This Week in Women's Gymnastics...
WALNUT CREEK.-- UCLA sophomore Jamie Dantzscher has been named Gymnast of the Year. Arizona's Katie Johnson and Stanford's Mandy Delgado have been named Co-Freshman Gymnast of the Year while Arizona's Bill Ryden has been named Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.
Dantzscher, the 2000 U.S Olympian and two-time All-American from San Dimas, Calif., has had a phenomenal sophomore season. At the Pac-10 Championships, Dantzscher successfully defended her Pac-10 floor title with a top score of 9.95. Nationally, Dantzscher is ranked No. 1 on both the floor and uneven bars, while tied for No. 2 on the vault. She currently owns a national record of seven consecutive perfect 10s on the floor and she is only the third gymnast in NCAA history to record a perfect-10 as her RQS (regional qualifying score). Dantzscher has been named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week on two separate occasions this year.
Johnson, the standout freshman from Moorhead, Minn., quickly made an impact for the Wildcats. In only her fourth meet as a collegiate gymnast, Johnson's captured a 9.975 on the floor exercise -- the second-highest all-time mark in Wildcat history. For her efforts, Johnson was named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week on Jan. 29. Ranked No. 4 in the nation on the floor, she placed third on the floor with score of 9.925 at the Pac-10 Championships. Johnson becomes the first Wildcat to be honored as Freshman of the Year in school history.
Delgado, the Cupertino, Calif., native and 2000 Junior Olympic Vault Champion has become one of Stanford's leading scorers on the vault and floor exercise. At the Pac-10 Championships, Delgado was Stanford's second-highest scorer on vault and third-highest on the floor. Her marks of 9.825s were good for 19th place on both events.
After missing a berth in the 2001 NCAA Championships by a mere 0.100 points, Arizona head coach Bill Ryden was more determined than ever to return the Wildcats to national prominence. So far, success has been achieved. In his fourth year at helm, Ryden has led the Wildcats, who finished 9-22 in 2001, to a 15-7 regular season finish and a No. 12 national ranking in 2002. The Wildcats also improved at the Pac-10 Championships where Ryden led his team to a school-record 197.050 points, matching their best Pac-10 finish in Wildcat history (second place). Nationally, Arizona gymnasts claim eight spots in the national event rankings. Ryden's Wildcats prepare for their 16th-consecutive postseason appearance. They have earned a berth at the 2002 NCAA Regional Championships (South Central Regional-Arizona State).
The Conference awards are voted on by the Pacific-10 head coaches.