UCLA Gymnasts Travel To Oregon State Jan. 14, Host Nebraska Jan. 17

Jan. 10, 2005

Bruins Return For Home Opener Jan. 17 - The UCLA gymnastics team will compete in Pauley Pavilion for the first time since its 2004 triumph at the NCAA Championships. The second-ranked Bruins will host 14th-ranked Nebraska on Monday, Jan. 17 at 2 pm. The 2004 NCAA Championship banner will be unveiled in pre-meet festivities, and the current Bruin squad will be signing autographs after the meet. In addition, 2004 U.S. Olympic team captain and former Bruin All-American Mohini Bhardwaj will make a special appearance. There will also be pre- and post-meet entertainment by world-renowned dance team Culture Shock.

Follow The Action Live - Live streaming video and live scoring will be available on the UCLA webpage, www.uclabruins.com. To access the video, you must have a high-speed connection and subscribe to the College Sports Pass, which costs $6.95 per month on $49.95 for the year. All five of UCLA's home meets will have live streaming video.

Join The 'Cub Club' - At each home meet, a different Bruin Cub will be a collectible Bruin Cub. There will be a different bear for sale at each meet. The first bear in the Cub Club Series will be available for purchase for $7.50 at the Monday, Jan. 17 meet against Nebraska. The best part - everyone who purchases a Cub will receive an email update from a different Bruin gymnast each week.

UCLA at Oregon State Jan. 14 - Before UCLA's home opener, however, the Bruins must first travel to Corvallis, OR to take on No. 8 Oregon State. The meet will take place on Friday, Jan. 14 at 7 pm in Gill Coliseum. The Beavers are coached by former UCLA All-American Tanya (Service) Chaplin. Associate head coach Mike Chaplin was also an All-American at UCLA and teamed with Bruin assistant coach Chris Waller to help UCLA win the 1987 NCAA Championship.

Bruins Score 197.3 In Season Opener - UCLA opened the 2005 season by scoring a 197.3 at Utah. It was the second-highest season-opening score in UCLA history but not enough to catch Utah, which scored 197.675. The Bruin freshmen turned in veteran-like performances, with Tasha Schwikert earning UCLA's highest all-around score with a 39.575. Jordan Schwikert was spectacular as well, scoring 39.4 with a 9.9 on beam. Lindsey Vanden Eykel tied for second on bars with a near-flawless routine that scored 9.925. The Bruin veterans gave outstanding performances as well, with senior Kristen Maloney scoring a 39.525 in the all-around and tying for first on vault with a 9.95. Junior Kate Richardson scored 39.475 in the all-around and tied for first with Tasha Schwikert on beam with a 9.95. Senior Christie Tedmon earned a career-high on vault with a 9.85.

In The Rankings - UCLA is ranked No. 2 in the national rankings this week, which are based on highest score. The Bruins' 197.3 is higher than all teams except Utah, which scored 197.675 to beat the Bruins on Friday night. UCLA ranks No. 1 on vault (49.5), bars (tied with Utah with a 49.35) and beam (49.375) and eighth on floor (49.075). Individually, the Bruins have four ranked in the Top 8 in the all-around - No. 4 Tasha Schwikert (39.575), No. 5 Kristen Maloney (39.525), No. 6 Kate Richardson (39.475) and No. 8 Jordan Schwikert (39.4). All six Bruin vaulters are ranked in the Top 25 for that event - No. 1 Maloney (9.95), No. 3 Richardson (9.925), No. 5 T. Schwikert (9.9), No. 13 J. Schwikert (9.875) and No. 22 Christie Tedmon and Ashley Peckett (9.85). Four Bruins are ranked on bars - No. 3 Lindsey Vanden Eykel and T. Schwikert (9.925), No. 7 Maloney (9.875) and No. 23 Lori Winn (9.825). On beam, four UCLA gymnasts occupy the Top 9 spots, led by No. 1 Richardson and T. Schwikert (9.95), No. 6 J. Schwikert (9.9) and No. 9 Maloney (9.875).

About The Bruins - UCLA is coached by four-time national coach of the year Valorie Kondos Field. The Bruins return two All-Americans from last year's championship squad, both Olympians - 2000 U.S. Olympian and five-time All-American Kristen Maloney and two-time Canadian Olympian and eight-time All-American Kate Richardson. Adding to UCLA's Olympian pool is freshman Tasha Schwikert, Maloney's 2000 teammate and an alternate at the 2004 Games. Other notable returners for UCLA are Ashley Peckett, Lori Winn and Christie Tedmon, all key contributors to the Bruins' championship run last season. Sophomores Michelle Selesky and Courtney Walker should also see significant action in 2005. Joining Schwikert in the freshman class is her younger sister Jordan, a former two-time U.S. National Team member, and Lindsey Vanden Eykel, a former two-time U.S. National uneven bars champion. The freshmen will be expected to fill the big shoes left by departed All-Americans Jeanette Antolin, Jamie Dantzscher and Yvonne Tousek.

A Look At Oregon State - The Beavers won their season opener in a quad meet at Cal State Fullerton, scoring 195.2. The Beavers are led by 2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Chelsea Plourde and 2003 Pac-10 floor champion Chrissy Lamun. Junior Angela Morales ranks fourth nationally on floor and fifth on vault, and Heather Justus is fourth on floor and 13th on vault.

Last Time Against The Beavers - Last season in Pauley Pavilion, the Bruins tied the all-time national scoring record, earning a team total of 198.875 to Oregon State's 197.175. UCLA set school records on the uneven bars with a 49.825 and on the floor exercise with a 49.875. Four 10s were scored in the meet - Jeanette Antolin on vault and floor, Kate Richardson on floor and Jamie Dantzscher on bars. UCLA also won the matchup with Oregon State at the Pac-10 Championships, placing second to Oregon State's third.

A Look At Nebraska - The Huskers scored 194.2 in a season-opening loss to Michigan (195.9) on Friday. Sophomore Kristi Esposito won the all-around, however, scoring 39.075. Senior Richelle Simpson is back after redshirting last season due to injury. Simpson won the all-around and floor at the 2003 NCAA Championships and was a member of Canada's 2003 World Championships squad. UCLA is 8-5 in regular season meets against Nebraska.

Richardson Returns After Olympic Success - Junior Kate Richardson made history this summer when she became the first UCLA female gymnast to compete in the Olympics as a collegiate athlete. Richardson earned a spot on the Canadian Olympic team for the second-straight Games and qualified for the all-around finals after a 14th-place preliminary finish. She also became the first Canadian woman ever to qualify for event finals on floor exercise at the Olympic Games and only the second Canadian woman to make any event final at the Olympics. She finished seventh on floor.

Sister Act - Freshmen Tasha and Jordan Schwikert are the first pair of sisters to compete concurrently for UCLA's gymnastics team. Tasha, 20, deferred enrollment in college to train towards an Olympic berth. Jordan, 18, just graduated in the spring from Centennial HS in Las Vegas, NV. The two sisters trained together at Gym Cats and were both U.S. National Team members. Tasha was a member of the 2000 Olympic squad and captain of the 2003 World Championship gold medal-winning team. She has won six U.S. National titles in her career and was an alternate for the 2004 Olympic Games. Jordan was a rising star who made the National Team from 2001-02, but a back injury kept her out of gymnastics in 2003, and she returned in 2004 as a Level 10 champion. Both Schwikerts competed in the all-around for the Bruins at Utah, with Tasha scoring 39.575 and Jordan scoring 39.4.

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