UCLA Places Third At NCAA Championships
April 19, 2002
Tuscaloosa, Ala. - UCLA's reign as NCAA champions ended after a third-place showing at the NCAA Championships at the University of Alabama's Coleman Coliseum Friday night. UCLA totaled a 197.1 to place third behind champion Alabama (197.575) and second-place Georgia (197.25). Alabama's title is its fourth overall and third won in Coleman Coliseum.
The Bruins began the meet on the uneven bars with a solid 49.375 to take an early lead over Georgia (49.25), Utah (49.125) and Nebraska (48.75). Onnie Willis and Doni Thompson posted a pair of 9.875s, and Yvonne Tousek and Jamie Dantzscher led the team with 9.9s.
UCLA moved to beam in rotation two as host team Alabama began on the floor exercise. With a raucous crowd cheering the home team at a high decibel level, the first five Bruins hit well-executed routines. Thompson led off with a 9.75 and was followed by Dantzscher's 9.825, Malia Jones' 9.875, Willis' 9.85 and Tousek's 9.85. With a beam total of 49.15, UCLA took a two-event lead over Utah, 98.525-98.3.
With UCLA on a bye in rotation three, Alabama took possession of first place with a 98.75 after starting with a 49.425 on floor and a 49.325 on vault, and Georgia moved into second with a 98.575. The Bruins were third, followed by Utah. Nebraska and Stanford moved into a tie for fifth with a 97.925.
The Bruins maintained status quo on floor exercise, totaling a 49.3. Dantzscher's 9.95 led the team, which also counted a 9.875 from Willis, a 9.85 from Parker, a 9.825 from Tousek and a 9.8 from Beckerman. Georgia increased its lead slightly over UCLA, 147.95-147.825, while Utah ranked third with a 147.6.
UCLA finished on vault with a 49.325 for a final team total of 197.15 and waited as Alabama and Georgia finished up in the final rotation on beam and floor, respectively. The Crimson Tide and Georgia needed a 48.975 and 49.225, respectively, to pass the Bruins, and did so to place the Bruins in third.
'I was very pleased with our performance,' said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. 'We did what we intended to do, and that's step it up from last night. We had the extra flair, polish and stuck landings. I couldn't be more proud of them. I felt we competed well enough to win the national championship.'
The Bruins will have an opportunity to win a few more individual titles Saturday night during the event finals at 7:00 pm CT.
Final Team Standings - Super Six Team Finals
1. Alabama, 197.575, 2. Georgia, 197.25, 3. UCLA, 197.15, 4. Utah, 196.95, 5. Nebraska, 196.425, 6. Stanford, 196.025.