Dennis, Grace Glenn, Katelyn Ohashi, Macy Toronjo, Stella Savvidou

Bars have taken a dip following Peng´s retirement. That said, bars is still a solid event for UCLA this year, with Kyla Ross anchoring their efforts. We can expect to consistently see Madison Kocian in this lineup, as well as Marz Frazier, who showed a legs-together shap 1/2 and a big DLO at M.TB and looks to be a 9.9 ready bars worker if she can perfect the handstand positions. Beyond the core three, Anna Glenn made a great case for herself at M.T.B, with lovely toes, handstands, and a gorgeous straddle jaeger, all of which make a great case for a spot in the lineup. UCLA will really want Norah Flatley in the lineup this season, and while she certainly has the goods to make it happen (her jaeger is hypnotic), her bars routine at M.T.B was… not worthy of the lineup, and she will have to clean up tremendously in order to be the bars worker we know she can be. Nia Dennis is very clean and could be a good leadoff again this season, and if not her, Ohashi or Toronjo can swoop in for a 9.8.

 

Balance Beam: Lineup locks: Kyla Ross, Katelyn Ohashi, Brielle Nguyen, Grace Glenn, Norah Flatley

Lineup Options: Anna Glenn, Marz Frazier, Madison Kocian, Felicia Hano,

Beam is by far the best event for UCLA, with a tremendous amount of depth, combined with starpower from Ohashi and Ross, the Bruins are set to obliterate every other team on beam. Kyla and Katelyn are the stars of the lineup, along with Grace Glenn and those pretty toes and Brielle Nguyen with her fluid connections and solidity. The other gymnast who is set to rock the beam lineup is Norah Flatley. As a junior elite, beam was always Norah´s standout event due to her pristine execution, her beautiful extension, and her fabulous and fluid combinations. Flatley should be a star on beam for UCLA and can legitimately fill the hole that Peng has left behind.

I could see UCLA putting Madison Kocian in the last spot, but she has proven inconsistent on the event, so I´m not yet sold. Anna Glenn is an option, as is Marz Frazier, Savannah Kooyman, or Felicia Hano.

 

Floor Exercise:  Lineup Locks: Katelyn Ohashi, Felicia Hano, Marz Frazier, Nia Dennis, Pauline Tratz

Lineup Options: Gracie Kramer, Sekai Wright, Norah Flatley, Madison Kocian, Macy Toronjo, Brielle Nguyen.

UCLA´s Floor has a ton of depth this year. Senior Katelyn Ohashi, the national champion on floor, will anchor the Bruins lineup this year with some assistance from her trusty cohorts, Felicia Hano, and Marz Frazier. We can also expect to see Pauline Tratz regularly, as well as Nia Dennis and her piked full in. Beyond the fived just listed, Sekai Wright has a massive DLO that could contend for the last spot, and all of Madison Kocian, Gracie Kramer, and Norah Flatley have front 2/1 routines that can also have a look at the lineup, and expect to make cameos.

 

 

 

 

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