LOS ANGELES (News4usonline) – UCLA gymnast Jordan Chiles is big on energy. Chiles and the Bruins brought a whole of that energy to Pauley Pavilion during their Title IX and alumni meet against Stanford on March 4.
Backed by perfect scores from both Chiles and Chae Campbell, the Bruins got the best of the Cardinal with a 198.1-196.8.
“It comes down to energy,” Chiles said after posting a 39.875 all-around score against Stanford. “You know, I guess when it’s the crowd and it’s just us, we do give a lot of energy. You know, we still get those 9.9s, 9.95s, but the alumni, we look up to them. And so giving our best effort, our best performance to show you guys passed something down for a reason is something that hypes us up.”
Chiles was definitely hyped and set the tone for the meet for the Bruin when she struck a perfect 10 score in the uneven parallel bars, sending the Pauley Pavilion crowd into near bedlam.
“I’ve been working really, really hard in the gym trying to get my 10,” Chiles said. “So, knowing that I got it today because…yes, people have told me that you should have gotten seven 10s by now. But obviously, those 9.975s that I’ve gotten weren’t there yet. And so, knowing today I was emotional because I was like, ‘I finally did it. I finally fixed the things I needed to fix.’ And I felt like I deserved that 10.”
Her perfect score in the uneven parallel bars allowed for Chiles to have one of the best all-around scores ever in school history. Chiles’ 39.875 all-around mark is the highest score posted by a Bruin gymnast since 2004. It is also the third-best in the school’s history.
It’s no surprise that Chiles was tapped as the Pac-12 Conference Gymnast of the Week. It is the fourth time this season that the 2020 Olympic silver medalist has been bestowed such an honor. UCLA head coach Janelle McDonald had nothing but high praise for Chiles after the meet.
“You know, I think whether you’re looking at the NCAA or you’re looking at she’s one of the best gymnasts in the world, and we’re really lucky to have her on our team,” McDonald said. “Just her energy, her passion, and her joy that she brings to the sport of gymnastics, it helps everyone enjoy the sport. It makes more fans of our sport. It’s really fun to have her as part of our team. You know, her energy, her attention to detail, it rises because she’s on our team. Couldn’t be more proud of her and the work she puts in every day.”
While she earned that remarkable perfect score in the uneven parallel bars, Chiles came eerily close to matching that achievement on both the balance beam and the floor. Chiles dazzled in both routines. There was a tremendous sigh of disappointment that was ushered in by the home crowd when Chiles wound up with a 9.975 score after performing both routines.
She also tallied a 9.925 in the vault, coming in as the runner-up to Campbell, who posted a 9.950. Afterward, Chiles, in describing her performance on the vault, said the scoring of routines is something that’s simply out of her control.
“I can’t control what the judges see. I can only control what I do,” Chiles said. “So I felt like I was able to just go out there and do the vault that I did. I performed it as best that I could, and whatever the score was is whatever the score was. Obviously, I wished the scoring was better. But like I said, I can’t control what the judges see. I can only control what I do myself. So, I was really happy.”
After missing some time from the team for personal reasons, Campbell felt good about her performance as well. Aside from sticking that 9.95 score to win the vault exercise, Campbell also punched in a 9.95 on the floor, second only to Chiles.
“I think it kind of goes back to what Jordan says that you really can’t control what the scores are, but I was really happy to finally have that 9.95 pop up when I’ve been hard,” Campbell said. “But I’m not like worried about the scores, you know. The scores doesn’t really define me. It’s nice to have it, but you know, it’s just a score at the end of the day.”
Dennis has covered and written about politics, crime, social justice, sports, and entertainment. Dennis currently covers the NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, and Olympic sports. Dennis is the editor of News4usonline.com and serves as the publisher of the Compton Bulletin newspaper. He earned a journalism degree from Howard University.