Between The Bars

Oct. 12, 2007

What is the hardest part of the transition from high school and club gymnastics to college life and gymnastics training?
Niki Tom: The most difficult aspect about the transition from club gymnastics to college gymnastics is the dramatic change in training styles. Practices are limited in the sense that we are restricted to 20 hours/week and therefore cannot train as long as we would like. I personally had to learn the rule of less numbers while making each turn count! The transition related to gymnastics has not been extremely hard, for making gymnastics a team sport rather than an individual sport has made training an unbelievable and rejuvenating experience.

As for college-life, the transition from high school to college has been eye-opening. College definitely requires time management and a great deal of responsibility. When committing to be a UCLA student-athlete, we all took on the responsibility to represent UCLA to the best of our abilities. The toughest part is balancing our schedules. Having such an unbelievable team has made the transition from high school and club to college and UCLA training extremely easy and simple. UCLA felt like home within our first week of pre-season training.

Allison Taylor: The hardest part of transitioning from high school to college, pertaining to school and the work that comes with it, is the fact that some of my lectures have more people in them than my entire school did! It's weird adjusting to having class with so many people, but I love it because it just gives you that many more opportunities to make friends! In terms of gymnastics, the hardest part of switching from club to college gymnastics has been the reduced hours of training. Every time at practice I look up at the time and it's already time to leave to go to class! I just wish we could stay in the gym longer! Socially, I haven't really had any trouble adjusting to college life. I'm a 'Chatty Kathy' and tend to talk to anyone and everyone. But everyone should be forewarned, once I start talking, it CAN be hard toget me to stop :)

Describe your team in three words
Niki Tom: Persevering, supportive, enthusiastic
Mizuki Sato: Motivated, resilient, supportive
Talia Kushynski: Spunky, loving, determined
Allison Taylor: Motivated, cohesive, loving
Marci Bernholtz: Compassionate, energized, champions!

What is it like being a part of the UCLA Athletic family?
Mizuki Sato: It's absolutely awesome! On the gym team, there's always someone to talk to if you're having a rough day, and it's nice knowing that everyone's got your back. As for the rest of the athletes, it's another friendly face on campus, like seeing a Bruin blue backpack when you're lost. You have a ready-made group of acquaintances/friends when you get to campus.

Allison Taylor: Being a part of the UCLA Athletic family is the best thing that has ever happened to me. When I came to UCLA, I automatically had 700 'friends' and over 100 staff members that I know will be supporting me, cheering for me, and doing everything in their power to help me accomplish my goals, not only athletically but academically as well. There is a bond between everyone in the athletic department that is indescribable. Even if you don't know someone personally, when you pass each other on Bruin Walk or if you're lying on the training table next to them, there's still always a little smile and a nod to acknowledge that you know that they are part of your family. I have never felt more at home with any other people. It's just such an awesome feeling knowing that everyone around you has a common goal: to be the absolute best they can be. I couldn't have asked for more; these Bruins will be my second family for my years here at school and for the rest of my life.

Marci Bernholtz: Being a part of the UCLA athletic family is incredible. There are so many amazing people around here, not just athletes. The great thing about being at a school like this is that you get to meet extraordinary athletes who are great people as well. I feel like I've joined a group of fantastic people, and I'm really excited to be a part of this great legacy.

Give a one word answer to describe your following teammates and coaches
Kristina Comforte
Niki Tom: Strong-willed
Mizuki Sato: Leader

Ariana Berlin
Allison Taylor: Inspirational
Talia Kushynski: Aggressive

Brittani McCullough
Niki Tom: Genuine
Allison Taylor: Powerful

Anna Li
Talia Kushynski: Explosive
Marci Bernholtz: Enthusiastic

Chris Waller
Allison Taylor: Motivational
Marci Bernholtz: Animated

Miss Val
Niki Tom: Wise
Allison Taylor: Loving

Jim Foody
Mizuki Sato: Patient
Talia Kushynski: Considerate

Your freshman class
Mizuki Sato: Close-knit
Marci Bernholtz: Amazing!



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