UCLA Uses Last Rotation Rally To Edge Cal State Fullerton, 194.1-193.9

Jan. 17, 2003

Fullerton, CA - The top-ranked UCLA gymnastics team came from behind in the final rotation to defeat Cal State Fullerton, 194.1-193.9 in the closest margin of victory ever in the all-time series. The Bruins trailed after three events, 145.25-144.725 but scored a 49.375 on the balance beam to overtake the Titans in the final rotation.

With the Bruins in the unfamiliar role of playing catch-up, senior Kristin Parker led off the beam set with an impressive routine that scored a season-best 9.9. Junior Jamie Williams was equally impressive, setting a new career-high with a 9.85. Freshman Holly Murdock competed for the first time this season and hit her routine for a 9.775, and Christie Tedmon contributed a 9.675 on her season debut. Veterans Alyssa Beckerman and Jeanette Antolin closed out the set with scores of 9.95 and 9.9, respectively. Fullerton, meanwhile, posted a respectable 48.65 on floor, led by Kelly Mathiasen's 9.9, but it was not enough to eclipse the Bruins' comeback effort.

'To be able to go onto balance beam after having so many falls on floor and not fall apart was just amazing,' said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. 'I would say almost all of them did the best job they could do on beam.'

'I think there were so many great things, and I was so impressed with their poise,' Kondos concluded.

Several Bruins made their season debuts on their respective events at this meet. Tedmon competed for the first time since her season-ending injury at the 2002 season opener, and her first routine of the season netted a 9.625 on the uneven bars. Also on the uneven bars, Antolin recorded UCLA's top score, a 9.875, and Parker successfully debuted a new skill, a Pak Salto, en route to a 9.775 score. The Bruins led after one rotation, 48.7-48.3.

UCLA moved to vault, where its first three competitors - Tedmon, Trishna Patel and Malia Jones - were performing for the first time this season. Tedmon led off with a 9.65 on a Yurchenko layout (start value of 9.8), and Patel and Jones followed with a pair of 9.7s on the same vault, Patel's being a career-best mark. Antolin again had UCLA's top score, a 9.95 on a stuck Yurchenko full. The Bruins recorded a team total of 48.9 to Fullerton's 48.425 on the uneven bars.

The Bruins lost the lead, however, on the floor exercise, counting three falls and posting a high score of just 9.75 by Beckerman. Jones, competing on floor for the first time this season, recorded a 9.725. Cal State Fullerton took over the lead with a 48.425 on beam, while the Bruins scored just 47.125.

UCLA will resume competition on Sunday, Jan. 19 in the home opener at 2:00 pm in Pauley Pavilion against Cal State Fullerton, California and UC Davis.

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