Sisters Margzetta and eMjae Frazier will ‘mean business’ when UCLA gymnastics visits Cal

UCLA gymnastics' Margzetta Frazier with her sister and California gymnatics' eMjae Frazier.
UCLA gymnastics’ senior Margzetta Frazier, left, with her sister and California gymnastics’ freshman eMjae Frazier at the Super 16 meet in Las Vegas in January 2023.
(Tina Frazier)

There’s no sibling rivalry between Margzetta and eMjae Frazier. UCLA’s star senior is already throwing in the towel before she competes against her younger sister Saturday.

“eMjae better beat me, because I’m old,” said Margzetta, who is four years older than her sister. “She has no excuse.”

UCLA and California competed in different sessions of two invitational events earlier this year, but Saturday’s dual meet in Berkeley at 2 p.m. will be the first time the Frazier sisters have ever competed against each other.


Margzetta, a redshirt senior for the No. 6 Bruins, was always leaving one level as eMjae, a freshman with No. 7 Cal, was entering, their mother Tina Frazier said. Growing up, all eMjae wished for was to have her older sister watch her competitions. Competing against Margzetta has triggered some of her competitive juices, eMjae said.

Their father, William Frazier, prepared a special shirt for the occasion, cutting a UCLA shirt down the middle to fuse it with half of a Cal shirt. Tina is nervous, excited and unsure about how to handle this first-of-its-kind event for the family.

“I hope they get the same exact scores,” Tina said laughing. “Maybe that’s what I should pray for.”

Jordan Chiles’ perfect 10 helps UCLA gymnastics achieve a season-high 49.675 score on floor in the Bruins’ 197.8-196.9 win over Arizona State.

Feb. 11, 2023

The unique matchup lined up only because Margzetta used an extra year of eligibility to write a proper ending to her UCLA career. The three-time All-American completed just one routine last year after breaking her foot during a bar routine in the season opener. Healthier than ever, Margzetta extended her streak of consecutive routines without a fall to 109 this season, contributing regularly on vault, bars and floor. She tied her career-high on floor with a 9.95 against Arizona State last weekend.

“I came back for my fifth year because I didn’t have a senior season and I felt like I could give it one more try to end my gymnastics career the way that I wanted to,” said Margzetta, who is named after her paternal grandmother. “And the icing on the cake is eMjae is also here, so that’s more to just spiritually validate that what I did was right.”

While her sister hopes to finish her UCLA career off right, eMjae is just starting at Cal. The freshman was named Pac-12 specialist of the week after winning event titles on floor and vault against Stanford on Jan. 28 and has won five different titles on three events in five meets.

California's eMjae Frazier competes on the balance beam during an NCAA gymnastics meet on Jan. 7 in Las Vegas.
(Stew Milne / Associated Press)

An accomplished elite gymnast who represented the United States at the World Championships in 2021 eMjae, whose name is inspired by her maternal grandmother Mary Jane, had her pick of colleges. Many wondered if she would follow her sister’s footsteps to UCLA. But after spending her entire gymnastics career in Margzetta’s shadow, eMjae was eager to blaze her own trail.

“At Cal, she’s not Margzetta’s sister,” Tina said. “She’s just eMjae.”

eMjae, whose favorite event is floor, is focused and serious. Margzetta, who favors bars, is happy to improvise new skills. Margzetta marvels at her sister’s combination of power, flexibility and grace. With elite-level skills like a double layout on floor and a double-twisting Yurchenko on vault, eMjae can do things Margzetta never dreamed of.

“If I was half the gymnast as eMjae [is], I can’t even tell you the things I would have accomplished by now,” Margzetta said.

Margzetta started gymnastics as a child at a gym 10 minutes away from the family’s home in Sicklerville, N.J. It wasn’t known for producing elite gymnasts or even top junior Olympic competitors. The Fraziers liked it because it kept their oldest daughter busy and it was close to home. But when new coaches took over and noticed how talented the 10-year-old Margzetta was, they encouraged the family to pursue elite gymnastics.

UCLA's Margzetta Frazier competes during an NCAA gymnastics meet against Oregon State on Jan. 29 at Pauley Pavilion.
(Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

Tina had never heard of the path that led gymnasts to the Olympics.

“We were just flying by the seat of our pants,” Tina said.

With Margzetta leading the way, eMjae got an early introduction to elite gymnastics. While Margzetta didn’t qualify for the sport’s highest international level until she was 17 years old, eMjae made the cut at 14. eMjae didn’t pick up any of the bad habits her sister had to eventually unlearn.

New UCLA coach Janelle McDonald has gone back to basics, emphasizing fundamentals and fun as she helps rebuild the elite Bruins program.

Jan. 6, 2023

“She’s been there guiding everything that I’ve been through,” said eMjae, who also excelled in soccer before suffering a serious knee injury in 2019. “Having her there as my role model and inspiring me to do what I’m doing right now, it’s just been very encouraging and very supportive.”

Tina called Margzetta “such a mother” when it comes to supporting eMjae’s gymnastics career. Like a proud parent, Margzetta was eager to watch her sister make her college debut in Las Vegas on Jan. 7 at the Super 16. With Cal’s session starting six hours before UCLA’s, Margzetta tried to get out of her pre-meet obligations to watch eMjae.

Margzetta knows she’ll keep an eye on her sister’s every move Saturday too. She’ll happily share lip gloss, hand out an extra flourish of glitter and offer good luck, but she’ll still lock into UCLA’s “Bruin bubble.”

“At the end of the day,” Margzetta said, “we both mean business.”