Bruins At Fullerton For 'Beauty And The Beast' Meet

Jan. 30, 2006

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UCLA At Cal State Fullerton Friday - UCLA will travel south to face Cal State Fullerton on Friday, Feb. 3 in a 'Beauty and the Beast' meet with the Cal State Fullerton and Menlo College wrestling teams. The meet takes place at Titan Gym at 7 pm, with the gymnastics and wrestling meets occurring simultaneously.

Tickets - Tickets can be purchased by calling the Cal State Fullerton ticket office (714-278-CSUF). General admission tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for youth and seniors. Group tickets (15 or more) are also available for pre-sale purchase for $3.50 each.

Live Coverage - Live scoring will be available at uclabruins.com.

In The Rankings - With a season average of 194.575, UCLA is tied for 10th in this week's national rankings. The Bruins are ranked 10th on vault (48.95), eighth on bars (48.769), sixth on beam (48.575) and 21st on floor (48.281). Individually, senior Kate Richardson ranks 13th in the all-around (39.087), 12th on bars (9.862) and tied for 14th on vault (9.85). Freshman Ariana Berlin is tied for 23rd in the all-around (38.925), and freshmen Melissa Chan and Kristina Comforte are tied for 18th on beam (9.794).

Scouting The Titans - Cal State Fullerton is currently ranked 41st nationally with a season average of 190.408. The Titans are coached by first-year head coach Richard Gishi, who was a former assistant coach for the Titans. Brittany Hoffman is the Titans' leading all-around with an average of 38.212. UCLA leads the all-time regular-season series between the teams, 41-25, and won two regular season meetings in 2005, in a quad home meet on Jan. 23 and in a road dual meet on Feb. 11, 191.4-189.825.

Bruins Coming Off Season-Best Meets - UCLA is coming off a pair of season-best team performances two weeks ago. In the first of two weekend meets, UCLA defeated Washington in Seattle on Jan. 20, 194.6-190.65. The Bruins recorded a season-high team score and saw each gymnast record season-best marks. Senior Kate Richardson won the all-around for the third consecutive meet, recording a season-best 39.3. Freshman Ariana Berlin had a career meet in her first all-around competition since 2001, placing second with a 38.9 and earning career-highs on bars (9.675), beam (9.725) and floor (9.775, tied for second place). Jalynne Dantzscher earned career-best marks on both events on which she competed (bars, 9.65) and floor (9.75), and Janelle Dantzscher had a career-best on floor with a 9.775. Melissa Chan earned career-highs on vault (9.85) and bars (9.775), and Kristina Comforte scored UCLA's top vault mark with a career-high 9.875. Junior Ashley Peckett had season-high marks on vault (9.85) and bars (9.8), and sophomore Jordan Schwikert made her season debut on vault and beam.

The Bruins upped the performance level on Jan. 22 against Oregon State at home, scoring 196.075 to defeat the Beavers, which scored 195.4. Chan won the all-around with a career-best 39.375, followed by Comforte's career-high 39.35. Berlin also recorded another career-best in the all-around with a 38.95. Chan also earned career-highs on bars (9.8), beam (9.85) and floor (9.9), while Comforte set a new career-best mark on beam with a 9.9 and on bars with a 9.875. The Bruins recorded team season-bests on vault (49.25), bars (49.1) and floor (49.0).

Freshmen Jumping Right Into Competition - The seven-member Bruin freshman class has had a quick introduction to collegiate gymnastics. In the Bruins' first four meets, the freshmen have accounted for 69 of the team's 96 routines (72%). Five freshmen were in the lineup on both beam and floor in UCLA's last competition against Oregon State. Melissa Chan and Kristina Comforte have competed in the all-around in all four meets, and Ariana Berlin has gone all-around in UCLA's last two meets. Chan and Comforte went 1-2 in the all-around against the Beavers, scoring career-best marks of 39.375 and 39.35, respectively. Berlin has been one of UCLA's steadiest gymnasts, hitting all 12 of her routines this season and averaging 38.925 in the all-around. Jalynne Dantzscher has been a regular on bars, beam and floor, with high marks of 9.65 on bars and beam and 9.75 on floor. Janelle Dantzscher has competed in all four meets on beam and floor, recording bests of 9.775 on both events. She also competed once on vault, scoring 9.625. Maranda Smith averaged 9.725 on floor in two meets before sitting out the last two due to injury.

Berlin Honored As UCLA Athlete of the Week - After a pair of career-best all-around performances, freshman Ariana Berlin was selected the UCLA/MET-Rx Student-Athlete of the Week for Jan. 17-22. At Washington, Berlin placed second with a score of 38.9 in her first all-around competition since a serious car accident forced her retirement from the sport in 2001. She also recorded career-high marks on bars (9.675, fifth-place), beam (9.725, tied for fourth-place) and floor (9.775, tied for second-place). All of her marks came in the leadoff position, where she set her teammates up for high marks with her strong routines. Against Oregon State, Berlin improved upon her all-around high by scoring a 38.95. She led off the competition with a career-best 9.8 on vault, set another career-high with a 9.75 on bars and tied her career-high on floor with a 9.775.

Jordan Schwikert Returns To Action - Sophomore All-American Jordan Schwikert returned to competition at Washington on Jan. 20 after being sidelined since November due to arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Tasha Schwikert, who had the same surgery in December, remains out but is progressing well with her rehab. Jordan competed on vault and beam.

Richardson Recovered From Fractured Tibia - Bionic woman Kate Richardson has fully recovered from a fractured tibia suffered in September. The senior co-captain has won the all-around in all three of UCLA's four meets this season. In the season opener in Hawaii, she won the all-around (38.75), vault (9.85) and floor (9.8). Against Utah, she nearly swept the competition, winning the all-around (39.275), vault (9.9), bars (9.95) and beam (9.95). At Washington, she won the all-around with a season-best 39.3 and also claimed first place honors on beam (9.9) and floor (9.8). She won vault and tied for first on bars and floor against Oregon State. Returning quickly from injury is nothing new for Richardson. Last season, she missed just two meets after suffering a functional rupture of the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb on Feb. 18. In 2002, she won the Commonwealth Games just a few months after undergoing back surgery.

Peckett Shows Great Consistency - Junior Ashley Peckett has been UCLA's most consistent gymnast so far this season, hitting all of her routines in four meets. She holds the Bruins' second-best averages on both vault (9.788) and on bars (9.769), with season-highs of 9.875 on vault and 9.8 on bars. Peckett has hit 41 consecutive routines dating back to last season.

Sister Sister - Last season, Tasha and Jordan Schwikert became the first pair of sisters to compete concurrently for UCLA's gymnastics team. This season, the sisters are joined by another pair of sisters, Jalynne and Janelle Dantzscher, who are the first set of twins to compete for the Bruins. The name Dantzscher should be a familiar one to Bruin fans. The twins' older sister Jamie Dantzscher competed for UCLA from 2001-04 and won three NCAA team (2001, 2003, 2004) and four NCAA individual titles (2002 all-around, vault, floor; 2003 bars).

Standouts In Classroom - The Bruins had large success in the classroom in the fall, with 10 team members making the Director's Honor Roll (3.0 or better) for fall quarter. Freshman Janelle Dantzscher topped all gymnasts with a 4.0 GPA. Jalynne Dantzscher, Ashley Peckett, Michelle Selesky and Courtney Walker each recorded GPAs of 3.5 or higher. Also making the Director's Honor Roll were Kristina Comforte, Kate Richardson, Tasha Schwikert, Jordan Schwikert and Lindsey Vanden Eykel.

Early Graduates - Three members of the UCLA squad graduated from high school early to join the Bruins. Jalynne and Janelle Dantzscher took extra community college courses last year so that they could graduate a year early from San Dimas HS. Maranda Smith graduated a half-year early in December and just joined the Bruin team on Dec. 27. She began classes at UCLA in January for the start of winter quarter.

Looking Ahead - The Bruins will compete twice next week, first travelling up north to Berkeley for a dual meet against Cal on Feb. 10 at 7:30 pm. UCLA will then host Washington on Feb. 12 at 2 pm in the John Wooden Challenge, honoring academic and athletic excellence.

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