No. 4 Bruins Conclude Regular Season With Road Trip To No. 2 Alabama
March 12, 2002
UCLA Faces Alabama - The fourth-ranked UCLA women's gymnastics team (13-4), fresh off a school-record performance in its last meet, will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala. to face second-ranked Alabama (11-3) on Saturday, Mar. 16 at 7:00 pm Central Time. The meet will take place in Coleman Coliseum, site of the 2002 NCAA Championships.
Live Scoring - Live scoring and play-by-play commentary for the UCLA-Alabama meet will be found at www.gymtide.com.
A Look At The Crimson Tide - Perennial powerhouse Alabama is coached by Sarah and David Patterson. The Crimson Tide have won three NCAA Championships (1988, 1991 and 1996), the last two of which came on their home court. All-Americans Andree Pickens, Natalie Barrington, Kristin Sterner, Raegan Tomasek and Jeana Rice lead Alabama in 2002. Pickens is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation on vault, No. 6 on beam and No. 8 on the uneven bars. As a freshman in 1999, she won the NCAA balance beam co-championship. Freshman Alexis Brion ranks third nationally on floor. As a team, Alabama ranks first on floor and second behind the Bruins on the uneven bars.
Last Time Against Alabama - The Bruins and Crimson Tide met in the season opener at the Super Six Challenge in Florida. An injury-plagued Bruin squad finished third (195.65) behind champion Georgia (196.525) and second-place Alabama (195.725). The two teams met in Los Angeles in 2001, with the Bruins defeating the Crimson Tide, 197.5-196.975. UCLA is making its first appearance in Tuscaloosa since the 1996 NCAA Championships, where the Bruins finished a surprising second to host Alabama.
Perfect 10s Keep Coming For Dantzscher - Sophomore Jamie Dantzscher extended her streak of perfect 10s on floor to seven consecutive meets after her winning performance at the UCLA Invitational on Mar. 3. Dantzscher has scored a 10 in all but two meets this year for a grand total of 10, including three in her last meet (vault, bars and floor). In her career, she has scored 12 perfect 10s on floor, three on bars and two on vault to set a new school record with 17 career perfect marks. Dantzscher's consecutive 10 streak on floor is an NCAA record.
Dantzscher has proven to not just be a one-event wonder. The 2000 Olympian averages 39.610 in the all-around and on Mar. 3 set a new career-high and national season-best with a 39.9 (three 10s and a 9.9). The score was the fourth-highest in NCAA history, and she became only the third gymnast ever to score three perfect 10s in one meet. Dantzscher averages 9.93 or better on vault, bars and floor. She has also conquered her onetime nemesis, the balance beam, scoring a career-high 9.9 in her last two meets.
Parker's Presence Integral To Vault Lineup - After sitting out three meets due to injury, junior All-American Kristin Parker has returned to the vault lineup and has provided much-needed results. Since her return the Bruins have jumped up to fourth in the national rankings on vault and have set season-highs in successive meets. In her three meets back, Parker has scored 9.85 each time out and has led UCLA to team scores of 49.15 (Feb. 23), 49.45 (Mar. 1) and a school-record 49.7 (Mar. 3). With Parker in the vault lineup, the Bruins have scored 49+ on vault five times and averaged 49.25. Without her in the lineup, UCLA has averaged just 47.756.
Antolin Also Key To Vaulting Success - Another key to UCLA's recent success on vault is sophomore Jeanette Antolin. The five-time U.S. National Team member rejoined the Bruin squad on Feb. 13 and competed for the first time this season on Feb. 17, placing second on vault with a 9.7. At Washington on Mar. 1, she claimed her first individual victory of the year, winning the vault with a career-high 9.95. She equaled that mark two days later at the UCLA Invitational. Antolin has also competed once on bars, recording a 9.775 at Washington.
Beckerman Continues To Post Top Marks - Sophomore Alyssa Beckerman has been on fire the last five meets, scoring no lower than 9.875 on her two events, beam and floor. Beckerman, who missed most of the 2001 season after undergoing wrist surgery, has been UCLA's anchor on beam since unexpectedly stepping in for an injured teammate in the season's second meet at Georgia. The 2000 U.S. Olympic alternate and U.S. balance beam champion averages 9.803 on beam with four individual wins and five scores of 9.9+. Her career-best is 9.95. Beckerman On floor exercise, she stepped in for an injured teammate on Feb. 10 against Stanford and recorded a 9.875 on her first collegiate floor routine. She has been in the floor lineup ever since and averages 9.885 with a high of 9.9.
UCLA's 1-2-3 All-Around Punch - No school in the nation can match the combined strength of UCLA's top 3 all-arounders - 2000 Olympian Jamie Dantzscher, two-time Olympian Yvonne Tousek and defending NCAA all-around champion Onnie Willis. The three Bruins have posted the highest all-around marks for any trio on any team this season - Dantzscher with a 39.9, Tousek with a 39.725 and Willis with a 39.65. Tousek and Willis have scored 39.4+ four times each, and Dantzscher has broken the 39.7 barrier three times.
Bruins Set New School Record With 198.35 - Not only did the Bruins become the first team in 2002 to break the 198 barrier, but they also set a new school-record with a 198.35 on Mar. 3 at the UCLA Invitational. The Bruins as a team posted season-highs on vault, beam and floor and had 15 scores of 9.9 or better, including 10.0s from Jamie Dantzscher (vault, bars and floor) and Onnie Willis (vault and floor). Dantzscher (39.9) and Yvonne Tousek (39.725) set new career-high all-around marks, and Malia Jones tied for first on beam with a new career-high of 9.925.
Vaulters Set School Record With 49.7- Helping the Bruins to their school record 198.35 at the UCLA Invitational was the performance of the vault squad, which set a school record of 49.7. Despite having the pressure of a fall from the first competitor, the Bruins banged out four scores of 9.9 or greater, starting with Jeanette Antolin's 9.95. Yvonne Tousek followed with a 9.9, then Onnie Willis scored her first perfect 10 of the season. After Kristin Parker's 9.85, Jamie Dantzscher earned her second 10 of the year on vault and her first of three 10s in the meet.
UCLA Posts Season-High Road Score At Washington - The Bruins' performance at the UCLA Invitational is more impressive when you consider that they set their school record just two days after posting a season-high road score of 197.05 at Washington. UCLA's depth spoke volumes, as 12 athletes competed to impressive results. Recording career-highs were Jeanette Antolin on vault (9.95), Malia Jones on beam (9.875) and Christy Erickson on floor (9.675). Many others recorded season-highs, including Onnie Willis (vault), Yvonne Tousek (vault, bars), Jamie Dantzscher (bars) and Valerie Velasco (floor).
Number Crunching - Onnie Willis has hit 24-straight bar routines (since Feb. 20, 2000) without a miss for an average of 9.86 ... On floor, Willis has hit 31 of 32 routines throughout her career for an average of 9.88 ...Doni Thompson has hit 38 of 40 bar routines in her career, including all 10 this year, for a career average of 9.826 ...Yvonne Tousek has averaged a 9.88 on her last 10 beam routines, dating back to last season ... Kristin Parker has hit 21 consecutive vaults for an average of 9.866 ... In addition to her mastery on floor, Jamie Dantzscher has also scored big on bars, recording a 9.975 or better in eight of nine meets this year.
Dantzscher Hauling In Event Titles - Jamie Dantzscher has been running away with most of the event titles this year, already taking in 26 first-place finishes out of a possible 38 (68.4%). She is well ahead of the pace of Mohini Bhardwaj's school-record total of 29 victories in 2000. Dantzscher also has 31 Top 3 finishes (81.6%). Onnie Willis ranks second in the individual victories department with seven. Alyssa Beckerman leads the team with four beam victories.
UCLA In The Rankings - The Bruins are fourth in the national rankings with a regional qualifying score of 196.810. UCLA ranks first on bars (49.42), second on beam (49.29), fourth on vault (49.205) and ninth on floor (49.265). Jamie Dantzscher tops the national rankings on floor with an amazing RQS of 10.0. It is the first 10.0 RQS on any event since Georgia's Leah Brown and Kim Arnold ended the 1997 regular season with an RQS of 10.0 on vault. Dantzscher also ranks first on bars (9.975), second on vault (9.945) and 21st on beam (9.865). Onnie Willis ranks ninth in the all-around (39.36), seventh on vault (9.905) and 25th on bars (9.87). Yvonne Tousek checks in at fourth on bars (9.925) and 15th on beam (9.875). Alyssa Beckerman is the highest-ranked Bruin on beam (10th, 9.895), and Doni Thompson ranks 13th on bars (9.895).
Looking Ahead - UCLA will compete at the Pac-10 Conference Championships on Saturday, Mar. 23 at Stanford's Maples Pavilion. The Bruins will attempt to win their 10th conference titlein 16 years. The meet will begin at 6:00 pm and will be televised on a delayed basis by Fox Sports Net.
There's No Place Like Home - Pauley Pavilion has been good to the Bruins the past few seasons, as UCLA has posted a 27-0 record in that arena since 2000 and a 33-1 record since 1999. UCLA went undefeated at home in 2002, posting wins over Arizona State, Stanford, Oregon State, Michigan, Minnesota and Cal State Fullerton. Last year, the Bruins owned a 16-0 record in Pauley and were 5-0 in 2000.
Injuries Sideline Several Bruins - Sophomores Kristen Maloney and Carly Raab have been unable to compete so far this season due to injuries. Maloney, a 2000 U.S. Olympian, had surgery in August to remove a rod in her shin and has not yet been cleared to compete, and Raab is out for the year after suffering an ACL injury. In addition, freshman Christie Tedmon suffered four broken metatarsals on her left foot while dismounting the balance beam in the season opener and will sit out a minimum of six to eight weeks.
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. 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.