Pac-12 Gymnastics Week 11 Recap: Three 198s as regular season comes to a close

By Eva Geitheim | March 20, 2024
Utah's Jaylene Gilstrap on floor at the 2023 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships.
© Matthew Smith/Gymnastics Now

In the final week of the Pac-12 gymnastics regular season, UCLA, Utah, and Cal all scored above a 198. This week was also busy across the conference, especially as Cal, Stanford, and Arizona all competed in two meets this weekend.

San Jose State, UC Davis @ #3 Cal

Final score: Cal: 198.500, San Jose State: 196.6500, UC Davis: 184.900

With a ginormous 198.500 that fell just short of the program record Cal set a week ago, the Golden Bears earned their fourth consecutive 198 score.

The Bears were phenomenal, particularly on bars and floor, where they scored a 49.7 on the two events. There were no tens for Cal this time, but they came close with several 9.975s. Maddie Williams and Andi Li continue to land just short of a ten on bars, each posting a 9.975. Gabby Perea earned a 9.975 on beam, and Kyen Mayhew held the landing on vault for that 9.975.

Williams, Mya Lauzon, eMjae Frazier, and San Jose State’s Mia Nelson all tied for the floor title with 9.95s.

Cal also showed off their all-around depth, with Lauzon and Frazier tying for the win with 39.725s. Maddie Williams followed closely with a 39.675.

#25 Stanford, Utah State @ #5 Utah

Final score: Utah: 198.300, Stanford: 196.500, Utah State: 195.225

Stanford

In the Cardinal’s first meet of the weekend, Chloe Widner returned to vault (and the all-around), earning a 39.500 across all four events. Along with Widner’s 9.925 on beam and 9.875 on floor, Stanford’s other top scores of the meet came from Taralyn Nguyen’s 9.9 vault and Ira Alexeeva’s 9.9 on bars.

Though Stanford finished with a solid road score, this meet was down from some of the highs they reached the previous weekend. This was especially evident on floor, where they scored a 48.925. Stanford improved on both of those totals later in the weekend.

Utah

The Red Rocks are heading into the Pac-12 Championships next week with momentum after earning a season-high team score on senior night.

The night proved magical for Abby Paulson, who earned her first 10 of the season after sticking her beam dismount. Once she hit that dismount and the judges flashed the 10, Paulson and the rest of the Huntsman Center couldn’t help but feel the emotions of the moment.

Grace McCallum also had a career night. McCallum scored at least a 9.925 on every event, with a pair of 9.975s on bars and floor, for a career-high all-around total of 39.825 – the fourth highest in program and the highest all-around score posted by a Red Rock in 20 years.

Overall, Utah was phenomenal on floor, with each gymnast in the lineup scoring at least a 9.9 for a 49.7 total. The Red Rocks scored at least a 49.5 on each event, which has them looking consistent heading into the postseason.

Southern Connecticut @ #21 Arizona

Final score: Arizona: 196.900 – Southern Connecticut: 192.725

In their first meet of the week, Arizona rebounded with a high 196 (after a 195 the week prior) and a win in their final home meet of the season. The Wildcats notably rebounded on bars, with a 49.150 in this meet.

Arizona was also strong on vault and beam. They tied their season high on vault with a 49.225 and put up a 49.300 on beam. Alysen Fears was particularly strong in this meet. Fears posted a 9.90 on vault and bars, a 9.85 on beam, and a 9.825 on floor.

Southern Connecticut @ #20 Arizona State 

Final score: Arizona State: 197.600 – Southern Connecticut: 194.400

On their senior night, the Sun Devils rolled to their highest score of the season. The Sun Devils top events of the day were beam and floor. ASU scored a 49.550, with four scores of 9.90 or better, on beam. They also notched a 49.450 on floor, with three scores of 9.90 or better.

Hannah Scharf earned a 9.9 on vault and a pair of 9.925s on beam and floor to close out her final home meet. Emily White was fantastic with 9.95s on bars, beam, and floor. In one of her few meets competing all-around this season, White put up a career-high 39.625.

BYU, Sacramento State, Southern Utah @ Washington

Final score: Washington: 197.175, BYU: 196.750, Southern Utah: 196.525, Sacramento State: 195.350

Washington earned their second 197 of the season while securing a win at their quad meet. The top two events of the day were beam and floor. The GymDawgs notched a 49.450 on beam as Emily Innes, Lana Navarro, and Skylar Killough-Wilhelm each scored a 9.90. They brought that performance to floor, scoring a 49.425 to clinch the win.

The meet was especially great for Killough-Wilhelm. On senior night, Killough-Wilhelm scored at least a 9.9 on every event for a career-high 39.7 in the all-around. The top moment of the night came during her floor routine, when she achieved a near-perfect 9.975.

#21 Arizona @ Illinois quad meet

Final score: Missouri: 197.600, Illinois: 197.275, Arizona: 196.875, S.E. Missouri: 192.700

In their second meet of the week, the Wildcats posted a high 196 road score. The Wildcats had a good day on vault, posting a season-high 49.325. Malia Hargrove’s Yurchenko 1.5 continues to be stellar, earning a 9.9 this time.

Their other key event on the day proved to be beam, where they scored another 49.325. Beam has turned into a strong event for Arizona, as Alysen Fears led the rotation with a 9.9.

The main area the Wildcats can improve right now is bars. They didn’t count a fall but were unable to score a 49 on the event, falling just short with a 48.975.

Clemson @ #11 UCLA 

Final score: UCLA: 198.550 – Clemson: 196.825

With Jordan Chiles and former UCLA coach, Miss Val, in attendance, UCLA scored a 198.550 against first-year program Clemson – their third highest score in program history. This score tied Cal for the highest score in the Pac-12 this season and shattered any memory of their 196.325 against Arizona State a week prior.

The Bruins began on vault with a 49.475, as Selena Harris earned her third 10 on the event this season. Chiles was seen talking to Harris after the 10, reminiscent of their embrace after Harris’ first 10 a season ago.

“I miss Jordan,” Harris said after the meet. “She helps keep my energy light and fun. So I enjoyed having her. It was so nice to see Jo cheering us on, and we’re excited to have her next year.”

Paige Anastasi closed out the lineup by competing her Yurchenko 1.5 for the second time this year, this time sticking for a 9.925. Anastasi was originally going to exhibition, but coach Janelle McDonald made a last second switch after Anastasi hit and Alex Irvine fell in the touch warmup.

The Bruins followed up their vault with a season-high 49.625 on bars. Harris finally got her first 10 on bars and first 10 on an event other than vault.

After resting a week before, Harris looked phenomenal as she posted a 39.900 all-around score, the second best of the year, only behind LSU’s Haleigh Bryant. This score is also tied with Chiles and Jamie Dantzscher for the second highest in UCLA history.

On beam, Ciena Alipio, Emma Malabuyo, and Harris returned to the lineup, naturally helping UCLA rebound from last week. The beam team put in a season-high 49.675 as Malabuyo returned from the Baku World Cup with a tremendous 9.975 routine.

On floor, the seniors shined. After an injury at the start of the season limited her, Margzetta Frazier made her debut in glorious fashion. Her choreography was confident and captured the Pauley crowd for a 9.975. Later, Chae Campbell returned to the lineup and scored a perfect 10. Campbell remains undecided on if she’ll take a fifth year, but if she doesn’t, this was the perfect way to wrap up her career at Pauley. Overall, UCLA concluded with a 49.775 floor score – another season high.

Sacramento State, #25 Stanford @ #3 Cal

Final score: Cal: 197.925, Stanford: 197.675, Sacramento State: 195.400

Stanford

The Cardinal took home another 197 to close out the regular season in their second tri-meet of the weekend. Brenna Neault starred in this meet, winning the all-around and tying her career high with a 39.650. Neault posted a 9.925 on bars and floor, along with a 9.95 for her stunning beam routine.

Taralyn Nguyen and Anna Roberts also added highlight performances of their own. Nguyen scored a career high on vault with a 9.95, leading Stanford to a season-high 49.375 on the event. Roberts scored a personal best 9.95 on floor, tying teammate Chloe Widner for the event title.

Cal

With coach Justin Howell donning blue and gold checkered pants, the Bears came up just shy of another 198 as they celebrated seniors Andi Li, Elise Byun, and Gabby Perea. Li returned to the floor lineup for the senior meet and earned a 9.9 on the event to go with her 9.95 on bars and 9.9 on beam.

Though the highest scoring event for Cal was bars with a 49.6, vault might have been their most impressive as they notched a 49.5, their second highest total of the season on the event. Vault has been the one event where Cal can be at a disadvantage, but they posted three scores of 9.925 today. This will be crucial for helping Cal’s chances as they shoot for a conference and national title.

#17 Oregon State, Utah State @ Boise State

Final score: Oregon State: 196.950, Boise State: 196.750, Utah State: 195.950

Oregon State closed out their regular season with a tri-meet win. Their competition got off to a good start on floor. Though Jade Carey was out of the lineup, Kaitlin Garcia and Sophia Esposito led the way to a 49.325 with their 9.9s.

Next the Beavers were solid on vault for a 49.250, as Natalie Briones led the team thanks to her 9.875. Briones would carry this strong performance to bars, going 9.9. Four Beavers tallied a 9.9 or better on bars, helping the team notch a 49.525 on their best event.

Finally, Oregon State ended on beam, where they saw the most trouble during the meet. Carey was the only gymnast to score a 9.8 or higher, with a 9.925. The Beavers finished with just a 48.85 on beam, a figure they’ll look to improve at conference championships.