UCLA Gymnasts Earn 197.3 In Season-Opening Loss To Utah

Jan. 7, 2005

Salt Lake City, UT - In both teams' season opener at the Huntsman Center, No. 5 Utah defeated No. 1 UCLA 197.675-197.3 in front of an announced crowd of 10,064. The Bruins outscored the Utes on vault (49.5-49.45) and beam (49.375-49.275) and tied on bars with a team total of 49.35.

UCLA received outstanding contributions from its freshmen, with Tasha Schwikert earning the team's top all-around score with 39.575 and Jordan Schwikert scoring a 39.4. Lindsey Vanden Eykel recorded a 9.925 on bars to tie with Tasha Schwikert for the Bruins' top mark on that event. Kristen Maloney tied for first on vault with a 9.95 and totaled a 39.525 in the all-around to place fourth.

Utah took the early lead after rotation one, scoring a 49.45 on vault to UCLA's 49.35 on bars. The Utes had three scores of 9.9 or higher, including a meet-high tying 9.95 from Rachel Tidd. UCLA countered with back-to-back 9.925s from freshmen Tasha Schwikert and Vanden Eykel to close the rotation.

The Bruins took over the lead after rotation two, 98.85-98.8 after totaling a 49.5 on vault. Ashley Peckett led off with a 9.85, which was followed by a career-high 9.85 from Christie Tedmon. Jordan Schwikert added a 9.875, and Maloney (9.95), Tasha Schwikert (9.9) and Kate Richardson (9.925) closed with three-straight scores of 9.9 or higher.

Utah regained the lead in rotation three, scoring 49.275 on beam while the Bruins scored 49.075 on floor. Richardson led the way for UCLA on floor with a 9.875. Jordan Schwikert and Maloney totaled 9.825s, and Tasha Schwikert was well on her way to a huge score when she stepped out of bounds on her final pass, a double pike, and scored a 9.8.

The Utes solidified the win with a 49.6 on floor, despite UCLA's 49.375 on beam. Tasha Schwikert and Richardson led the way with 9.95s, and Jordan Schwikert recorded a 9.9.

'It was great to see our freshmen compete so well,' said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. 'I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought they would be a bit wobbly because they wanted it so bad, but they did a great job.'

'It's always a test competing against a strong team like Utah, especially for our freshmen,' Maloney added. 'But they handled it well, and we competed well tonight. I'm just happy I'm healthy and competing.'

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