Bruins Will Make First Southern California Appearance At Cal State Fullerton Sunday

Jan. 8, 2001

UCLA vs. CSUF - The pre-season No. 1 UCLA women's gymnastics team (2-0) will compete for the first time this season in Southern California as it travels to Cal State Fullerton for a dual meet Sunday, Jan. 14. The meet, which is Fullerton's season opener, will take place at Titan Gym at 2:00 pm.

SISTER ACT - Sunday's meet will mark the first time the Antolin sisters, UCLA's Jeanette Antolin and Cal State Fullerton's Katie Antolin, will compete against each other in collegiate competition. Jeanette is beginning her freshman season, while Katie is a junior. The sisters, from Huntington Beach, CA, trained together at SCATS. Katie competed as an elite and made the junior national team in 1993, while Jeanette was a five-time national team member who competed at the 1999 World Championships and 2000 Olympic Trials.

VELASCO TO COMPETE IN HOMETOWN - Junior Valerie Velasco will have an opportunity to compete in front of a hometown crowd on Sunday. Velasco, who grew up in Fullerton and attended Rosary HS, had considerable success in last year's meet at Titan Gym, scoring a career-high 9.85 on the balance beam to capture second place.

A LOOK AT THE TITANS - Cal State Fullerton enters the 2001 campaign unranked but comes off a record-setting 2000 season in which it recorded a school record 195.5 team total. Returners from last season's team include five athletes who competed at the Regional Championships - 1996 Australian Olympian Joanna Hughes, Katie Antolin, Kellie Francia, Natalia Acosta and Kelly Mathiasen.

LOOKING AHEAD - The Bruins will have a tough weekend ahead next week when they travel to pre-season No. 7 Stanford Jan. 19 and return to L.A. for their home opener Jan. 21 against 2000 NCAA runner-up and pre-season No. 4 Utah. The Utah meet will take place at Pauley Pavilion at 2:00 pm and will be televised on a tape-delayed basis by Fox Sports Net West 2 Feb. 4 at 5:00 pm.

MAUI WOWIE! - The Bruins opened the 2001 season with a bang, taking the Maui Invitational title with a team total of 196.2. The score was UCLA's highest-ever in a season-opening meet and the second-highest in the nation this year. UCLA led Nebraska by just .025 heading into the last rotation but produced a school-record 49.75 on bars to win the meet handily. Nebraska finished with a 194.95, while Arizona State was third with a 191.525. The Bruins also tied the school record on floor with a 49.625.

DANTZSCHER 2 FOR 10S - Freshman Jamie Dantzscher made history in her first appearance as a Bruin. The 2000 U.S. Olympian from San Dimas, CA competed on the uneven bars and floor exercise and received perfect 10s on each apparatus to make her 2-2 in 10.0 routines. It was the first time a UCLA gymnast had ever recorded two 10s in the same meet, let alone the first time any Bruin has ever scored one or two 10s in her first meet. It is also likely that Dantzscher is the first NCAA gymnast to score a 10 on her first-ever routine. Dantzscher, who spent the fall quarter on a post-Olympic gymnastics tour, just joined the Bruin team after Christmas.

BHARDWAJ EARNS FIRST 10 ON FLOOR, MAKES HISTORY ON VAULT - Senior All-American Mohini Bhardwaj has done just about everything that could be done in collegiate gymnastics - she won an NCAA team and individual (uneven bars) championship last year, she has earned eight All-America honors and multiple Pac-10 and regional titles. The one thing that eluded her was scoring a perfect 10. But in her first meet of the 2001 season, Bhardwaj did just that, recording her first career 10.0 on the floor exercise at the Maui Invitational. In addition, Bhardwaj became the first collegiate gymnast ever to complete a Yurchenko layout double-full on vault.

ALL-AROUND FIRST - Sophomore Doni Thompson competed in the all-around at the Maui Invitational for the first time in six years. The 2000 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year has added vault to her repertoire and recorded a 38.425 in her all-around debut. Among her scores in the season opener were a career-high tying 9.85 on floor exercise and a 9.9 on the uneven bars.

FRESHMEN IMPRESSIVE IN FIRST MEET - Along with Dantzscher's out-of-this-world performance, UCLA's other freshmen were outstanding in Maui. U.S. Olympian Kristen Maloney won the balance beam with a score of 9.95 and tied for third on vault with a 9.8. Two-time Canadian Olympian Yvonne Tousek scored a near-perfect 9.975 on the uneven bars and a 9.925 on the floor exercise.

OTHER MAUI NOTABLES - Sophomore Malia Jones placed third in the all-around with a 39.225 ... Kristin Parker tied her career-high on bars with a 9.925 ... All-American Onnie Willis competed only on bars due to a possible stress fracture in her foot (her status will be evaluated this week) ...UCLA's 'B' squad placed fourth with a team total of 188.7 ...Junior Lindsey Dong competed all-around for the first time ever for the 'B' squad.

BRUINS RANKED NO. 1 IN PRE-SEASON - UCLA enters the 2001 season as the nation's No. 1-ranked team, earning 22 of 29 first-place votes in the pre-season coaches' poll. The Bruins will face each of the other Top 7 schools this season - No. 2 Georgia Mar. 18, No. 3 Michigan Mar. 9, No. 4 Utah Jan. 21, No. 5 Alabama Jan. 28, No. 6 Nebraska Jan. 5 and No. 7 Stanford Jan. 19. Other Top 25 teams on UCLA's schedule are No. 11 Arizona State (Jan. 5), No. 12 Oregon State (Feb. 16), No. 16 Washington (Feb. 11) and No. 20 Arizona (Feb. 11). The Bruins are also top-ranked in the Sports Illustrated for Women rankings.

VAULTERS GET NO SECOND CHANCE - In accordance with new rules in NCAA competition, gymnasts must compete just one vault in this upcoming season. In the past, gymnasts were allowed to compete two vaults and throw out the low score. The new rule has already affected the Bruins, who scored just 48.15 on vault in the season opener. To put that into perspective, UCLA's lowest vault total a year ago was 48.925, and that was the only time all year the Bruins had scored below 49.

BRUINS SURROUNDED BY NATIONAL CHAMPIONS - If any one team in the nation knows what it takes to win, it is UCLA. Not only have nine Bruins won an NCAA team title, but many have won national championships for their respective countries. Included amongst UCLA's national champions are: Kristen Maloney (1998, 1999 U.S. all-around and 2000 vault and floor champ), Yvonne Tousek (2000 Canadian all-around, bars and floor champ, 1999 floor and vault champ), Jamie Dantzscher (1999 U.S. bars champ), Alyssa Beckerman (2000 U.S. beam champ) and Doni Thompson (1995 U.S. beam champ), not to mention defending NCAA bars champion Mohini Bhardwaj.

HEAD COACH VALORIE KONDOS FIELD - In her 11th season as head coach of the Bruins, Valorie Kondos Field has positioned her team as the premier program in collegiate gymnastics. Not only has she consistently recruited the top talent in the world, but she has produced the results. In the past five years alone, Kondos Field has led UCLA to two NCAA titles and one runner-up finish, four Regional titles and three Pac-10 Championships. She has been voted the national coach of the year by her peers three times in the past five years.

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