UCLA Finishes Second at Pac-10 Gymnastics Championships

March 25, 2006

Corvallis, OR - Tenth-ranked UCLA had its best meet of the year, scoring a season-high 196.8 to place second at the Pac-10 Championships. Stanford won its fourth conference title, edging the Bruins with a 197.1. Kate Richardson and Jordan Schwikert placed second and third, respectively, in the all-around.

Ariana Berlin started things off for UCLA on floor exercise in rotation one. Her high-energy breakdance routine merited a 9.75. Jalynne Dantzscher followed with a 9.55 after stepping out of bounds on her Arabian double front opening tumbling pass and landing a tad short on her double pike last pass. Tasha Schwikert returned to action on floor for the first time this year and hit a great double pike to open and a double full to close but fell on her middle pass and scored 9.275. Jordan Schwikert followed her sister with a well-executed routine, scoring 9.825. Comforte hit her routine for a 9.8, and Kate Richardson closed the set with a 9.9, hitting a clean double layout opening pass and a double pike to end. The Bruins totaled 48.825 in the rotation to take an early lead over second-place California and Arizona (48.3).

With UCLA on a bye in rotation two, Stanford jumped ahead with a 49.225 vault rotation. Oregon State also moved ahead of the Bruins with a 49.175 on floor. Beaver freshman Tasha Smith scored a career-high tying 9.95 to claim the floor title, Oregon State's eighth all-time on the event.

The Bruins competed on vault in the third rotation, trying to chip away at the lead. Berlin got good height and power on her Yurchenko full but took a large hop back and scored 9.725. Ashley Peckett got great distance on a Yurchenko Arabian and earned a 9.825. Comforte hit a huge Yurchenko full with a tiny hop back and scored 9.875. Jordan Schwikert stuck her Yurchenko full with authority, touching off a wild celebration and meriting a 9.9. Richardson had just a tiny hop back on her Yurchenko full and scored 9.875. Tasha Schwikert was successful on her first vault of the season, scoring 9.85 on a Yurchenko full to give the Bruins a season-high vault score of 49.325.

With a two-event score of 98.15, the Bruins went to a bye with a 1.425 lead over second-place Arizona but returned trailing Oregon State by .25 after the Beavers earned a 49.225 on vault and Stanford by .175 after the Cardinal scored 49.1 on bars. The Beavers' Smith earned a meet-high 9.925 on vault to claim her second title of the night, and Stanford sophomore Liz Tricase earned a meet-winning 9.925 on bars to lead their respective teams.

On uneven bars, Peckett led off with a solid 9.775 routine, punctuated by a stuck double layout dismount. Jalynne Dantzscher followed with a 9.75. Berlin also stuck her dismount, a full-twisting double back, and earned a 9.825. Jordan Schwikert scored a season-high 9.9 after hitting perfect handstands, with her only error being a step back on her double pike dismount. Richardson and Comforte closed the rotation with a 9.825 and 9.8, respectively, bringing the Bruins' bars total to 49.125 and their three-event total to 147.275. Stanford, meanwhile, increased its lead over the Bruins with a 49.5 on beam. Tabitha Yim led the Cardinal with a meet-winning 9.975.

Needing a big score to stay in the game, the Bruins responded with a season-high 49.525 in the final rotation. Berlin led off on beam with a career-high 9.85. Jordan Schwikert came through in the clutch after a fall, scoring a 9.875. Richardson was near-perfect, scoring a 9.95 and earning a 10 from one judge. Comforte followed with another excellent routine, earning a 9.9. Melissa Chan returned to the beam lineup for the first time in over a month and earned a career-high 9.95 to give UCLA a total of 49.525, the Bruins' best on any event this year, and a final score of 196.8, UCLA's highest of the year.

With UCLA sitting out the seventh rotation, Stanford needed to score 49.0 on floor to outpoint the Bruins and came through with a 49.275. Yim clinched the team and all-around win with a score of 9.925. Yim's all-around score was 39.6, just ahead of Richardson (39.55) and Jordan Schwikert (career-high tying 39.5).

Richardson was voted by the conference coaches as Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year, continuing a 10-year streak of a Bruin winning the award. Berlin earned Pac-10 co-Freshman of the Year acclaim, along with Oregon State's Jami Lanz. Stanford head coach Kristen Smyth and Arizona State head coach John Spini were selected the co-Coaches of the Year.

Team
1. Stanford, 197.1; 2. UCLA, 196.8; 3. Oregon State, 196.4; 4. Arizona State, 193.9; 5. Arizona, 193.75; 6. Washington, 192.75; 7. California, 192.725.

All-Around
1. Tabitha Yim (Stanford), 39.65; 2. Kate Richardson (UCLA), 39.55; 3. Jordan Schwikert (UCLA), 39.5; Also: 5. Kristina Comforte (UCLA), 39.375; 8. Ariana Berlin (UCLA), 39.15.

Vault
1. Tasha Smith (OSU), 9.925; 2t. Jordan Schwikert (UCLA), Liz Tricase (Stanford), 9.9; Also: 4t. Kristina Comforte (UCLA), Kate Richardson (UCLA), 9.875; 8t. Tasha Schwikert (UCLA), 9.85; 13t. Ashley Peckett (UCLA), 9.825; 25t. Ariana Berlin (UCLA), 9.725.

Bars
1. Liz Tricase (Stanford), 9.95; 2t. Jordan Schwikert (UCLA), Chrissy Lamun (OSU), 9.925. Also: 7t. Ariana Berlin (UCLA), Kate Richardson (UCLA), 9.825; 10t. Kristina Comforte (UCLA), 9.8; 14t. Ashley Peckett (UCLA), 9.775; 17t. Jalynne Dantzscher (UCLA), 9.75.

Beam
1. Tabitha Yim (Stanford), 9.975; 2t. Kate Richardson (UCLA), Melissa Chan (UCLA), Natalie Foley (Stanford), Ashley Kelly (ASU), 9.95; Also: 6t. Kristina Comforte (UCLA), 9.9; 8t. Jordan Schwikert (UCLA), 9.875; 11t. Ariana Berlin (UCLA), 9.85; 39. Tasha Schwikert (UCLA), 9.275.

Floor
1. Tasha Smith (OSU), 9.95; 2. Tabitha Yim (Stanford), 9.925; 3t. Kate Richardson (UCLA), 9.9; Also: 9t. Jordan Schwikert (UCLA), 9.825; 11t. Kristina Comforte (UCLA), 9.8; 17t. Ariana Berlin (UCLA), 9.75; 31t. Jalynne Dantzscher (UCLA), 9.55; 39. Tasha Schwikert (UCLA), 9.275.

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