UCLA's eighth-ranked men gymnasts will defend their national title in the NCAA Championships today through Saturday at Lincoln, Neb.
Coach Art Shurlock's Bruins (20-4) are led by senior All-American David Moriel, the 1987 NCAA high bar champion and nationally ranked this year in the rings, high bar and the all-around, and by junior All-American Curtis Holdsworth, ranked in the pommel horse, rings and high bar.
The Bruins also won an NCAA title for Shurlock in 1984, when Mitch Gaylord and Tim Daggett, later members of the 1984 gold-medalist U.S. Olympic team, finished 1-2 in the all-around.
Shurlock's UCLA teams, which have won six of the last eight Pacific 10 Conference titles (including this year) have posted a 114-16 record in dual meets in the 1980s. Since 1964 his Bruins are 231-100.
The top-ranked UCLA women gymnasts, 11-0 in dual meets this season, finished second with a score of 187.2 at last week's NCAA West Regionals and are seeded seventh in the NCAA championships, April 22-23 at Salt Lake City.
Oregon State won the regionals at home with a 188.55, but Bruin sophomores Kim Hamilton and Jill Andrews each took firsts in individual events. Hamilton won the all-around with a 38.55, the bars (9.75) and floor exercise (9.8), and Andrews scored a career-best 9.75 on the beam and had a 9.5 in the vault.
UCLA, defending NCAA men's volleyball champion, and Pepperdine, the 1986 NCAA champion, will both be fighting to get into the national playoffs as the season nears its end.
Historically, the champion of the Western Intercollegiate Volleyball Assn., earns an automatic berth in the NCAA championships, and the second-through fifth-place teams play in the West Regionals for an at-large berth in the NCAAs.
USC, which has lost in the NCAA final the last two years, needs to win but one of its last three matches to clinch the WIVA title. The Trojans are 30-2 overall and 15-0 in the conference and are trailed by second-place Hawaii (19-3, 11-2) and third-place UC Santa Barbara (20-9, 9-4).
The Rainbows and Santa Barbara appear certain of berths in the regionals April 29-30 at UC Irvine. The last two regional spots will be a battle among fourth-place UCLA (25-9, 8-7), fifth-place Pepperdine (12-12, 8-8), sixth-place Cal State Northridge (15-17, 7-9) and seventh-place Cal State Long Beach (16-12, 6-8).
Last week the Bruins dropped their fourth straight match of the season to USC, losing in three games. They also lost their second straight to UCSB, falling in four games.
UCLA will play host to Northridge at 7:30 p.m. Friday and to San Diego State at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the John Wooden Center. The Bruins will finish the regular season at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Long Beach.
Pepperdine lost in five games last week at Long Beach State but bounced back to beat the Aztecs in four games at San Diego State. The Waves will play their last two conference matches on the road, against Stanford (10-16, 4-11) Saturday night and at 7:30 p.m. April 21 at Loyola Marymount (12-14, 2-12).
The UCLA men's and women's track teams will host Houston and Kansas State in triangular meets Saturday at Drake Stadium. The first field event will be at 11:15 a.m. and the first running event at 1:30. The hammer throw will start at 9:30 a.m. at Cal State Los Angeles.
At last week's Fresno State Relays, Bruin Gail Devers set an American and NCAA record of 13.71 in the 100-meter hurdles.
Last week the Bruin men won their 34th and 35th consecutive meets, scoring 120 points at home, defeating Kansas, 37, and Iowa, 14. Junior David Wilson and seniors Kevin Young and Anthony Washington were double winners. Wilson set a school record in the hammer at 215-3 and won the shot put with a 61-2. Young won the 110-meter high hurdles in a season-best 13.8 and the 400 intermediate hurdles in 50.27. Washington was clocked at 10.6 in the 100 and a season-best 21.3 in the 200 and also ran a 42.21 leg on the first-place 400-relay team.
In college tennis, the fourth-ranked Pepperdine men and the No. 16 Wave women, and the No. 9 UCLA men and No. 4 Bruin women will all be in action.
Pepperdine's men (17-4) will play three home matches, all starting at 1:30 p.m., against the University of San Diego on Sunday, UC Santa Barbara on Monday (and California on Wednesday. Pepperdine's women (21-3) will entertain San Diego State at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
UCLA's men (15-6 overall, 5-2 in the Pacific 10 Conference) were routed, 6-3, last week by USC (20-3, 5-2), and Bruin Coach Glenn Bassett said that both teams will have to sweep first-place Stanford (7-0) and California (3-4) to tie the Cardinal for the Pac-10 lead. The Bruins will play host to the Bears at 1:30 p.m. Friday and to Stanford at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on campus. There is a $4 admission charge for the Stanford match.
The Bruin women (16-4, 4-3 in the Pac-10) will be on the road Friday against No. 2 Stanford (20-1, 7-0) and Saturday against No. 5 Cal (15-5, 3-3).