Top-Ranked Bruins Host UCLA Invitational

March 10, 2003

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This Week - The top-ranked UCLA women's gymnastics team (11-1-1) will host No. 14 Oklahoma, North Carolina and Rhode Island in the 26th Annual UCLA Invitational on Sunday, Mar. 16 in Pauley Pavilion at 2:00 pm.

Live On The Web -Live scoring for Sunday's meet will be provided on the UCLA web site, www.uclabruins.com. Scores will be updated after each rotation.

Pre-Meet Tailgate - Bruin fans are encouraged to attend the pre-meet tailgate, which is sponsored by the Bruin 10.0 Club, UCLA Gymnastics' official support group. The social is free and takes place three hours prior to every home meet outside of Pauley Pavilion. The tailgate is a chance for fans to enjoy food, fun and other activities with other Bruin supporters.

Senior Send-Off - UCLA's Fab Five senior class will be honored in pre-meet ceremonies during their final regular season home meet. The Bruin seniors - Malia Jones (Sparks, NV), Kristin Parker (Hanford, CA), Carly Raab (Seattle, WA), Doni Thompson (Olympia, WA) and Onnie Willis (Tacoma, WA) - have been instrumental in UCLA's success the last four years. The group has won two NCAA championships (2000, 2001), two Pac-10 Championships (2000, 2002) and three NCAA regional championships (2000-02). Between them, they have 19 All-America honors.

Jones was a 2001 second-team All-American on beam and has shined in 2003, earning career-bests of 9.95 on both beam and floor.

Parker has earned All-America honors three times and was the 2001 NCAA West Regional vault co-champion. She is one of UCLA's school record-holders on floor, earning a perfect 10 in 2001. Parker has earned NACGC Scholastic All-America honors three times and is a two-time first-team Pac-10 All-Academic selection.

Although injury-retired, Raab has remained on the team as an undergraduate assistant coach. She was a team co-captain in 2001 and 202 and a three-time Scholastic All-American.

Thompson has not competed this season due to various injuries, but had a breakthrough season in 2002, earning runner-up status at the NCAA Championships on the uneven bars and capturing a share of the Pac-10 bars title. She has earned All-America honors three times in her career.

Willis made history in 2001 when she became UCLA's first-ever NCAA all-around champion. The 12-time All-American and two-time Scholastic All-American won the Pac-10 all-around and bars titles in 2002 and has scored six perfect 10s in her career.

UCLA Invitational History - The Bruins have won the UCLA Invitational 11 years in a row and 16 times overall. Cal State Fullerton was the first champion in 1977, and UCLA claimed its first title in 1984. Seventeen all-around winners have been Bruin gymnasts, including the last six consecutive. Jamie Dantzscher won the title last year with a career-high 39.9. In last year's meet, the Bruins scored a then-school record team total of 198.35 and earned five perfect 10s.

About The Opponents - Oklahoma (8-6 entering the week) is coming off a school record total of 197.525 in its last meet on Mar. 7. Allison Landis scored the first perfect 10 on bars in school history, and senior Patricia Aoki earned her first career 10.0 on the floor exercise. The Sooners are coached by former U.S. Olympic coach Steve Nunno.

North Carolina (19-2 entering the week) is led by junior Anna Wilson and Courtney Bumpers, who have each scored perfect 10s on the floor exercise this year. The Tar Heels set a school record this season for team score with a 196.775, and Bumpers set a school all-around record with a 39.6.

Rhode Island (6-12 entering the week) has posted a season-best score of 192.875. The Rams are more than familiar to UCLA assistant coach Milo Johnson, who was an assistant coach at Rhode Island from 1999-2001. Sunday's competition will be UCLA's first against North Carolina and Rhode Island and only the third against Oklahoma, which owns a 2-0 record against the Bruins.

There's No Place Like Home - Pauley Pavilion has been good to the Bruins the past few seasons, as UCLA has posted a 33-0 record in the legendary arena since 2000 and a 39-1 record since 1999. UCLA's last home loss came in 1999 to Georgia.

UCLA In The Rankings - For the third consecutive week, the Bruins are ranked No. 1 across the board in the team rankings. Rankings are now based on Regional Qualifying Score (RQS), which takes the team's top six scores, six of which must be away, throwing out the high and averaging the remaining five. The Bruins hold national-best regional qualifying scores of 197.98 overall, 49.525 on vault, 49.495 on bars, 49.575 on beam and 49.54 on floor.

Individually, freshman Kate Richardson (39.615) and senior Onnie Willis (39.600) are ranked No. 2 and 3, respectively, in the all-around rankings. Five Bruins are ranked in the Top 25 on vault - Jeanette Antolin is No. 1, Willis No. 4, Jamie Dantzscher No. 6, Richardson No. 18 and Kristin Parker No. 21. On bars, two Bruins are in the Top 10 - Dantzscher at No. 1, Willis at No. 10. On beam, Richardson is No. 1, followed by No. 6 Yvonne Tousek, No. 11 Willis and No. 16 Antolin. And on floor, Dantzscher is No. 1, Willis No. 10 and Richardson No. 16.

Bruins Down Michigan On The Road - Behind the strength of five all-around gymnasts, the Bruins defeated 10th-ranked Michigan, 197.25-196.775 in Ann Arbor. The Bruins swept the Top 3 all-around standings, with Jamie Dantzscher and Kate Richardson tying for first (39.525) and Jeanette Antolin placing third (39.5). The Bruins won every event, scoring 49.375 on bars, 49.175 on vault and 49.35s on floor and beam.

Win Streaks Continue For Three Bruins - Juniors Jeanette Antolin and Jamie Dantzscher and freshman Kate Richardson kept their winning streaks alive at Michigan, earning first place finishes on vault, floor and beam, respectively. With a score of 9.925, Antolin earned her eighth vault win of the year, her third consecutive and sixth in the last seven meets. Dantzscher is undefeated on floor this year, winning seven times in as many meets and 18 consecutive times dating back to last season. The last time Dantzscher did not place first on floor was on Jan. 13, 2002 at Georgia. Richardson recorded a winning mark of 9.95 on beam for her ninth win on that event. She has won eight in a row and nine times in 10 meets competed.

Beckerman Out With Knee Injury - Junior All-American Alyssa Beckerman is out 4-6 weeks with a dislocated knee. Beckerman sustained the injury on the floor exercise during her second tumbling pass in the Mar. 7 meet at Michigan.

UCLA Boasts Nations' Top Scores - In addition to team total, UCLA also has the distinction of scoring the top marks in the nation this year on vault (49.7 on Feb. 9 and Feb. 16) and floor (49.725 on Feb. 2). Individually, Onnie Willis' 39.8 score (earned twice this year) in the all-around is tied as the nation's top score.

Bruins Are Beaming - UCLA has been a force on the balance beam in 2003, averaging a national-best 49.366. The Bruins have won several meets this year on the balance beam in the final rotation, most recently at Michigan on Mar. 7. With UCLA up by .425 after three rotations, UCLA needed to hit beam in order to win the meet, and the Bruins did just that. Four Bruins scored 9.85 or higher, leading to a team score of 49.35 to Michigan's 49.3 on floor. At Arizona State on Feb. 16, the Bruins were clinging to a one-tenth of a point (148.675-148.575) lead with the Sun Devils moving to the floor exercise. UCLA needed just about all of the school record 49.725 it earned on beam to secure the victory. The Bruins dropped a 9.875 as its lowest score and counted a 9.9 from Alyssa Beckerman, a 9.925 in the leadoff position from Malia Jones, a pair of 9.95s from Onnie Willis and Yvonne Tousek and a 10 from Kate Richardson. Earlier in the year, the Bruins erased a .525 deficit at Cal State Fullerton and won by a .2 margin after scoring a 49.375 on beam. The Bruins are no strangers to closing out big victories on the balance beam. UCLA won its last two NCAA titles in 2000 and 2001 with killer performances in the final rotation on balance beam.

Vaulting To No. 1 - UCLA also has the nation's highest average on vault and has twice posted the nation's highest score this year, a 49.7. Five Bruins are ranked in the Top 25 in the nation on vault, including top-ranked Jeanette Antolin and defending NCAA vault champion Jamie Dantzscher. The Bruins have scored 49.175 or better in all but one meet this year.

Models Of Consistency - NCAA all-around champions Jamie Dantzscher (2002) and Onnie Willis (2001) have displayed this season the consistent effort that helped them capture their respective championships. The two Bruins have hit all of their routines this season. Dantzscher is 28-28 with no score lower than 9.775 and 23 scores of 9.9 or higher. Willis is 37-37 and has hit 23 9.9 or higher routines. In addition, Dantzscher has hit 25 consecutive routines on bars and has scored 9.95 or higher on 19 straight floor routines. Kristin Parker has hit 37 straight vaults, and Yvonne Tousek has hit 24 consecutive beam routines.

Perfect Bruins - The Bruins have scored a school-record 16 perfect 10s this season. Jamie Dantzscher leads the pack with nine - two on vault, three on bars and four on floor. Dantzscher needs just one more 10 this year to tie her school record of 10 perfect 10s in a season, set last year. Freshman Kate Richardson has three 10.0s - two on beam and one on floor. Richardson is the first Bruin ever to score multiple 10s on the balance beam. Jeanette Antolin has earned two perfect 10s on vault in her last three meets. Also scoring perfect 10s this year are Onnie Willis on floor and Yvonne Tousek on bars.

All-Arounders All-Around - UCLA has no shortage of all-around gymnasts this season. Eight Bruins have competed all-around so far - Jamie Dantzscher, Onnie Willis, Kate Richardson, Kristin Parker, Yvonne Tousek, Jeanette Antolin, Malia Jones and Christie Tedmon. Six of the eight have scored above 39.4 - Willis (high of 39.8), Dantzscher (39.775), Richardson (39.75), Antolin (39.65), Tousek (39.525) and Parker (39.45).

Bruins Become First Four-Time 198 Team - UCLA has reached the 198 plateau an unprecedented four times this season and has tied Georgia for the all-time NCAA record with six scores of 198+ in the program's history. The Bruins have reached 198 three times in the last five meets. UCLA's 198 scores this year came on Jan. 19 at the Bruin Classic (198.275), on Feb. 2 against Arkansas (198.175) , on Feb. 9 against Washington (198.575) and on Feb. 23 at Arizona State (198.4).

Leaders Of The Pac - UCLA is tops in the rankings amongst the seven Pac-10 schools, no small feat considering the Pac-10 Conference has all seven teams ranked in the Top 25. Four teams are in the Top 10 - No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Arizona State, No. 6 Stanford and No. 10 Oregon State. Washington ranks 12th, followed by California in 17th and Arizona in 18th.

Bruins To Host Upcoming Championships - Pauley Pavilion will play host to two big championship events in the next 14 months, as UCLA will host the 2003 Pac-10 Championships on Mar. 29 and the 2004 NCAA Championships on Apr. 15-17, 2004. Tickets for the 2003 Pac-10 Championships are on sale now at the UCLA Central Ticket Office (310/UCLA-WIN). Reserved seats are selling quickly.

UCLA Signs Three For 2004 - UCLA has signed three standouts to national letters of intent in the early signing period. Joining the Bruins in 2004 will be reigning Canadian balance beam champion Ashley Peckett (Mississauga, Ontario), international elite Aimee Walker (Valley Village, CA) and Level 10 standout Courtney Walker (Santa Monica, CA).

Head Coach Valorie Kondos Field - In her 13th season as head coach of the Bruins, Valorie Kondos Field has positioned her team as the premier program in collegiate gymnastics. In the past seven years alone, Kondos Field has led UCLA to three NCAA titles and one runner-up finish, six Regional titles and four Pac-10 Championships. She has been voted the national coach of the year by her peers four times in the past seven years.

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