#1 UCLA Hosts #2 Alabama On 'Super Gymnastics Sunday'
Jan. 22, 2001
THIS WEEK - For the second consecutive week, No. 1 will face No. 2 in Pauley Pavilion. Last week it was No. 1 Utah vs. No. 2 UCLA in a meet in which UCLA emerged victorious. This week, on Sunday, Jan. 28, it will be No. 1 UCLA (5-0) vs. No. 2 Alabama (6-0-1), along with Cal State Fullerton (0-2) and Southern Utah (1-1). Prior to Sunday's meet, UCLA will travel to 25th-ranked Arizona State (1-2) for a Friday, Jan. 26 showdown at Wells Fargo Arena.
UCLA vs. ASU - The Bruins will attempt to break Arizona State's 20-meet home winning streak when they face the Sun Devils in a Pac-10 Conference dual meet Friday, Jan. 26. The meet, which is Arizona State's home opener, will commence at 7:30 pm Mountain Time. The Sun Devils, which are coached by John Spini, return one All-American in Kelly Cowley but have added Maryland transfer Laura Moon, who won the all-around against Oregon State with a 38.875.
UCLA vs. ALABAMA, FULLERTON, SOUTHERN UTAH - The Bruins will host No. 2 Alabama, Cal State Fullerton and Southern Utah in a quadrangular meet on 'Super Gymnastics Sunday.' The meet will take place Sunday, Jan. 28 at Pauley Pavilion at 2:00 pm. Three-time NCAA champion Alabama set its season-high score of 196.65 last Friday at Florida. The Crimson Tide are led by three all-arounders who are ranked in the Top 11 nationally - No. 5 Andreï¿½ Pickens, No. 8 Jeana Rice and No. 11 Raegan Tomasek. Pickens was an NCAA co-champion on the balance beam in 1999. Cal State Fullerton faces San Jose State Jan. 27 and enters the week 0-2, having dropped dual meets to UCLA and Sacramento State. Southern Utah is coming off a 191.525-183.425 win over UC Santa Barbara. In the Thunderbirds' season opener at Utah, Heather Slack and Suzi Clark placed 1-2 in the all-around.
FOLLOW SUNDAY'S MEET LIVE - Fans can follow Sunday's quadrangular meet live on the internet on UCLA's official athletics website, www.uclabruins.com. Providing live stats and text commentary on UCLA routines during the meet will be 2000 NCAA balance beam champion Lena Degteva.
BRUINS WILL SIGN AUTOGRAPHS SUNDAY - The Bruins will hold a formal autograph session following Sunday's meet at Pauley Pavilion. Team posters will be distributed. Other promotional activities include performances by athletes from Gymnastique International.
SISTER ACT 2 - Sunday's meet will provide another opportunity for the Antolin sisters of Huntington Beach, CA to compete against each other. In the last matchup between UCLA and Cal State Fullerton, UCLA's Jeanette Antolin competed in the all-around, but her older sister Katie did not compete for Cal State Fullerton due to injury.
BRUINS RECORD NATION'S HIGHEST SCORE - AGAIN! - For the third meet in a row, UCLA recorded the nation's highest score of the season, this time becoming the first team in 2001 to break the 197 barrier in a 197.5-195.7 victory over 10-time national champion Utah Jan. 21. The Bruins scored over 49.5 on both bars and floor to claim the win. Just two days prior, UCLA had scored 196.925 in a win at Stanford.
MIGHTY MO - Senior Mohini Bhardwaj is already staking her claim as the nation's best collegiate gymnast. The UCLA team captain recorded the nation's highest all-around mark, a career-high tying 39.725, to capture the all-around crown against Utah. Bhardwaj, who was named this week's UCLABruins.com Student-Athlete of the Week, scored her second perfect 10 on floor this season and averages 10.0 on that event.
Very few collegiate gymnasts can match her skill difficulty, let alone her precision on those difficult skills. On vault, she became the first collegiate gymnast ever to complete a double-twisting Yurchenko layout. On bars, she dismounts with a full-twisting double layout. On beam, she is the only collegiate gymnast competing a backhandspring to three consecutive layouts. On floor, her first tumbling pass is a double layout, and her second is a full-in.
In the national rankings, Bhardwaj's name can be found in every event. She is ranked No. 1 in the all-around and floor, No. 3 on bars and beam and No. 8 on vault.
MALONEY SCORES 39.475 IN ALL-AROUND DEBUT - Freshman Kristen Maloney competed in the all-around for the first time this season and placed second with a score of 39.475 versus Utah. The 2000 U.S. Olympian tied or set new collegiate-bests on vault (9.8), bars (9.9) and floor (9.925). In her collegiate debut at the Maui Invitational, she recorded a 9.95 on beam, tying UCLA's freshman record while recording the highest beam mark by a Bruin in three years (last by Stella Umeh in 1998).
PARKER FINDS PERFECTION - Sophomore All-American Kristin Parker earned her first career perfect 10 last Friday at Stanford with a perfect routine on the floor exercise. Parker, whose routine to 'Riverdance' includes an Arabian double front and a piked double-back somersault, became the 11th Bruin ever to score a perfect 10. She also set a new career-high on beam with a 9.9 and won the all-around for the first time ever, recording a career-best and team season-high 39.5.
DANTZSCHER REWRITES UCLA RECORD BOOKS - After just three meets, freshman Jamie Dantzscher already owns the school record for most career perfect 10s, totaling three. The 2000 U.S. Olympian went 2-2 in 10.0s (bars, floor) in her collegiate debut at the Maui Invitational and then scored another 10 on floor at Stanford Friday. Dantzscher's two 10s on floor are with two different routines.
Dantzscher's school records thus far include: most career 10s, most 10s in a season, most 10s in a meet and school freshman bars and floor records. She is also the first Bruin ever to score a perfect 10 in consecutive meets and the first to score a 10 on her first-ever routine. Dantzscher is undefeated on the season on bars (9.975 average) and averages 9.975 on floor.
WILLIS RETURNS FROM FOOT INJURY TO WIN VAULT VS. UTAH - This past weekend, All-American sophomore Onnie Willis competed for the first time in 2001. She made her season debut Friday, competing on the vault and scoring a 9.75, and then improved upon that score against Utah Sunday, capturing first place with a score of 9.9. Willis had sat out the Bruins' first two meets with a foot injury.
THOMPSON WINS ALL-AROUND AS BRUINS DEFEAT FULLERTON - 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 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. Thompson's scores helped UCLA score 196.825 in the win over Fullerton. The Bruins achieved this high score despite not competing Mohini Bhardwaj, Kristen Maloney, Jamie Dantzscher and Onnie Willis.
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. Several school records were broken, as the Bruins tied the school record on floor (49.625) and Jamie Dantzscher scored perfect 10s on bars and floor. Mohini Bhardwaj also scored her first career 10 on floor.
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. 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.
DEAR DIARY - Head coach Valorie Kondos Field will share her thoughts with readers in an online diary published by CNNSI.com. Kondos Field's diaries will run on Wednesdays.
OLYMPIAN JOINS BRUIN 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.