Jordan Chiles Shines Despite UCLA Gymnastics’ Road Loss to Utah

The Bruins’ star sophomore won the all-around, but her team was unable to keep pace with their conference rivals.

The Bruins were firing on all cylinders Friday night.

They put up their second-highest score of the year, set a new season-high on beam and had star sophomore Jordan Chiles take home the all-around crown.

It just wasn’t enough to knock off the Red Rocks.

No. 5 UCLA gymnastics lost to No. 4 Utah by a score of 198.200-197.450 in Salt Lake City on Friday, moving them to 1-1-1 across their three Pac-12 dual meets. The Red Rocks defended their home arena by bursting through with season-best scores in three of the four disciplines, and they were able to hold off the Bruins as a result.

Despite needing to count senior Kalyany Steele’s leadoff 9.775 on bars, the Bruins actually led through one rotation. Sophomore Ana Padurariu posted a 9.900, freshman Selena Harris came through with a 9.925, Chiles split the lead on the event with a 9.950 and redshirt senior Margzetta Frazier anchored with a 9.850.

UCLA led 49.400-49.375 after one, but that advantage disappeared as the meet approached the midway point.

A week after posting a season-high on vault, the Bruins slipped back down to a 49.375 – their lowest score of the night. Frazier, freshman Maddie Anyimi, sophomore Emily Lee and freshman Clara Wren all failed to reach 9.800, meaning Harris’ 9.875 and Chiles’ 9.975 had to do most of the heavy lifting on the scoreboard.

Utah’s lead grew to nearly a full point after the third rotation, when UCLA posted a season-low 49.325 on floor. The Bruins struggled with their signature discipline Friday in Salt Lake City, as Lee and Anyimi led off with 9.750s and 9.625s, respectively.

Sophomore Emma Malabuyo steadied the ship with a 9.850, while Harris and Frazier each came through with 9.875s. Chiles’ 9.950 to end the rotation minimized the damage, won her the event and helped her go viral yet again, but it wasn’t enough to fully answer the Red Rocks’ 49.775 on beam.

Beam had been UCLA’s lowest-scoring event in three of its four meets so far this season, but they actually made up some ground in the final rotation.

Lee led off with a 9.900, while freshman Ciena Alipio followed that up with a 9.875. Chiles stuck a 9.900 of her own, setting up Harris and Malabuyo to end the meet with back-to-back 9.950s. What had previously been a thorn in the Bruins’ side was suddenly their biggest breakthough of the night, even if it wasn’t enough to secure them the win.

Chiles posted a a season-high 39.775, tying for the lead or outright winning three events on her own.

UCLA will return to Pauley Pavilion for a home meet against Arizona State on Feb. 11. That showdown will get started at 2 p.m. and it will be televised on Pac-12 Insider.

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