Top-Ranked Bruins Aim For 10th Pac-10 Gymnastics Title

March 18, 2002

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This Week - The top-ranked UCLA gymnastics team (13-5) will travel to Stanford, CA for the Pac-10 Conference Championship. The meet will take place at Maples Pavilion on Saturday, Mar. 23 at 6:00 pm. The Bruins have won two of the last three Pac-10 titles and nine championships overall. Tickets to the Championships are $10 for adults and $6 for youth.

Rotation Order - UCLA will begin the meet on a bye before vault and end on floor exercise, the preferred 'Olympic order'. Rotation order for the championship meet was determined by blind draw a year prior to the meet.

TV - Fox Sports Net will televise the meet on a tape-delayed basis. It will be aired Friday, Mar. 29 on Fox Sports West2 at 12:00 pm and on Saturday, Mar. 30 on Fox Sports West at 3:00 pm. Check your local listings for other broadcast dates and times.

Pac-10 History - With nine Pac-10 titles (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000), UCLA has won the most conference championships. Oregon State (1991, 1992, 1994, 1996) and Stanford (1998, 2001) are the only other teams to win the title. Bruins dominate in the individual championships as well, with a conference-best 43 individual champions. The Bruins have been especially dominant in the all-around. The last five Pac-10 all-around champions have been Bruins - Mohini Bhardwaj in 2000 and 2001, Heidi Moneymaker in 1999, Stella Umeh in 1998 and Leah Homma in 1997. UCLA has won eight of the last nine all-around titles and 11 overall. The Bruins also have a four-year win streak on the vault, with Bhardwaj winning in 2000 and 2001, Moneymaker in 1999 and Lena Degteva in 1998. UCLA gymnasts have won 10 titles on bars, nine on floor, seven on vault and six on beam.

Dantzscher Returns As Defending FX Champ - Sophomore Jamie Dantzscher will defend her Pac-10 floor exercise title. She won the crown last year with a perfect 10, only the third 10 on floor in Pac-10 Championship history. Dantzscher enters the meet as the top-ranked floor performer in the nation with an RQS of 10.0. She has scored a 10 on floor seven consecutive times. Other returning champions are Stanford's Caroline Fluhrer (vault), Lindsay Wing (beam) and Lise Leveille (beam).

The Conference Of Champions - One look at the national rankings is all that is needed to see that the Pac-10 Conference is one of the toughest in the nation. Five of the seven teams in the conference are ranked in the Top 20 nationally, with UCLA No. 1, Stanford No. 10, Arizona No. 12, Oregon State No. 14 and Arizona State No. 16. Only one other conference, the SEC, has as many teams ranked in the Top 20. In the individual rankings, there are three Pac-10 gymnasts ranked in the all-around (Arizona's Randi Liljenquist at No. 7, UCLA's Yvonne Tousek and Onnie Willis at No. 10 and 11, respectively).

Conference Awards To Be Handed Out - Conference awards for Gymnast of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Coach of the Year will be handed out at the conclusion of the meet. Last season, UCLA's Mohini Bhardwaj earned Gymnast of the Year honors, giving the Bruins five consecutive Gymnast of the Year awards (Bhardwaj in 2001, Heidi Moneymaker in 2000, Kiralee Hayashi in 1999, Stella Umeh in 1998 and Leah Homma in 1997). In all, Bruins have won this award 10 times in 15 years.

UCLA Atop National Rankings - Thanks to an impressive away score of 197.0 at Alabama Mar. 16, the Bruins moved up to No. 1 in the national rankings with a regional qualifying score of 197.08. The Bruins are also ranked first nationally on bars (49.420), second on beam (49.290), third on vault (49.325) and ninth on floor (49.310). 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.

Individually, five Bruins are ranked this week - Jamie Dantzscher, who is first on bars and floor and second on vault, Yvonne Tousek, who is fifth on bars, 10th in the all-around, 16th on floor and 20th on beam, Onnie Willis, who ranks eighth on vault and 11th in the all-around, Doni Thompson, who holds the ninth spot on bars, and Alyssa Beckerman, who is ranked 12th on beam.

Bruins Have Nation's Top Marks - UCLA gymnasts have recorded the nation's highest individual and team scores this year. Individually, Jamie Dantzscher has the nation's top all-around total this year with a 39.9 and is tops on vault, bars and floor with perfect 10s. Onnie Willis also shares the nation's top marks on vault and floor with a perfect 10. As a team, UCLA has posted the nation's highest overall total (198.35), as well as the highest totals on vault (49.7) and floor (49.725).

Bruins Earn Road Score of 197.0 At Alabama - Competing in front of 10,077 Alabama fans, UCLA lost a dual meet to the Crimson Tide, 197.65-197.0. However, with the high away score, the Bruins moved up to No. 1 in the national rankings. Kristin Parker led the Bruins with a second-place all-around finish (season-high 39.425), and Doni Thompson tied for first on bars with a 9.95 (watch the routine here).

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 (she did not compete on floor in UCLA's last meet at Alabama). Dantzscher has scored a 10 in all but two meets this year for a grand total of 10, including three in on Mar. 3 (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 twice.

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 third in the national rankings on vault and set season-highs twice. In her four 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), a school-record 49.7 (Mar. 3) and 49.325 (Mar. 16). With Parker in the vault lineup, the Bruins have scored 49+ on vault seven of eight times and averaged 49.26. 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 and again stuck her vault at Alabama for a score of 9.9 (tied for second). 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 six meets, scoring no lower than 9.875 on floor and no lower than 9.8 on beam. 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. 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 9.883 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. The Bruins also have two other strong, consistent all-arounders in Kristin Parker (season-high 39.425, career-high 39.675) and Malia Jones (season-high 39.325, career-high 39.425).

Bruin Squad Filled With Olympians, National Team Members - The 2002 Bruin squad is filled with former U.S. and Canadian Olympians and National Team members. In all, UCLA boasts five Olympians and eight former national team members. UCLA's Olympians are Jamie Dantzscher, Kristen Maloney and Alyssa Beckerman from the U.S. and Yvonne Tousek and Michelle Conway from Canada. In addition to those five, Jeanette Antolin, Doni Thompson and Onnie Willis were once members of the U.S. National Team. Many of the Bruin gymnasts have World Championships experience, as Tousek competed at the 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1999 Worlds, Thompson competed in 1995, and Antolin, Dantzscher, Maloney and Conway competed in 1999. Beckerman made the World Championships team in 1999 but could not compete due to injury.

Number Crunching - On floor, Onnie Willis has hit 31 of 32 routines throughout her career for an average of 9.88 ...Doni Thompson has hit 39 of 41 (95%) uneven bar routines in her career, including all 11 this year, for a career average of 9.829 ...Yvonne Tousek has averaged a 9.86 on her last 11 beam routines, dating back to last season ... Kristin Parker has hit 22 consecutive vaults for an average of 9.865 ... In addition to her mastery on floor, Jamie Dantzscher has also scored big on bars, recording a 9.975 or better in eight of 10 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 41 (63.4%). She is well ahead of the pace of Mohini Bhardwaj's school-record total of 29 victories in 2000. Dantzscher also has 32 Top 3 finishes (78%). Onnie Willis ranks second in the individual victories department with seven. Alyssa Beckerman leads the team with four beam victories.

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.

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.

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.

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.

UPDATED BIOGRAPHIES -

Jeanette Antolin - Rejoined the Bruin squad on Feb. 13 and competed on vault at Cal on Feb. 17 ... Scored a 9.7 to place second in that meet ... Won her first competition of the season at Washington on Mar. 1, scoring a career-high 9.95 on vault ... Also competed on bars at Washington, recording a 9.775 ...Equaled her career-high on vault with a 9.95 at the UCLA Invitational ...Scored a 9.9 to tie for second at Alabama ...Season average on vault is 9.84 ...Averaging a 9.93 in her last three meets. Season Bests: V - 9.95, UB - 9.775.

Alyssa Beckerman - UCLA's anchor on balance beam averages 9.803, including 9.883 in her last six meets ...Recorded a career-best of 9.95 to place first against Oregon State on Feb. 23 ...Unexpectedly made her season debut at Georgia on Jan. 13 and produced a 9.85 ...Leads the team with four individual victories on beam and six Top 3 placements ... Made her Bruin debut on floor on Feb. 10 against Stanford and earned a 9.875 ...Has twice scored career-bests of 9.9 on floor and has scored no lower than 9.875 ... Averages 9.883 with three Top 3 finishes.Season Bests: BB - 9.95, FX - 9.9.

Michelle Conway - Has competed mostly on vault and floor for the Bruins ...Earned season-bests of 9.825 three times on vault ... Averages 9.613 ...Season-high on floor is 9.8, set at Georgia on Jan. 13 ...Averages 9.732 on floor ...On beam, scored a career-high 9.9 to tie for first at Cal on Feb. 17 ...Season-high on bars is 9.675, also at Cal ... Competed once in all-around action. Season Bests: V - 9.825, UB - 9.675, BB - 9.9, FX - 9.8, AA - 37.325.

Jamie Dantzscher - Owns a national record seven consecutive perfect 10s on floor ...Holds an RQS of 10.0 on floor to rank first nationally ... She is the first gymnast since Kim Arnold and Leah Brown on vault in 1997 to hold an RQS of 10.0 on any event ...Overall average on floor is 9.936 ...Also ranked No. 1 in the nation on bars with an RQS of 9.975 ...Has scored 9.975 on better in eight of 10 meets this year, including a perfect 10 on Mar. 3 at the UCLA Invitational ...Owns eight bars victories and nine Top 3 finishes this season ...Ranked second in the nation on vault (9.945) ... Scored perfect 10s at Georgia on Jan. 13 and at the UCLA Invitational ...Leads the Bruins with six vault victories ...Has emerged as one of UCLA's top beam workers, posting two career-best scores of 9.9 and averaging 9.767 ... Picked up her first season victory on beam at Washington on Mar. 1, scoring 9.875 ... Scored a career-high 39.9 in the all-around Mar. 3, the fourth-highest score in NCAA history ... Earned 10.0s on vault, bars and floor and a 9.9 on beam in that meet to become only the third gymnast ever to score three 10s in a single meet (joining Georgia's Karin Lichey in 1996 and former Bruin Mohini Bhardwaj in 2001) ...In her last three all-around competitions, she has scored 39.725 (Feb. 10), 39.8 (Feb. 23) and 39.9 (Mar. 3) ... Twice named the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week (Jan. 22, Feb. 10) ... Has earned UCLABruins.com Student-Athlete of the Week honors three times. Season Bests: V - 10.0, UB - 10.0, BB - 9.9, FX - 10.0, AA - 39.9.

Natasha Desai - Has seen action in three meets, competing on vault and bars at Fullerton on Jan. 18 and on vault at Arizona and Cal. Season Bests: V - 9.225, UB - 9.175.

Lindsey Dong - Competed just once this season on vault, battling through a foot injury to vault on Feb. 10 against Stanford. Season Bests: V - 9.35.

Christy Erickson - Has competed on floor five times ... Hit her first routine of the year at Fullerton on Jan. 18, scoring a career-high 9.6 ... Just two days later, came back to score a 9.575 in her first counting routine in Pauley Pavilion ...Improved upon her career-high with a 9.675 performance at Washington on Mar. 1 ... Competed on vault for the first time at Fullerton, scoring a 9.325. Season Bests: V - 9.325, FX - 9.675.

Malia Jones - Has competed in the all-around in five of UCLA's last six meets with a season-best of 39.325 set at Washington on Mar. 1 ...Sat out the season's first three meets with an ankle injury suffered during warm-ups in the season opener ...Returned to the all-around lineup on Feb. 10 ... Averaging 9.846 on floor with a season-best of 9.9 ...Has scored 9.825 or better on beam in five meets with two first-place finishes ... Tied her career-high with a 9.875 in her first beam performance of the year at Arizona and equaled that score two other times before setting a new best with a 9.925 to tie for first at the UCLA Invite ...Placed first on bars against Arizona State on Jan. 20 with a 9.85 ...Season-best on vault is 9.825. Season Bests: V - 9.825, UB - 9.875, BB - 9.925, FX - 9.9, AA - 39.325.

Kristen Maloney - Has not competed this season due to off-season surgery on her leg.

Kristin Parker - Returned to all-around competition on Mar. 16 at Alabama after recuperating from assorted injuries suffered in January ... Scored a season-best 39.425 to place second at Alabama ...Also recorded season-bests on bars (9.85) and floor (9.875) ...Injured her neck while dismounting the uneven bars during warm-ups at Arizona then injured an ankle a week and a half later ... Did not return to competition until vaulting on Feb. 23 against Oregon State ... Scored a 9.85 in her first meet back and has scored 9.85 in her last four meets ...Recorded her season-best of 9.925 in the season opener ...With Parker in the lineup, UCLA has scored 49+ on vault seven of eight times ... Has hit 22 consecutive vaults ... Season-high on beam is 9.875, set Jan. 18 at Fullerton ...Placed first on beam two days later against Arizona State. Season Bests: V - 9.925, UB - 9.85, BB - 9.875, FX - 9.875, AA - 39.425.

Carly Raab - Out for the season due to an ACL injury.

Christie Tedmon - Broke four metatarsals on her left foot while dismounting the balance beam in her first collegiate routine at the Super Six Challenge on Jan. 11 ...Has not returned to competition. Season Bests: BB - 8.9.

Doni Thompson - Ranked ninth in the nation on the uneven bars with an RQS of 9.915 ...Has scored 9.9 or better five times, with a career-high of 9.975 set at Cal on Feb. 17 ...Has three victories on bars this year ... Leadoff performer on beam has scored 9.7 or better seven times with a season-high of 9.825 set Feb. 23 against Oregon State and Mar. 3 at the UCLA Invite. Season Bests: UB - 9.975, BB - 9.825.

Yvonne Tousek - Ranked fifth on bars, 10th in the all-around, 16th on floor and 20th on beam ...Set a new career-high in the all-around with a 39.725 at the UCLA Invite ...Twice tied her career-high on floor with 9.95s at Fullerton and at the UCLA Invite ...Tied her career-high on beam with a 9.95 at Georgia ...Has hit her last 11 beam routines ...Owns three individual victories on beam ...Defending NCAA bars champion has recorded 9.9 or better six times on bars, including three 9.95s ...Has twice scored season-bests of 9.9 on vault.Season Bests: V - 9.9, UB - 9.95, BB - 9.95, FX - 9.95, AA - 39.725.

Valerie Velasco - After being scheduled to be the alternate on all four events in the season opener, she ended up competing in the all-around at the Super Six Challenge ... Also competed all-around at Arizona on Jan. 25, scoring a 38.5 ...Competed nine times on bars with an average of 9.736 ...Set her career-high at Cal with a 9.825 ... Saw action on floor six times with a season-best of 9.8 on floor at Washington ...Scored 9.75 or better four times ...Tied her career-high on beam with a 9.85 at Arizona ...Season-high on vault was 9.475. Season Bests: V- 9.475, UB - 9.825, BB - 9.85, FX - 9.8, AA - 38.5.

Jamie Williams - Had the meet of her career on Feb. 17 at Cal, hitting three-for-three routines for career-highs (vault - 9.525, beam - 9.8, floor - 9.825) ...Earned her first career Top 3 finish by placing third on beam in that meet ...Came in on floor for an injured teammate in front of a hometown crowd against Arizona on Jan. 25 and scored a 9.775 ... Earned a 9.8 on floor at Washington. Season Bests: V - 9.525, BB - 9.8, FX - 9.825.

Onnie Willis - Has posted six scores of 39+ in the all-around, including a season-high 39.65 at Georgia ...Recorded two perfect 10s (vault and floor) on Mar. 3 at the UCLA Invite ...Ranked eight nationally on vault and 11th in the all-around ...Has scored 9.9 or greater on five consecutive vaults ... Averages 9.908 on vault ...Has scored season-bests of 9.9 on bars three times ...Earned a career-high 9.925 on beam at Georgia ...Scored 9.9 or greater in six straight floor routines. Season Bests: V - 10.0, UB - 9.9, BB - 9.925, FX - 10.0, AA - 39.65.

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