Bruins Win IGI Chicago Style Meet With Season-Best 196.875

Feb. 8, 2008

Chicago, IL - UCLA obliterated its season-high score, earning 196.875 to capture first place at the IGI Chicago Style Gymnastics Meet at Chicago's Navy Pier on Friday evening. Stanford placed second with a 196.7, Illinois was third with a 194.775, and Washington placed fourth with a 194.25. The Bruins remain undefeated on the year with a 10-0 record.

Bruin sophomore and hometown favorite Anna Li of Aurora, IL won the all-around with a career-high 39.6. Stanford's Tabitha Yim placed second with a 39.575, and UCLA senior Tasha Schwikert placed third with a season-high 39.55.

The Bruins started the meet with a bang on the uneven bars, scoring a season-best for the second consecutive meet with a 49.325. Ariana Berlin started off with a strong leadoff routine highlighted by a stuck full-twisting double back dismount that scored 9.8. Allison Taylor followed with her career-best, a 9.75. Jordan Schwikert had a beautiful routine with perfect handstands that earned her a 9.875. Brittani McCullough scored 9.775. Tasha Schwikert stuck her double layout dismount and scored a season-high 9.925, which set up anchor Li for potentially her career-high. Li delivered with a huge Tkatchev and had perfect form throughout her routine, which ended with a stuck double layout dismount that scored a career-high tying 9.95. Marci Bernholtz kept the momentum with a season-best exhibition routine that scored 9.725.

UCLA moved to the balance beam with a .275 lead over second-place Stanford (49.05) and healthy leads over third-place Illinois (48.5) and Washington (48.025). Berlin had another successful leadoff routine, saving a fall on her flight series and scoring 9.725. Bernholtz earned 9.8, and Jordan Schwikert performed another strong routine for a 9.775. McCullough stuck a huge double back dismount for a career-high 9.875. Tasha Schwikert offered a 9.775 after an awkward landing between mats, and Li finished the Bruins' fourth consecutive 6-for-6 beam set with a 9.9. Niki Tom also hit a strong exhibition routine for a 9.825. The Bruins scored 49.125 for a two-event total of 98.45. Stanford, meanwhile, was literally catching up on floor exercise with an event total of 49.4 that evened things up at 98.45. Illinois remained in third place with a 97.075, with Washington in fourth with a 96.675.

On floor exercise, the Bruins regained the lead with yet another season-high score of 49.275 to Stanford's 49.225 on vault. Super-leadoff Berlin hit another strong routine for a 9.8 in her first floor routine since the season opener. Mizuki Sato followed with a career-high tying 9.825 after hitting a 2.5 twist first pass and stuck her double pike last pass. Jordan Schwikert hit her double pike opening pass, a double tuck middle pass and finished with a new dismount of 1.5 twist-front layout for 9.75 (9.9 start value). McCullough's powerful half-in half-out again caused an out-of-bounds deduction that knocked her score down to 9.775. Li remained on fire, nailing her double layout and scoring a new career-best 9.925. Tasha Schwikert closed it out with a near-perfect routine highlighted by a perfectly-landed half-in half-out and double pike dismount that merited a season-high 9.95.earned her a season-high 9.95.

UCLA ended the meet on vault with a .05 lead, 147.725-146.675, while Stanford closed on uneven bars. Berlin's Yurchenko full earned 9.775. Padilla landed her Yurchenko Arabian for a 9.725. Jordan Schwikert scored a season-best 9.825 on her Yurchenko full, and Li matched that mark with a high Yurchenko full. McCullough had good distance and height on her Yurchenko full and also scored 9.825, and Tasha Schwikert stuck her Yurchenko full vault for a 9.9. The 49.15 vault score was still good enough for the Bruins to capture the victory, as Stanford scored 49.025 on uneven bars.

'This is the first time this season we've competed like Bruins,' said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. 'This is how they have been training all week. We've been going into meets wanting it too much and getting too tight in competition. The tighter they got, the harder we trained them. You get to a point where you train so hard that you believe you deserve to be successful. We've trained really hard, and they believe they deserve to be great.'

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