Bhardwaj, Tousek Win NCAA Individual Titles

April 21, 2001

Athens, GA - A day after winning the team title in Stegeman Coliseum, UCLA gymnasts won two individual championships, as senior Mohini Bhardwaj won the floor exercise and freshman Yvonne Tousek won the uneven bars.

Bhardwaj claimed top honors on floor with a 9.963 and was followed by Jamie Dantzscher, who placed second with a 9.95. Onnie Willis was fifth with a 9.9. Bhardwaj, who won the uneven bars title in 2000, captures her second career individual crown and UCLA's sixth overall on floor.

'It's been an amazing season and an amazing year,' said Bhardwaj. 'This is a great way to cap it off.'

The Bruins took four of the top six placings on bars. Tousek, a two-time Canadian Olympian, recorded a winning mark of 9.938. Willis was second with a 9.912, Bhardwaj fifth with a 9.887, and Doni Thompson sixth (tied) with a 9.85. Tousek's victory was UCLA's second consecutive on bars and third in the last four years.

'We had a lot of energy carried over from the night before, which was really special for the team,' said Tousek. 'I'm happy to come away with the bars title tonight.'

Sophomore Kristin Parker was the lone UCLA representative on vault, where she placed fourth. She scored a 9.825 on her first vault, a laid-out Cuervo, the most difficult vault attempted in the meet, then recorded a 9.8375 on a handspring pike front with a half-twist for an average of 9.83125. Cory Fritzinger, a freshman from Georgia, took first place with a 9.8815 despite competing first. Katrina Severin of Oregon State was second with a 9.86875, and Janessa Grieco of Michigan was third with a 9.856.

On beam, Tousek scored a 9.75 as the first competitor up. Kristen Maloney was fourth up and scored a 9.9 to momentarily take the lead until Stanford's Lindsay Wing followed her with a 9.925. Willis, competing in the 10th position, earned a 9.6875 for 11th place. Utah's Theresa Kulikowski earned her second NCAA beam title, scoring a 9.9375. Wing ended up second, and Maloney and Melissa Vituj of Utah tied for third. Tousek finished in 10th place.

With the two event titles tonight and Thursday's all-around crown for Willis, UCLA now has claimed 16 NCAA individual titles and has had at least two individual champions in each of the last four years.

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