UCLA Gymnasts Place 2nd at NCAA Prelminaries, Tasha Schwikert Wins All-Around
April 21, 2005
AUBURN, Ala. - The second-ranked and second-seeded UCLA gymnastics team placed second in the evening preliminary session of the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships at Auburn University's Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum on Thursday. UCLA totaled a 197.025 to qualify for the NCAA Super Six Team Finals, along with first-place Georgia (197.35) and third-place Alabama(197.0). The Bruins qualified for the Super Six Team Finals for the 13th consecutive year and have qualified for every Super Six since its inception in 1993.
In addition, Bruin freshman Tasha Schwikert (Las Vegas, NV) won the all-around with a score of 39.725. Senior Kristen Maloney was second with a 39.625. Schwikert becomes the first freshman to win the all-around since her 2000 Olympic teammate Elise Ray of Michigan, who accomplished that feat in 2001. Her all-around total of 39.725 is the highest winning total since Kim Arnold of Georgia recorded the same score in 1998.
The Bruins started the meet on the uneven bars, earning a 49.15, good for second place behind Georgia (49.35). Ashley Peckett led the rotation off with a solid 9.8. Courtney Walker had a bit of a form break on her overshoot to handstand and followed with a 9.675. Kristen Maloney had a long pause on her stoop to high bar and scored a 9.825. Jordan Schwikert added a 9.85, Lindsey Vanden Eykel a 9.725 and Tasha Schwikert nailed her routine for a 9.95.
On balance beam in the next rotation, the Bruins continued to score high marks, earning a 49.325. After two falls from leadoff competitor Christie Tedmon, who was competing on a torn meniscus, Vanden Eykel righted the ship with a 9.7. Both Schwikerts nailed their routines, with Jordan scoring a 9.85 and Tasha a 9.9. Kate Richardson's routine was graceful and effortless and warranted a 9.925. Maloney closed with a near-perfect 9.95 to bring UCLA's two-event total to 98.475, good for a second-place tie with Alabama at the halfway mark.
Down by 0.25 to Georgia, the Bruins moved to the floor exercise in rotation four. Leadoff queen Peckett had another strong routine, earning a 9.8. Walker earned a 9.65, followed by J. Schwikert's 9.85. Richardson hit another stellar routine, scoring 9.9. T. Schwikert and Maloney hit back-to-back 9.95s to give the Bruins a floor total of 49.45 and a three-event score of 147.925, just .025 behind first-place Georgia and six-tenths ahead of third-place Iowa State.
Going into vault in their final rotation, the Bruins earned 49.1 to put them in second place with a final team total of 197.025. Peckett started off with a 9.8 with her clean Yurchenko arabian, taking a step back. Kisha Auld was short on her Tsukahara full and scored 9.55. J. Schwikert got good height but hopped forward on her Yurchenko full and scored a 9.675. Richardson got good distance on her Yurchenko full but hopped back, scoring 9.8. T. Schwikert nailed her Yurchenko full for a 9.925, clinching the all-around title. Maloney also stuck her Yurchenko full and scored a 9.9
Team - Session One (Top 3 advance to Super Six Team Finals): 1. Utah, 196.850; 2. Michigan, 196.575; 3. Nebraska, 195.875; 4. LSU, 195.800; 5. Penn State, 194.975; 6. Oklahoma, 194.425
Team - Session Two (Top 3 advance to Super Six Team Finals): 1. Georgia, 197.35; 2. UCLA, 197.025; 3. Alabama, 197.000; 4. Florida, 196.225; 5. Iowa State, 195.975; 6. BYU, 194.625.