UCLA To Celebrate 10-Year Anniversary Of First NCAA Women's Gymnastics Title
Sept. 5, 2006
UCLA Gymnastics will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its first NCAA title on Mar. 4, 2007 when the Bruins host Georgia in the home finale at 2 pm in Pauley Pavilion. Members of the 1997 squad will be in attendance and honored during the meet.
The Bruins won the first of their five NCAA titles on Apr. 18, 1997, at the University of Florida. Members of UCLA's first championship squad were Lena Degteva, Anne Dixon, Susie Erickson, Andrea Fong, Kiralee Hayashi, Lisa Hiley, Leah Homma, Deborah Mink, Heidi Moneymaker, Luisa Portocarrero, Karin Silvestri, Amy Smith, Carmen Tausend and Stella Umeh.
UCLA entered the 1997 NCAA Championships as the No. 2 seed and advanced to the Super Six Team Finals after finishing second behind Georgia in the preliminary session. In the Team Finals, the Bruins took advantage of balance beam miscues by Georgia in the first rotation, leaping ahead of the favored Gym Dogs after scoring a solid 49.2 on beam. The Bruins improved their position with strong performances on floor exercise and vault and headed into the last rotation tied with Michigan and needing a 49.25 to surpass Arizona State, who ended on a bye. Uneven bars scores of 9.825 from Mink, 9.85 from Hayashi, 9.875 from Degteva, 9.925 from Umeh, a meet-clinching 9.925 from Moneymaker and a punctuating 9.95 from Homma gave UCLA an event total of 49.525 and a final score of 197.15, three-tenths better than the second-place Sun Devils. The UCLA win was the first by any school outside of Utah, Georgia and Alabama.