Bruin Gymnasts Earn National Season-Best 197.85 To Defeat Florida
March 6, 2005
Los Angeles, CA - Competing for the last time at Pauley Pavilion this season, the fourth-ranked UCLA gymnastics team tumbled its way to a national season-best team score of 197.85 in a dual meet victory over Florida in front of a season-best crowd of 5,088. The Gators scored 196.65, its highest road score of the season. On senior day, UCLA's Kristen Maloney made the most out of her final home performance, scoring a perfect 10 on bars and tying with freshman teammate Tasha Schwikert for first place in the all-around with a career-high 39.825. Maloney became the first UCLA gymnast ever to score a perfect 10 on all four events (vault, bars, beam and floor) in her career.
The Bruins started strong on vault, scoring 49.375. Senior Christie Tedmon earned a 9.775, and sophomore Ashley Peckett scored a 9.825. Jordan Schwikert followed with a career-high 9.9, and Tasha Schwikert stuck her Yurchenko full but just missed out on a perfect 10, scoring a 9.975. Maloney concluded the rotation with a 9.9. Florida, meanwhile, hit all six uneven bar routines and scored a 49.025. The Gators were led by Orley Szmuch, Ashley Reed and Samantha Lutz, who all scored 9.825s.
Florida cut into UCLA's lead in the second rotation, earning a season-high 49.475 on vault. Freshman Tiffany Murry earned a 9.95, and freshman Ashley Reed and sophomore Savannah Evans each contributed a 9.9. The Bruins recorded a 49.325 on uneven bars, led by Maloney's first-ever 10.0 on that event. The senior made history with that perfect routine, earning a 10 on every event in her illustrious UCLA career (Vault - 2004, Bars - 2005, Beam - 2001, Floor - 2001). Jordan Schwikert followed Maloney with a 9.9, Lindsey Vanden Eykel contributed a 9.775, and Tasha Schwikert received a 9.925.
Up by just two-tenths of a point heading into the third rotation (98.7-98.5), the Bruins pulled away with a huge score on balance beam - 49.575 (sixth-best score in school history). Tedmon led off with a season-high 9.85 to set her teammates up for big marks. Vanden Eykel also scored a 9.85 to set a new career-high. Jordan Schwikert earned a 9.825. Kate Richardson, competing with her thumb heavily taped due to a functional rupture of the ulnar collateral ligament, revamped her routine to ease the stress on her hand, and yet still scored a season-high 9.975. Tasha Schwikert followed with a 9.925, and Maloney also earned a season-high 9.975. Florida scored 48.975 on floor and was led by Evans' 9.875.
On floor exercise in the final rotation, the Bruins picked up where they left off on balance beam, scoring another 49.575. Tedmon led off with a 9.825, Peckett followed with a 9.8, and Jordan Schwikert tied her career-best with a 9.875. Richardson added a 9.925 with full difficulty, and Tasha Schwikert brought the house down with her second perfect 10 on floor this season. Maloney nearly received another 10.0, earning a perfect mark from one judge but a 9.9 from the other for a final total of 9.95. The senior's last routine at home ended with a perfect triple twist, a first for her in competition as a collegiate athlete. Florida on beam scored a 49.175 and finished the meet hitting all 24 routines on the afternoon.
Maloney and Tasha Schwikert, who are ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively, in nation in the all-around, both earned career-high marks of 39.825, the highest score in the nation this year and the fifth-highest in school history. Jordan Schwikert recorded a season-best 39.5 to place third. Tasha Schwikert won vault and floor, and Maloney won bars and tied with Richardson on beam.