UCLA Gymnastics Pre-Meet Press Conference Quotes

April 25, 2007

Salt Lake City, UT - UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field and junior Tasha Schwikert met with the media on the eve of the NCAA Gymnastics Championships.

Press Conference Quotes
courtesy UtahUtes.com

UCLA Head Coach Valorie Kondos Field

Q: 'Did you approach regionals any differently this year after missing the NCAA Championship a year ago, and do you have a new appreciation for the difficulty in qualifying for this event?'
A: 'We did not approach regionals any differently than last year. We, as in coaches, all say that it is the toughest meet of the year, because if you don't win you don't get to go to the big dance. I have to say that I am so excited to be coming back to the national championships. It is something that I think having been there all those years it is something that I took for granted. I really believe that every coach and athlete that has come here should be very thankful and feel that sense of gratitude and appreciation. As Coach Breaux mentioned, the parity here is wonderful, and that is what we have been striving for the last two decades. You look at the field here with these 12 teams, and they are great, and there are another six teams behind them that could have made this field. It is anybody's ballgame, which is exciting for our sport nationally. I've been here in the sport for 25 years, and as far as our team, I don't remember a team that has been as coachable, which is extremely fun for us but also a little scary because they are always looking up to us coaches. They will do whatever you ask them and they carry a refuse to lose attitude. They just always find a way to dig deep and always seem to find a way to win, which should help us tomorrow and Friday.'

UCLA junior Tasha Schwikert

Q: 'You missed most of last season following shoulder surgery and didn't have the opportunity to defend your NCAA all-around title from 2005. How do you feel about being considered one of the all-around favorites again?'
A: 'It is just amazing to be back. Like Coach said, you take it for granted when you go to UCLA. You expect to go to the national championship. It is great to be back. We have an awesome team. We definitely have a lot of heart. We are just ready to get out there and compete our hearts out on Thursday night, definitely not save anything for Friday because no one here is a shoo-in for the Super Six. And as for as for me individually, it was definitely hard for me to be out last year with the shoulder injury. However, I am ready this year and excited to be here. I really feel I am ready to reclaim the title if I hit and do well.'

Q: 'Can you talk about your floor routine, and how it's come along in the last couple weeks of the season?'
A: 'I'm feeling great right now with my floor routine. It's been an ongoing thing over the year with Achilles issues with me. I did have a workout where I re-aggravated it and couldn't compete the next week. I could have gone on it, however I probably wouldn't be here had I. So I sat out six weeks, and now I'm ready to go. The doctor said for the floor exercise I should tape both ankles, so I have been.'