Gymnasts Host Florida In Final Home Meet of 2005

Feb. 28, 2005

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UCLA Hosts Florida In Home Finale - The fourth-ranked UCLA Bruins (10-3) will host sixth-ranked Florida (10-2) in the final home meet of the season on Sunday, Mar. 6 at 2 pm.

Senior Salute - UCLA will honor its senior class, who will be competing for the last time in Pauley Pavilion. Kristen Maloney, Christie Tedmon and Kisha Auld will be honored in pre-meet ceremonies.

Maloney will go down in history as one of the most courageous and determined gymnasts in the sport. She fought hard to return to gymnastics after multiple leg surgeries kept her sidelined for two seasons. As a freshman, she competed through major pain in her shin to help UCLA win the 2001 NCAA Championship. She sat out 2002 to heal her leg and was sidelined again in 2003 after developing a bone infection. A year after not knowing if she would ever compete again, Maloney nonetheless returned in 2004 and finished the season as an All-American in the all-around, vault, bars and beam, the Pac-10 co-champion on beam and a vital member of the 2004 NCAA Championship squad. In her final competitive season this year, the two-time U.S. national all-around champion and 2000 Olympian has been the standout performer in collegiate gymnastics, ranking No. 1 in the all-around for the last six weeks. Maloney has scored 9.9 or higher on 21 of 34 routines competed and 9.8 or higher on 32 of 34 routines.

Tedmon also fought back from an injury that sidelined her for a year. She had an inauspicious beginning to her UCLA career, breaking bones in her foot on her very first routine as a Bruin in the 2002 season opener. She returned in 2003 to compete in five meets and was key to UCLA's 2004 NCAA Championship run, contributing a 9.85 on beam and 9.7 on vault towards the Bruins' record-setting NCAA Championship total. As a senior, Tedmon has been a regular in UCLA's lineup on vault, beam and floor and has earned career-bests this season on vault and floor. Tedmon is a standout in the classroom, earning NACGC Scholastic All-America honors three seasons and Academic All-Pac-10 acclaim two seasons.

Auld came to UCLA as a walk-on in 2004 and competed in four meets as a vault specialist despite having not competed in gymnastics for five years prior to joining the team. A former Level 8 competitor, Auld learned and competed one of the most difficult vaults done in collegiate gymnastics, a Tsukahara layout full, on which she has scored a career-best 9.875. This season, she has competed in five of UCLA's last six meets and has averaged 9.635.

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.

Former Bruins Faehn, Lane Return To Pauley Pavilion - Appropriately on a day in which UCLA will honor its alumnae, former UCLA All-American Rhonda Faehn and former Bruin assistant coach Randy Lane return to Westwood as coaches of the Florida Gators. Head coach Faehn is in her third year as head coach of the Gators. She competed for UCLA from 1990-92 and earned All-America honors in the all-around and balance beam as a junior. Lane was an assistant at UCLA from 1998-2001 and also from 1992-94. He helped lead UCLA to NCAA team titles in 2000 and 2001. In 2000, he earned National Assistant Coach of the Year honors by the NACGC/W.

Collectible Items Available At Meet - The final Bruin Cub in the Cub Club Series will be available for purchase for $7.50 at Sunday's meet. Also available at Sunday's meet is a UCLA Gymnastics meet program/poster, distributed free to the first 500 people in attendance. This week's program features a poster commemorating UCLA's 13 NCAA individual champions.

Richardson Could Return On Beam Sunday - Junior All-American and two-time Olympian Kate Richardson could return to competition this weekend after sitting out last weekend's meet against Georgia and Arizona. Richardson suffered a functional rupture of the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb during warmups at Stanford on Feb. 18. Despite the injury, she competed in that meet and won all three events on which she performed - vault, beam and floor. She could possibly compete on beam this weekend against Florida and hopes to add vault and floor exercise back in as the season progresses. She will not return to the uneven bars lineup until next year.

UCLA In The Rankings: Maloney, Schwikert 1-2 In All-Around - The Bruins are ranked No. 4 in the national rankings, which are based on regional qualifying score (RQS). UCLA currently holds an RQS of 196.465. RQS is totaled by taking the team's top six scores, three of which must be away, throwing out the high score and averaging the remaining five.

UCLA is ranked in the Top 7 on all events - No. 1 on vault (49.295 RQS) and bars (49.240), No. 4 on floor (49.225) and No. 7 on beam (48.920). Senior Kristen Maloney and freshman Tasha Schwikert are 1-2 in the all-around. Maloney leads the nation for the sixth-straight week, holding an RQS of 39.560, with a national season-best 39.75 earned last month. Schwikert is right behind with a 39.505. Junior Kate Richardson ranks 14th (39.215). Maloney remains ranked No. 1 on balance beam with an RQS of 9.915. She is also ranked No. 4 on vault (9.915) and bars (9.895) and No. 8 on floor (9.895). Schwikert also ranks in the Top 12 on all four events - No. 2 on bars (9.910) and floor (9.915), No. 8 on vault (9.9) and No. 12 on beam (9.865). Richardson holds a Top 20 ranking on three events, checking in at No. 3 on beam (9.9), No. 7 on vault (9.9) and No. 16 on floor (9.88). Jordan Schwikert ranks 25th on bars (9.830).

A Look At The Gators - Florida boasts a roster stocked with seven returning All-Americans, the most amongst any schools this season. Amongst the returning All-Americans are sophomore Chantelle Tousek, the younger sister of former UCLA All-American and NCAA champion Yvonne Tousek (2001-04), and sophomore Breanne King, who is tied with UCLA's Kate Richardson for 14th in the all-around in this week's national rankings. The Gators have a meet at Utah on Friday against the Utes, Stanford and California.

Bruins Place Second In Tri-Meet - A low-scoring beam rotation proved to be the difference as UCLA placed second with a score of 196.1 in a triangular meet with Georgia (1st place, 196.5) and Arizona (third place, 193.625). The Bruins led Georgia by 0.6 after two rotations but fell to second place by 0.35 after scoring a 48.375 on beam in the third rotation. UCLA had five solid routines with no major breaks, but the first three routines only merited scores of 9.5, 9.675 and 9.625. Only one routine scored above 9.75 (Kristen Maloney's 9.825). The Bruins rebounded to score 49.175 on floor exercise in the final rotation, led by Tasha Schwikert's 9.95, but it was not enough to catch Georgia, which scored 49.225 on bars. Maloney and Schwikert tied for first in the all-around with scores of 39.55.

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