The UCLA gymnastics team defeated Utah State behind two perfect 10s by Katelyn Ohashi and Kyla Ross in the final home meet of the Valerie Kondos Field era.
Everything was perfect. Pauley Pavilion was packed for the final UCLA gymnastics meet of the regular season, which just happened to be the final meet for seniors Katelyn Ohashi, Brielle Nguyen, and Macy Toronjo. But even more monumental, it was also the last meet for legendary coach Valerie Kondos Field, aka Miss Val.
The energy was flowing. The music was thumping. The Den was on fire. Spectators had their camera phones out from the time they entered Pauley until the moment Miss Vall left the floor, hoping to lock in those memories of what she achieved in her final meet at UCLA.
It was a day to remember for several reasons.
The Bruins are now 12-1 on the season after beating Utah State by a score of 197.575 to 194.850. UCLA was firmly in control of this meet, but they locked it up in their final rotation where both Katelyn Ohashi and Kyla Ross scored perfect 10s. This was Ohashi’s fourth 10 of the season.
Ross accomplished a slightly different feat as she completed the “Gym Slam” as she has scored a 10 in every event this season.
The Bruins move onto the Pac-12 Championships in Utah next week. The Bruins will look to defend their Pac-12 crown and will prep them for the NCAA Regionals which begin in early April.
This was the first win on the newly named Valerie Kondos Field Floor. Before the meet, UCLA Atheltic Director Dan Guerrero unveiled the naming in honor of the coach and all of her success with UCLA.
After the meet, UCLA paid tribute to their seniors and Miss Val. Kondos Field returned the favor by thanking everyone under the Pavilion’s roof as she gave praised UCLA, her friends, her mentors, her athletes both past and present, and especially The Den. Miss Val broke the tension with a quick quip about UCLA’s beloved student section as they would slip the team chemistry problems for Ross to solve during meets to calm her down.
On top of that, former and current UCLA gymnasts paid tribute with a flash mob, which also included members of the Utah State team.
It was a day that Bruins fans won’t soon forget. A legend has conducted her final masterpiece at home for over 30 years, but she is not done yet. Not only will UCLA look to defend their conference title, but they will look to defend their national title as well.
Though we are one step closer to losing one of the greatest in the world of gymnastics, we still get to see her in action as she heads into the postseason with a squad full of champions.
Thank you, Miss Val.