Defending NCAA Champion Bruins Open 2004 Season Jan. 10
Jan. 5, 2004
UCLA Hosts Utah Saturday - Pre-season No. 1 UCLA will host No. 4 Utah in the 2004 season opener for both teams on Saturday, Jan. 10 at 6 pm in Pauley Pavilion. UCLA and Utah are two of the most successful teams in NCAA Gymnastics history, having won a combined 13 NCAA Championships amongst them. The Bruins have won four championships (1997, 2000, 2001, 2003), while the Utes have won nine (1982-86, 1990, 1992, 1994-95). Team posters will be given out at the entrance gates, and a pre-meet performance by LA School of Gymnastics is scheduled.
Live Scoring - Live scoring and play-by-play commentary for the UCLA-Utah meet will be found at www.uclabruins.com.
About The Bruins - Defending NCAA champion UCLA is coached by four-time national coach of the year Valorie Kondos Field. The Bruins return five All-Americans in four-time NCAA champion and 2000 Olympian Jamie Dantzscher (2002 all-around, vault and floor; 2003 bars), two-time NCAA champion and 2000 Olympian Kate Richardson (2003 bars and beam), 2001 NCAA bars champion and two-time Olympian Yvonne Tousek, 2003 Team MVP and 1999 World Championships competitor Jeanette Antolin and former U.S. Olympian Kristen Maloney.
A Look At The Utes - Utah is coached by Greg Marsden, who returns four All-Americans from last year's squad that placed sixth at the NCAA Championships. Amongst the All-Americans returning are Melissa Vituj and Annabeth Eberle. Former U.S. National Team members Nicolle Ford and Rachel Tidd lead a strong freshman class. Tidd was a team bronze medalist at the 2001 World Championships.
Last Time Against Utah - UCLA snapped Utah's all-time national-best home court winning streak last season, 197.225-196.750. The Bruin win ended Utah's streak at 170 meets over 23 years. Jamie Dantzscher won the all-around with a 39.775 and claimed first place on vault (9.975, tied with Jeanette Antolin), bars (9.95) and floor (9.975). Assistant coach Chris Waller stepped into head coaching duty after head coach Valorie Kondos Field suffered a back injury that did not allow her to travel.
Dantzscher Limited To Uneven Bars - An ankle injury will limit senior superstar Jamie Dantzscher to just one event this season. The four-time NCAA champion will compete only on the uneven bars, an event on which she has scored six perfect 10s and averaged a national-best 9.954 a year ago. Dantzscher is the defending NCAA co-champion on this event, sharing the title with teammate Kate Richardson.
Maloney Returns After Two-Year Absence - Senior Kristen Maloney, who has not competed since the 2001 NCAA Championships due to a leg injury, is back to competition form and will be a key competitor for the Bruins in 2004. Maloney was a first-team All-American on beam as a freshman and became the first UCLA gymnast ever to score a perfect 10 on that event.
Bruins Ranked No. 1 In Pre-Season - After winning their third NCAA Championship in the last four years, the Bruins were voted the nation's pre-season No. 1 in the coaches' poll. It is the fourth consecutive year UCLA has been voted pre-season No. 1. The Bruins will face 11 of the Top 25 teams this season, including three of the Top 5 (No. 2 Georgia, No. 4 Utah and No. 5 Michigan).
UCLA Hosts 2004 NCAA Championships - UCLA will host the 2004 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships on Apr. 15-17 in Pauley Pavilion. Team preliminaries begin on Thursday, Apr. 15 with an afternoon and evening session. The top three teams from each preliminary session advance to Friday's Super Six Team Finals, and the individual event finals take place on Saturday, Apr. 17. Tickets for the Championships are on sale now at the UCLA Central Ticket Office by calling 310-UCLA-WIN or visiting the ticket office website at www.tickets.ucla.edu.