Bruin Gymnasts Travel To Stanford, Host Utah This Week
Jan. 16, 2001
UCLA vs. STANFORD - The second-ranked UCLA women's gymnastics team (3-0) will face fifth-ranked Stanford (3-2) in a dual meet on Friday, Jan. 19 at Palo Alto. The meet will take place at Maples Pavilion at 7:30 pm. UCLA and Stanford have a combined six Olympians on their teams. Bruin Olympians are Americans Alyssa Beckerman, Jamie Dantzscher and Kristen Maloney and Canadian Yvonne Tousek. Stanford counters with Canadians Jen Exaltacion and Lise Lï¿½veillï¿½. Cardinal head coach Mark Cook was a UCLA assistant from 1995-1997.
UCLA vs. UTAH - Sunday's home opener will pit the top two teams from last year's NCAA Championships - team champion UCLA versus runner-up Utah (2-0). The meet will take place at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 21 at 2:00 pm. Nineteen-ninety-nine NCAA all-around champion Theresa Kulikowski from Utah returns after sitting out most of 2000 with a torn ACL. So far this season, she is undefeated on bars and beam. Head coach Greg Marsden's Utes are ranked No. 1 in the latest rankings, which are based on season-high score. UCLA owns the nation's highest score of the year, 196.825, set Jan. 15, but rankings were tabulated prior to the completion of that meet. Utah has won a record 10 national team titles.
FOLLOW THE UTAH MEET LIVE - Fans can follow the UCLA-Utah meet live on the internet on UCLA's official athletics website, www.uclabruins.com. Providing online commentary and live stats during the meet will be 2000 NCAA balance beam champion Lena Degteva.
BRUINS ON TV - Fox Sports Net West 2 will broadcast the UCLA-Utah meet on a tape-delayed basis. The meet will be aired Feb. 4 at 5:00 pm PT. Jim Watson and 1984 U.S. Olympian Kathy Johnson Clarke will call the action. The meet will also be televised live by KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake City.
LOOKING AHEAD - It will be a 'Super' meet on Super Bowl Sunday when the Bruins host three-time NCAA champion and fourth-ranked Alabama, along with Cal State Fullerton and Southern Utah on Sunday, Jan. 28 in Pauley Pavilion at 2:00 pm. Following the meet will be a formal autograph session and team poster giveaway with the Bruins.
BRUINS RECORD NATION'S HIGHEST SCORE - UCLA recorded the highest score in the nation, 196.825, in a dual meet victory at Cal State Fullerton Jan. 14. The Bruins swept all four events, as freshman Yvonne Tousek won bars, beam and floor, and sophomore Kristin Parker won vault. The Bruins opted to rest All-Americans Mohini Bhardwaj and Onnie Willis and 2000 Olympians Jamie Dantzscher and Kristen Maloney.
THOMPSON WINS ALL-AROUND - Sophomore Doni Thompson waited nearly six years between all-around performances. In just her second all-around effort since 1995, Thompson walked away with the title at Cal State Fullerton with a career-high and team season-best score of 39.425. Included amongst her scores were career-highs on vault (9.85), beam (9.875) and floor (9.85). The former World Championships bronze medalist and 2000 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year competed on bars, beam and floor only last year.
TOUSEK WINS THREE AT FULLERTON - Freshman Yvonne Tousek took three of the four individual event titles at Fullerton, winning the bars (9.9), beam (9.9) and floor (9.95). The two-time (1996, 2000) Canadian Olympian placed fourth in the all-around with a career-best 39.1 despite a fall on vault.
SEVERAL BRUINS MAKE OFFICIAL UCLA DEBUTS - Three freshmen who competed exhibition routines at UCLA's season opener in Maui made their 'official' debuts at Fullerton. Former U.S. National Team member Jeanette Antolin competed all-around and scored 39.05. She also placed second on vault, bars and floor. Christy Erickson competed on floor, and redshirt freshman Carly Raab scored a 9.625 on bars. In addition, U.S. Olympic alternate Alyssa Beckerman made her first appearance as a Bruins, competing on the balance beam.
OTHER WEEKLY NOTABLES - Sophomore Kristin Parker scored career-highs on vault and floor with a pair of 9.925s ... Parker's score on vault was good for first place ... Junior Lindsey Dong nailed a 9.775 on vault as UCLA's leadoff performer ... All-American Onnie Willis, who has sat out UCLA's first two meets with a foot injury, received some good news this week when x-rays showed no fractures.
MAUI WOWIE! - The Bruins opened the 2001 season with a bang, taking the Maui Invitational title Jan. 5 with a team total of 196.2. The score was UCLA's highest-ever in a season-opening meet. 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.
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 affected the Bruins in their first meet, as they scored just 48.15. 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. However, the Bruins learned from that first experience with the new rule and blasted a national-best 49.325 at Fullerton. Kristin Parker took first place with a 9.925, and Jeanette Antolin received no deductions on her 9.9 start value vault to place second.
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.
OLYMPIAN JOINS UCLA COACHING STAFF - Dantzscher, Maloney and Tousek are not the only Bruins with Olympic experience. Nineteen-ninety-two Japanese Olympian Mari Kosuge begins her first year on the staff as a volunteer assistant coach. Kosuge was the Japanese all-around champion from 1988-1992 and competed in four World Championships before retiring in 1995.
BRUINS SIGN ANOTHER IMPRESSIVE RECRUITING CLASS - Following two straight top-notch recruiting classes, that saw the likes of Doni Thompson, Kristen Maloney and Jamie Dantzscher come to Westwood, head coach Valorie Kondos Field has signed another stellar class for the 2002 season. Set to join the Bruins next year are 2000 Canadian Olympian Michelle Conway and Level 10 standout Christie Tedmon.
Conway, who trains at Sport Seneca, had a 13th-place finish on floor at the Olympic Games. At the 2000 Canadian Championships, she placed third in the all-around, vault and beam, second on floor and fourth on bars. In 1999, she led her team to a gold medal at the Pan American Games and became the first Canadian woman in 20 years to win a Pan Am Games individual medal in the all-around when she captured the silver. Conway also competed at the 1999 World Championships.
Tedmon is a former international elite gymnast from Pozsar's Gymnastics. In 2000, she won a silver medal on floor at the Level 10 National Championships and was third in the all-around and vault and second on beam at the Region 1 Championships. Competing as an international elite, she qualified for the 1998 American Classic and placed first in the all-around, vault, beam and floor at the Region 1 Zone Championships. Tedmon competed at three Level 10 National Championships and won two regional vault titles in 1996 and 1997, as well as a regional floor title in 1997.