No. 1 UCLA Hosts NCAA West Regional Gymnastics Championships
April 2, 2001
THIS WEEK - The top-ranked UCLA gymnastics team (23-2) will host the NCAA West Regional Championship on Saturday, Apr. 7 at 6 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins, as well as 11th-ranked BYU, 13th-ranked Oregon State, California, Boise State and Cal State Fullerton will vie for a coveted spot in the NCAA Championships. Also in the hunt for individual NCAA bids are all-arounders Dani Albright, Shirla Choy and Kimmy Cianci of San Jose State and Flora Bare and Ericka Ruelas of UC Davis, as well as individual event specialists Alison Siegel (vault) and Cassie Althauser (beam) of Seattle Pacific and Toni Peterson (bars) and Jami Scoville (floor) of Sacramento State. The top two teams, plus the top two all-arounders not on an advancing team and individual event winners who score 9.8 or higher, will automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships, which will take place Apr. 19-21 in Athens, GA.
TICKETS - Tickets for the regional championships can be purchased at UCLA's Central Ticket Office, (310) UCLA-WIN, www.tickets.ucla.edu. Reserved tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for youth. General admission prices are $6 for adults and $4 for youth.
LIVE COVERAGE - Live scoring for all teams will be provided on UCLA's official web site, www.uclabruins.com.
UCLA's REGIONAL HISTORY - UCLA has won 11 regional championships, including the last two and seven of the last eight. Last season, UCLA scored 197.025 to defeat second-place Oregon State by nearly a point despite three falls on the balance beam. The Bruins swept the individual events, with Mohini Bhardwaj winning the all-around, bars and beam, Lena Degteva winning the vault and bars, and Heidi Moneymaker winning on floor.
A LOOK AT THE COMPETITORS - In addition to UCLA's high-ranking gymnasts, each of the five other regional teams have strong individual competitors on their squads. Kelly Parkinson leads the 11th-ranked BYU Cougars. She is the nation's fifth-ranked all-arounder and also ranks in the Top 20 on floor (No. 20), bars (19th) and vault (13th). Angie Hickman is also ranked in the Top 25 on vault, checking in at No. 21. Kim Little holds the school record on floor with a 9.975. Oregon State boasts the nation's No. 4 vaulter in Katrina Severin. She also ranks 12th on floor and 23rd on beam. Lara Degenhardt ranks 20th on floor, Stephanie Bychowski is 12th on beam, and Annie Campbell is tied with Severin on beam. Pari Olver and Carrie Kreifels of Cal rank in the Top 15 in the region in the all-around. Four Boise State gymnasts are ranked amongst the West region's Top 20 all-arounders -No. 16 Breanne Holmes, No. 17 Jamie Johns, No. 18 Tiffany Weston and No. 19 Jessica Berry. Cal State Fullerton's Joanna Hughes, a 1996 Olympian from Australia, ranks 22nd in the nation on the uneven bars, and Big West champion Kelly Mathiasen is ranked eighth in the region in the all-around.
UCLA GYMNASTICS A PERFECT 10! - The 2001 UCLA Bruins have scored 20 perfect 10s this season, eight more than UCLA's all-time mark entering the year. Prior to the start of 2001, only 12 perfect 10s had ever been scored in UCLA history. In just three months, the Bruins have surpassed that number and then some. Leading the wave of perfect 10s has been Mohini Bhardwaj, who has a school-record and Pac-10 record-tying eight (three on bars, one on beam and four on floor). 2000 U.S. Olympian Jamie Dantzscher has the school and Pac-10 freshman mark with seven (five on floor, two on bars) and is believed to be the first gymnast in NCAA history to record a 10 on her first-ever routine (she competed only on bars and floor at the Maui Invitational and scored 10s on both routines). Also earning perfect marks this year were sophomores Kristin Parker (floor, Jan. 19) and Onnie Willis (vault, Feb. 16, floor, Mar. 4) and freshman Kristen Maloney (beam, Feb. 16, floor, Mar. 4). Of UCLA's 20 perfect 10s this year, half have come on the road. In addition, a Bruin has scored a perfect 10 in 77% of UCLA's meets (10-13).
UCLA ATOP THE NATIONAL RANKINGS - The Bruins maintain their No. 1 position in the national rankings with a regional qualifying score (RQS) of 197.640. The Bruins are also ranked first nationally on bars (49.615) and floor (49.655) and are second on vault (49.340) and sixth on beam (49.255). The RQS is compiled by taking the top six scores, three of which must be away scores, dropping the high and averaging the remaining five marks. UCLA has been No. 1 all season, except for one week when an early reporting deadline precluded the Bruins from entering its Jan. 14 meet score of 196.825, which was the highest team score in the nation at the time.Individually, seven Bruins are ranked this week - Mohini Bhardwaj, who ranks first in the all-around and bars, second on floor, fifth on beam and 11th on vault, Jamie Dantzscher, who is first on bars and floor and 19th on vault, Onnie Willis, who moves into sixth in the all-around and floor and 14th on vault, Kristen Maloney, who is fourth on beam and 16th on floor, Yvonne Tousek, who holds the No. 6 spot on beam and the No. 20 spot on floor, Kristin Parker, who is seventh on vault, and Doni Thompson, who holds the No. 19 ranking on bars.
BRUINS HAVE NATION'S TOP MARKS - UCLA gymnasts have recorded the nation's highest individual and team scores this year. Individually, Mohini Bhardwaj has the nation's top all-around total this year with a 39.975. UCLA's five perfect 10 scorers have the nation's top marks on their respective events. As a team, UCLA has posted the nation's highest overall total (198.25), as well as the highest totals on vault (49.575), bars (49.75), beam (49.7) and floor (49.85).
UCLA PLACES SECOND AT PAC-10s - Despite recording the second-highest team total in school history, UCLA was edged out by Stanford at the Pac-10 Championships, 197.85-197.8. The Cardinal hit 24 for 24 routines en route to their second conference title. Mohini Bhardwaj became the first gymnast in Pac-10 history to win back-to-back all-around and vault titles. She scored a Pac-10 Championship record 39.8 in the all-around and tied her career-high on vault with a 9.975. Following the meet, Bhardwaj was named the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year, UCLA's fifth consecutive. Jamie Dantzscher scored the evening's only perfect 10, recording her fifth 10 on the floor exercise to claim the title.
BHARDWAJ SHATTERS SCHOOL ALL-AROUND RECORD - Senior Mohini Bhardwaj made her final regular season home performance one to remember Mar. 18, scoring a school-record 39.975 in the all-around. Bhardwaj was .025 away from all-around perfection, scoring a career-high 9.975 on vault and three straight 10s on bars, beam and floor. Her mark was the second-highest in NCAA history, topped only by Georgia's Karin Lichey, who scored a perfect 40 in 1996.
ANTOLIN UPGRADE GIVES UCLA EIGHT 10.0 VAULTERS - With freshman Jeanette Antolin recently upgrading her 9.9-start value vault (Yurchenko layout full) to a 10.0-start value Yurchenko half front layout, the Bruins now have eight athletes who can compete 10.0-value vaults - Antolin, Yvonne Tousek and Onnie Willis (Yurchenko half front layout), Kristin Parker (handspring front pike and handspring front layout), Kristen Maloney (Yurchenko 1 1/2), Jamie Dantzscher and Lindsey Dong (layout Phelps), and Mohini Bhardwaj (Yurchenko 1 1/2, Yurchenko double twist). Antolin tied her career-high of 9.9 at the Pac-10 Championships and is averaging 9.8375 with her new vault.
NUMBER CRUNCHING - UCLA has scored 49+ on bars in 20 consecutive meets ...Doni Thompson has hit 25 of 26 routines on the uneven bars in her career, a hit percentage of 96.2% ... Despite its first sub-49 score on floor in two years at the Michigan State meet, UCLA still has not had to count a fall on floor since 1999 ... Mohini Bhardwaj has hit all 28 floor routines in her career ... Onnie Willis has hit all 21 of her floor routines in her career, and Kristin Parker has hit all 22 ... Willis had a streak of 25 consecutive clean routines of 9.8 or higher snapped at Pac-10s but has hit 25 of her last 26 routines ...Jamie Dantzscher now holds UCLA's longest active 'hit' streak with 22, and Parker is close behind with 20.
WHAT CAN'T SHE DO?! - Senior Mohini Bhardwaj already competes the most difficulty in the nation. On vault, she was the first collegiate athlete to complete a double-twisting Yurchenko layout. On bars, she has two major release moves and a double layout with a full twist dismount. On beam, her flight series is a backhandspring to three consecutive layouts, and her dismount is a double back somersault. She tumbles a double layout and a full-in on the floor exercise. On Mar. 5, she one-upped even herself by performing an exhibition floor routine that opened with a handspring double front. Bhardwaj is training the double front for a potential run at the USA Championships this summer.
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. Maloney, Dantzscher and Beckerman were members of the 2000 U.S. Olympic team, and Tousek was on the 1996 and 2000 Canadian Olympic teams.
UPDATED BIOS -
JEANETTE ANTOLIN - Former U.S. National Team member has competed mostly on vault for the Bruins, with a career-best of 9.9 (maximum-value score) in her first meet at Cal State Fullerton ...Has upgraded to a 10.0 start-value vault (Yurchenko half front layout) and averages 9.8375 with her new vault ...Tied her career-high on vault with a 9.9 at Pac-10s to tie for sixth ...Season average is 9.798 ...In her only all-around competition of the year, she scored 39.05 Jan. 14 at Fullerton ...Recorded career-bests on vault (9.9), bars (9.85) and floor (9.925) at that meet, earning second-place finishes ...Also placed second on vault at Michigan State Mar. 11 ...Scored a career-high 9.85 to tie for fifth place at the UCLA Invitational Feb. 11. Season Bests: V - 9.9, UB - 9.85, BB - 9.85, FX - 9.925, AA - 39.05.
ALYSSA BECKERMAN - 2000 U.S. Olympic alternate had wrist surgery Mar. 5 and will miss the remainder of the season ... Wrist injury dated back to the 1999 World Championship trials and limited her to just three competitions on the balance beam ... Recorded a best of 9.875 at Arizona State to tie for second and also tied for fifth at the UCLA Invitational with a 9.8. Season Bests: BB - 9.875.
MOHINI BHARDWAJ - Pac-10 all-around and vault champion and the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year ...Became the first gymnast in Pac-10 history to win back-to-back all-around and vault crowns and set a championship record in the all-around with a 39.8 ...Vault score of 9.975 at the Pac-10 meet tied her career-high ... Recorded the second-highest all-around total in NCAA history with a 39.975 Mar. 18 vs. Georgia ...Total broke her own school all-around mark of 39.8 ...Scored a career-high 9.975 on vault then banged out three consecutive perfect 10s, on bars, beam and floor to sweep the individual events and the all-around ...Her final 10 on floor clinched the one-tenth victory over Georgia and gave her four 10s on floor in five attempts ... Her 10 on beam was only the second on beam in school history ... Her 10 on bars was her second consecutive and third overall ...Named the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week and the UCLABruins.com Student-Athlete of the Week for her efforts that week ... Has been named the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week three times this year (Jan. 15-21, Jan. 22-28, Mar. 12-18) and four times in her career ...Leads the team with 18 individual victories and 30 Top 3 finishes ...Averages 9.839 on vault, 9.890 on bars, 9.891 on beam, 9.971 on floor and 39.646 in the all-around ...Ranked first nationally in the all-around and on bars, as well as second on floor, fifth on beam and 11th on vault ... Has scored 39.725 or higher in the all-around in four of six meets ...Holds the school record for most career 10s (eight), most 10s in a season (eight) and most 10s in a meet (three) ... Won three events and the all-around Jan. 28 against Alabama, Cal State Fullerton and Southern Utah, scoring perfect 10s on bars and floor and setting a then-school all-around record 39.8 ...Became the first collegiate gymnast ever to complete a double-twisting laid-out Yurchenko on vault.Season Bests: V - 9.975, UB - 10.0, BB - 10.0, FX - 10.0, AA - 39.975.
JAMIE DANTZSCHER - 2000 U.S. Olympian made an immediate impact on the Bruin squad ... In her first-ever collegiate meet, she recorded perfect 10s on each routine she competed (bars and floor) at the Maui Invitational ... With those two 10s, she became the first UCLA gymnast ever to record two 10s in the same meet and the first to record a 10 in her first ever meet ... She is also believed to be the first gymnast in NCAA history to score a 10 on her first-ever routine ... Earned another perfect 10 in her next meet, on floor at Stanford Jan. 19, to become the first Bruin to score a perfect 10 in consecutive meets ... Achieved that feat again Feb. 16 and Mar. 4 with consecutive 10s on floor ...Scored her fifth 10 on floor at the Pac-10 Championships ...Holds the school freshman record with seven perfect 10s (two on bars, five on floor) ...Ranked first nationally on bars and floor and 19th on vault ...Ranks second on the team with 13 individual victories and is tops on the team with six bars and floor wins ... Placed first on all three events in which she entered at the Bruin Classic, winning the vault (career-high 9.925), bars and floor (10) ... Earned Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week honors that week (Feb. 28-Mar. 4) ...Placed second at the UCLA Invite with a school freshman record 39.55 in her only all-around appearance ... Averages 9.879 on vault, 9.96 on bars and 9.941 on floor ...Enrolled in the Winter Quarter and joined the Bruin team shortly after Christmas ...Spent the Fall Quarter on the post-Olympic gymnastics tour and took first-place at the Rock 'N Roll Gymnastics Championships. Season Bests: V - 9.925, UB - 10.0, BB - 9.825, FX - 10.0, AA - 39.55.
LINDSEY DONG - Has competed on vault four times, with a season-best and fourth-place score of 9.8 at Michigan State Mar. 11 ... Averaging 9.75 on vault ...Has three Top 10 finishes on vault ...Also competed on floor at Michigan State, scoring a career-high 9.5 ...Performed all-around for the first time with exhibition routines at the Maui Invitational. Season Bests: V - 9.8, FX - 9.5.
CHRISTY ERICKSON - Competed once on the floor exercise Jan. 14 at Cal State Fullerton ... In an exhibition performance at the Maui Invitational, she scored a 9.75. Season Bests: FX - 8.975.
MALIA JONES - Scored a season-best 39.375 in the all-around to claim her first-ever all-around title at Arizona State Jan. 26 ...Averaging 39.179 in all-around competition and has placed amongst the Top 3 in five meets ...Recorded a career-best 9.875 on vault Jan. 14 at Cal State Fullerton (maximum value of her vault is 9.9) ...At the Bruin Classic Mar. 4, she scored a career-high 9.925 as the leadoff performer on floor, paving the way for a school record team total of 39.85 ...Has scored career-highs of 9.875 on beam three times this year ...Has 11 Top 3 finishes - two on vault and beam and one each on bars and floor ...Averages 9.705 on vault, 9.833 on bars, 9.734 on beam and 9.786 on floor. Season Bests: V - 9.875, UB - 9.9, BB - 9.875, FX - 9.925, AA - 39.375.
KRISTEN MALONEY - 2000 U.S. Olympian and two-time U.S. all-around champion became the first UCLA gymnast ever to score a 10.0 on beam ...Earned her first career 10 with a perfect performance at Oregon State Feb. 16 ...In her next meet, she scored her first career 10 on floor ... Pac-10 runner-up on the floor exercise, scoring a 9.95 ...Leads the team with five victories on the balance beam ...Has 16 Top 3 finishes ...Scored a 39.475 to place second in her all-around debut Jan. 21 vs. Utah ...Her first collegiate routine (at the Maui Invitational) resulted in a then-freshman record 9.95 on the beam ... Ranks fourth nationally on the balance beam and averages 9.814 ...Also averages 9.815 on vault, 9.708 on bars, 9.936 on floor and 39.225 in the all-around ... Has been competing for the past year with a steel rod in her shin. Season Bests: V - 9.85, UB - 9.9, BB - 10.0, FX - 10.0, AA - 39.225.
KRISTIN PARKER - Earned her first career perfect 10 on the floor exercise at Stanford Jan. 14 ...Extremely consistent performer who averages 9.8 or greater on all four events - 9.810 on vault and bars, 9.818 on bars, 9.867 on beam and 9.868 on floor ... Ranked seventh in the nation on vault ...Has scored career-highs all the way across the board this year with a 9.95 on vault, 9.975 on bars, 9.95 on beam, 10 on floor and 39.675 in the all-around ...Has hit 20 consecutive routines and has not scored lower than 9.725 in her career on floor ... Recorded eight first-place finishes this year, including a team-best four on vault ... Won the all-around at Stanford and at Michigan State ... Scored 39.4 or higher in four of five all-around attempts ...Has competed two 10.0 start-value vaults - a handspring front pike with a half-twist and a very difficult handspring front layout with a half-twist ... Voted to the Verizon Academic All-District VIII second team, one of just three underclassmen selected. Season Bests: V - 9.95, UB - 9.975, BB - 9.95, FX - 10.0, AA - 39.675.
CARLY RAAB - A year after ACL surgery, she has competed in three meets on bars, with a season-best of 9.75 ... Averaging 9.7. Season Bests: UB - 9.75.
DONI THOMPSON - Former U.S. National Team member competed all-around for the first time in her collegiate career ...Won the all-around at Cal State Fullerton Jan. 14 with a career-best 39.425 ...Established career-highs at that meet on vault (9.85), beam (9.875) and floor (9.85) ...Improved upon her best floor score with a first-place mark of 9.875 at Arizona State Jan. 26 ...Scored a career-high 9.95 on bars at Michigan State Mar. 11 ...Has hit 25 of 26 routines in her career on bars and has seven 9.9+ bars scores this year ... Averages 9.879 on bars, 9.720 on beam and 9.767 on floor ... Ranked 19th nationally on bars. Season Bests: V - 9.85, UB - 9.95, BB - 9.875, FX - 9.875, AA - 39.425.
YVONNE TOUSEK - Two-time Canadian Olympian is ranked sixth in the nation on beam and 20th on floor ... Has recorded career-bests of 9.85 on vault, 9.975 on bars and 9.95 on beam and floor ... Scored 9.95 on beam in three of her last five meets ...Has five 9.925+ scores on floor in eight attempts ...Twice recorded an all-around high of 39.1 ...Owns five individual victories, including two each on beam and floor ...Has placed in the Top 3 16 times, including a team-best seven on beam ... Took first place on bars, beam and floor at Cal State Fullerton Jan. 14. Season Bests: V - 9.85, UB - 9.975, BB - 9.95, FX - 9.95, AA - 39.1.
VALERIE VELASCO - Averaging 9.765 on floor, with three straight scores of 9.8 or higher ...Tied her career high on floor with a 9.85 at the Bruin Classic Mar. 4 ...Also tied her career-best on beam at Cal State Fullerton with a third-place effort of 9.85 ...Placed fifth at Michigan State with a 9.8 on floor. Season Bests: BB - 9.85, FX - 9.85.
JAMIE WILLIAMS - Has seen action in two meets this year, competing on beam at Arizona State and on three events at Michigan State ... Competed exhibition routines at the Maui Invitational, scoring a 9.4 with a fall on beam and a 9.6 on floor. Season Bests: V - 9.35, BB - 9.225, FX - 8.85.
ONNIE WILLIS - Former U.S. National Team member has hit 25 of her last 26 routines and 29 of 31 overall this year ...Ranked sixth nationally in the all-around and averages 39.525 ... Won four straight all-around competitions to start the season ... Recorded a career-best 39.675 to win at Oregon State Feb. 16 ...Also at that meet, she recorded her first perfect 10 of the season on vault ... At her next meet, she scored her first career 10 on floor ...Averages 9.788 on vault, 9.871 on bars, 9.861 on beam and 9.928 on floor ...Has scored 9.925 or higher in seven of eight floor routines ...Selected the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week Feb. 13-21 after her performance at Oregon State ...Has 11 individual wins this season, four in the all-around, three each on vault and floor and one on bars ...Ranks second on the team with 22 Top 3 finishes ... Ranked sixth on floor and 14th on vault in the national rankings ... Voted to the Verizon Academic All-District VIII second team, one of just three underclassmen selected. Season Bests: V - 10.0, UB - 9.9, BB - 9.9, FX - 10.0, AA - 39.675.
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.
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 Nationals 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 Nationals and won two regional vault titles in 1996 and 1997, as well as a regional floor title in 1997.