Gymnastics Team Scores Season-High 196.125 In Win At Cal State Fullerton

Jan. 20, 2008

Fullerton, Calif. - UCLA got big contributions from many team members, particularly in the front part of the lineup, to score a season-best 196.125 in a quad meet victory at Cal State Fullerton on Sunday afternoon. Cal State Fullerton was second with a 191.025, Brown was third with a 183.025, and Wisconsin-Eau Claire placed fourth with a 176.525.

High scorers for the Bruins on three events came from gymnasts competing early in the lineup - Kristina Comforte on bars (No. 3 in the lineup)with a first-place mark of 9.9, Marci Bernholtz on beam (No. 2 in the lineup) with a meet-high 9.875, and Natalie Padilla on floor (No. 2 in the lineup) with a career-high 9.85 to place second overall.

The Bruins had six hit uneven bars routines to start the meet and totaled a team score of 49.1. Junior Ariana Berlin opened the meet for UCLA on uneven bars. Despite not warming up on the event in pre-meet warmups, Berlin delivered a very clean routine with mixed results from the judges, who scored her a 9.8 and 9.6 for a final mark of 9.7. Freshman Allison Taylor followed with a routine punctuated with a Tkatchev and stuck double pike dismount that earned a collegiate-best 9.675. Comforte also delivered a strong and powerful routine with a stuck double layout dismount for a 9.9. Redshirt freshman Brittani McCullough scored 9.8, and senior Tasha Schwikert earned a 9.85 in her first routine of the season. Sophomore Anna Li closed the set with a high Tkatchev and a beautifully stuck double layout dismount for a 9.85.

Up by more than a point heading into the second rotation, the Bruins moved to the balance beam. Freshman Niki Tom led off with a hit routine that scored 9.7. Bernholtz, competing on beam for the first time this season, showed off a flawless backhandspring/layout and stuck gainer front pike dismount to score 9.875. McCullough and Comforte each scored 9.775, and Li earned a 9.825. Schwikert made it 6-for-6 on beam with a 9.775 to give the Bruins a 49.025 on the event and 98.125 overall. Freshman Mizuki Sato actually made it unofficially 7-for-7 with a standout exhibition routine that scored 9.8. Sato's routine was highlighted by a switch leap-backhandspring-layout-backhandspring combo.

Sato's success continued in the third rotation. Leading off on floor exercise, she hit a beautiful 2.5 twist opening pass and double pike dismount to score a collegiate-best 9.825. Padilla had a career-best routine, scoring a 9.85 after nailing her opening double tuck tumbling pass. Freshman Talia Kushynski, competing her first official collegiate routine, scored a 9.675 after her start value dropped to 9.9. Li followed with a 9.825, Comforte scored a 9.775, and McCullough earned a 9.675 after stepping out of bounds in her final pass. UCLA's team score of 48.95 led to a three-event score of 147.075 and a nearly five-point lead over second-place Cal State Fullerton.

UCLA closed the meet out on vault with a leadoff score of 9.725 from Tom. Padilla continued her successful meet with a 9.675. Li hit a nice Yurchenko full for a 9.85, and McCullough nailed a super-high Yurchenko full for a career-high 9.9 that was matched one routine later by Schwikert to give the Bruins a vault total of 49.05 and a 196.125 overall mark.

Li won the all-around with a 39.35. McCullough was second with a 39.15, and Comforte was third with a 39.0.

UCLA will next be in action on Sunday, Jan. 27 in a home dual meet against Stanford.

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