Bhardwaj Wins Vault Crown At U.S. Gymnastics Championships
Aug. 9, 2001
Philadelphia, PA - Former UCLA All-American and two-time NCAA champion Mohini Bhardwaj (Cincinnati, OH) won the vault title and moved into third place in the all-around with a score of 36.25 after day one of the U.S. Gymnastics Championships.
Bhardwaj won her first-ever national crown by placing first on the vault with a 9.525. She becomes the first collegiate gymnast in 13 years to win an individual title at the U.S. Championships, following in the footsteps of Kelly Garrison-Steves, who was competing for the University of Oklahoma when she won the balance beam crown in 1988. At 22 years of age, Bhardwaj also becomes the oldest woman ever to capture the vault championship and the oldest woman to win an individual title in 30 years.
The vault win keeps the championship in the Bruin family - sophomore Kristen Maloney captured the title a year ago prior to starting school at UCLA.
In addition to her vault title, Bhardwaj captured a silver medal on beam with a 9.125, was sixth on bars with an 8.825 and tied for seventh on floor with an 8.775.
Two-thousand Olympian Tasha Schwikert holds a nearly one-point lead over second-place Tabitha Yim. Schwikert tallied a 37.45, while Yim recorded a 36.55.
The gymnasts will conclude competition on Saturday, Aug. 11 at 7 pm ET. The top three all-around finishers will automatically earn a spot on the World Championship team. The other three spots will be chosen after the competition.