Willis, Richardson, Kondos Field Awarded Conference Honors
March 31, 2003
Walnut Creek, CA - UCLA earned at least a share of all three Pac-10 Conference Gymnastics Awards, with senior Onnie Willis winning the Gymnast of the Year Award, Kate Richardson winning the Freshman of the Year Award and Valorie Kondos Field sharing Co-Coach of the Year honors with California's Cari DuBois.
Willis, a 12-time All-American from Tacoma, WA, has had a wonderful senior season. She is ranked No. 2 in the region and No. 6 in the nation in the all-around with an RQS of 39.600. She is also ranked in the Top 10 regionally in all four events, including No. 3 on vault (9.935 RQS), No. 3 on bars (9.920 RQS), No. 6 on beam (9.910 RQS) and No. 4 on floor (9.925 RQS). Twice this season she has earned a career-high all-around score of 39.800. Willis has hit all 41 routines she has competed in this season with 26 scores of 9.900 or higher. Earlier in the season, she was named the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week for January 19-25. Willis becomes the 12th Bruin in school history and the seventh consecutive to be honored as Gymnast of the Year.
Richardson, the standout freshman from Coquitlam, BC quickly made an impact for the No. 1 Bruins this season. She is ranked No. 3 in the nation in the all-around with an RQS of 39.640. She is also ranked in the Top 25 on all four events, including No. 1 on beam with an RQS of 9.970. At the Conference championships, she stole the show by winning the floor exercise (10.000) and all-around (39.825) and placing second on vault (9.975) and balance beam (9.95). Richardson is the first Bruin ever to score multiple 10's on the balance beam (she has scored two 10s on beam, and two on floor). She also earned Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week for January 26-February 2. Richardson becomes the second Bruin in school history to be honored as Freshman of the Year.
Kondos Field has led her Bruin team to a No. 1 ranking in in all but one week of the season. The Bruins finished 19-2-1 and captured their fourth Conference championship in the last five years and 11th overall. This season, UCLA tied the all-time national-best team score of 198.575 and scored over 198 an unprecedented five times. Kondos Field earns this award for the third time in her career and the fifth time in school history.
DuBois managed to achieve the second-largest turnaround in the program's history, leading the 2003 Bears to a 12-5 regular season finish, after last year's 5-9 mark. Under her tutelage, several individuals achieved personal best scores, while eight of the squad's 11 gymnasts recorded Top 5 all-time marks in their respective events. As a team, the Bears achieved their place in history, recording the Top 4 highest team scores of all-time in the all-around, capped off by a 196.800 in an upset victory over Pac-10 rival Arizona (3/7). DuBois becomes the second coach in school history to earn Co-Coach of the Year honors.
The Conference awards are voted on by the Pacific-10 head coaches.
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