Gymnastics Team Defeats Washington In John Wooden Challenge, 195.55-193.2
Feb. 12, 2006
Los Angeles, Calif. - Freshman Ariana Berlin won her first all-around title, scoring a career-high 39.2 to help the Bruins defeat Washington in the John Wooden Challenge in Pauley Pavilion, 195.550-193.200. In addition, four other UCLA team members took home individual event titles, with Jordan Schwikert and Kristina Comforte tying for first on vault, Kate Richardson winning bars, Melissa Chan winning beam and Schwikert winning floor.
The Bruins were competing for the second time in three days but showed no signs of fatigue early in the competition, setting season-bests on both vault and floor. On vault, Ashley Peckett started the meet by nailing her Yurchenko layout half for a 9.8. Berlin followed with a 9.825. Schwikert hit a high Yurchenko layout full for a season-high tying 9.9, and Chan earned a 9.825. Richardson fought hard to stick her vault but flailed her arms to do so and scored a 9.825. Comforte finished with a 9.9 to give the Bruins a season-high vault total of 49.275. Paced by Kelly McDonald's 9.825, Washington scored 48.15 on bars.
On bars, Jalynne Dantzscher and Berlin led off with a pair of 9.75s. Peckett drilled her double layout dismount and scored a season-high 9.9. Chan recorded a career-high with a 9.825. Comforte had just a slight over-arch on a handstand, the only obvious flaw in a career-high tying 9.9 routine. Richardson closed the set with a meet-best 9.925 to bring the Bruins' bars total to a season-high 49.3. Washington scored 48.75 on vault, led by Ashley Houghting's meet-high tying 9.9.
UCLA's momentum slowed in the final two rotations. The Bruins lost some of their 1.5 point lead in rotation three after suffering three falls and totaling a season-low 48.0 on beam. Berlin had a fantastic leadoff routine, scoring a career-high 9.775. Last-minute substitute Jalynne Dantzscher scored a 9.55, but the Bruins had three falls in between until Chan righted the ship with a career-high and meet-best 9.925.
UCLA ran into a few out-of-bounds problems on floor and scored 48.975. Leadoff performer Jalynne Dantzscher nailed a perfect Arabian double front in her opening tumbling pass and tied her career-best with a 9.85. Janelle Dantzscher, a late substitute for Chan, who injured her calf during the three-minute touch, earned a 9.6 after stepping out of bounds on her final tumbling pass. Berlin wowed the crowd with a career-high 9.85. Schwikert was nearly flawless, scoring a career-high 9.9 to win the event. Comforte went out of bounds on her last tumbling pass but managed a 9.775.
Comforte joined Berlin on the all-around podium, placing second with a 38.9. Washington's Chelsea Bakken was third with a 38.55.
The Bruins (12-1) will next face top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Georgia in Athens, Ga. On Friday, Feb. 17 before returning home to host Arizona State, Cal State Fullerton and UC Davis on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 2 pm.