UCLA Gymnasts Return To California For Pair Of Meets

Jan. 15, 2002

Bruins Face Titans, Broncos At Fullerton - The second-ranked UCLA women's gymnastics team will return to Southern California after a two-meet trek to the South. The Bruins will travel a much shorter distance to Fullerton, where they will face 25th-ranked Cal State Fullerton (0-2) and unranked Boise State (1-1) on Friday, Jan. 18. The meet will take place at Titan Gym at 7:00 pm.

UCLA Opens At Home Against ASU - On Sunday, Jan. 20, the Bruins host 19th-ranked Arizona State (1-0) in the 2002 home opener in Pauley Pavilion at 2:00 pm. Among the festivities are the unfurling of the 2001 NCAA Championship banner prior to the meet. In addition, Bruin sophomore Alyssa Beckerman is scheduled to sing the national anthem. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive a UCLABruins.com mousepad.

Live Meet Reports - Fans can follow all UCLA home meets through live scoring on the internet. Visit www.uclabruins.com for the latest scores during the course of the meet.

A Look At The Opponents - Cal State Fullerton is led by 1996 Australian Olympian Joanna Hughes and 2001 Big West all-around champion Kelly Mathiasen. At last week's meet against Cal, Hughes won the bars and tied with Mathiasen for first on floor. Boise State is led by senior Jamie Johns, who placed second in the all-around in the Broncos' season opener. Arizona State is nursing a few injuries to key athletes such as All-American Laura Moon, who had pre-season knee surgery, and Amber Giorgianni, who is recovering from a torn ACL from last season. Giorgianni competed an exhibition bar routine last week, however, and may be available for competition.

Bruins Third At Super Six Challenge - With a score of 195.65, the Bruins earned a third-place finish at the Super Six Challenge on Jan. 11 in Gainesville, Fla. Jamie Dantzscher led the Bruins with first-place finishes on vault (9.95) and bars (9.975) and also won the Ernestine Weaver Award, given at every Florida home meet for the best performance. UCLA led after two events but lost the lead on the balance beam after suffering two falls. Even worse for the Bruins was the loss of freshman Christie Tedmon, who broke four metatarsals on her left foot during her balance beam dismount. Tedmon will be out for a minimum of six to eight weeks.

Georgia Outpoints UCLA In Dual Meet - Although the Bruins recorded a high score of 196.875 on Jan. 13 at Athens, Ga., it wasn't enough to overtake host Georgia, who scored 197.9. Jamie Dantzscher scored her first career perfect 10 on vault and also placed first on bars with a 9.975. Onnie Willis was UCLA's top all-around performer, placing third with a 39.65. Willis also tied for first on floor with a 9.925. Yvonne Tousek tied for first on beam with a career-high tying 9.95.

Dantzscher Ties School Record For 10.0s - Although just a sophomore, Jamie Dantzscher has already tied the school record for most career perfect 10s with eight. Dantzscher, a 2000 U.S. Olympian, received her eighth on Jan. 13 with a perfect mark on the vault. She has scored five 10s on floor, two on bars and one on vault in a little over one year as a Bruin.

Alternates Step Up For Bruins - After unexpected injuries to Malia Jones during warm-ups at the Super Six Challenge and to Christie Tedmon on beam, several Bruins stepped up at the last minute and performed exceptionally. Senior Valerie Velasco was originally slated to be an alternate on all four events at Florida but ended up competing in the all-around. Among her marks were a 9.675 on bars and a 9.775 on floor. Velasco also scored a 9.725 on bars at Georgia. Freshman Michelle Conway stepped in for Tedmon on floor and recorded a 9.75. At Georgia, Conway scored a 9.8 on floor and a 9.825 on vault. Other Bruins who saw unexpected 'playing time' at Georgia were Jamie Williams on vault and Jamie Dantzscher and Alyssa Beckerman on beam. Dantzscher set a new career-high on beam with a 9.85, and total that was matched by Beckerman in her first routine since February of 2001 A wrist injury sidelined Beckerman for most of 2001.

UCLA In The Rankings - The Bruins enter this week ranked second in the national ranking, which are based on high score. UCLA ranks first on bars, second on beam and vault and 15th on floor. Onnie Willis is UCLA's highest-ranked all-around competitor, checking in at third (39.65). Yvonne Tousek is sixth with a 39.425, followed by Jamie Dantzscher (11th, 39.325) and Kristin Parker (23rd, 39.1). On vault, Dantzscher is tied for first with a 10.0. Willis and Parker are tied for seventh (9.925). Tousek is tied for 16th (9.85), and Michelle Conway is tied for 24th (9.825). Dantzscher again leads the nation on bars with a high mark of 9.975. Tousek and Willis are tied for sixth (9.9), and Doni Thompson is 20th (9.85). On beam, Tousek is tied for first (9.95), followed by Willis at fifth (9.925) and Dantzscher and Alyssa Beckerman tied for 16th (9.85). On floor, Dantzscher and Willis rank seventh (9.925), and Tousek is ranked 18th (9.9).

Perfect Bruins - UCLA gymnasts earned 20 perfect 10s last season, including seven from Jamie Dantzscher, two each from Onnie Willis and Kristen Maloney and one from Kristin Parker. Mohini Bhardwaj, a senior last season, accounted for the other eight perfect scores. So far in 2002, Dantzscher has the only perfect 10, received on vault at Georgia Jan. 13.

Bruins Dedicate Season To Sept. 11 Victims, Heroes - The UCLA gymnastics team has dedicated its 2002 season to the victims and heroes of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Bruin gymnasts created a banner that reads: 'Tribute - To the victims and those devoted to the relief effort: Your courage, strength, compassion and humanity fuel our fire and rekindle our passion for gymnastics. We dedicate our season to you and commit to take every day as a gift.' The banner was placed at Ground Zero in New York City.

Injuries Sideline Maloney, Raab - Sophomores Kristen Maloney and Carly Raab will be unable to compete in the season opener due to injuries. Maloney had surgery August to remove a rod in her shin and has not yet been cleared to compete. Raab is out for the year after suffering an ACL injury.

Co-Captains Named - UCLA has selected juniors Onnie Willis, Carly Raab and Doni Thompson and sophomore Jamie Dantzscher as team co-captains for 2002. Willis and Raab were co-captains in 2001.

Head Coach Valorie Kondos Field - In her 12th 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 six years alone, Kondos Field has led UCLA to three NCAA titles and one runner-up finish, five Regional titles and three Pac-10 Championships. She has been voted the national coach of the year by her peers four times in the past six years.

Kondos' Korner - UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field will continue her weekly diary for UCLABruins.com. You can read her latest entry at www.uclabruins.com.

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