UCLA Gymnastics To Host Fan-Friendly Event Nov. 5

Oct. 31, 2000

MEET THE BRUINS - The UCLA women's gymnastics team will host its second annual pre-season 'Meet the Bruins' exhibition on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2:00 pm in the John Wooden Center. The event is free to the public. RSVPs to Jill Johnson (310/825-2343, jjohnson@athletics.ucla.edu) are suggested.

FORMAT - 'Meet the Bruins' is intended to educate and familiarize the fans with collegiate gymnastics and the 2001 UCLA team. Bruin gymnasts will do exhibition routines on the uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Fan and team interaction will be a key component, as the team will conduct question and answer sessions throughout the event. Following the exhibition, the UCLA team will be available for autographs and photo opportunities.

NATIONAL CHAMPION BRUINS RETURN - UCLA is the defending NCAA, Regional and Pac-10 team champion and returns nine letterwinners from that team, including 2000 NCAA uneven bars champion Mohini Bhardwaj (Cincinnati, OH), All-American sophomores Onnie Willis (Tacoma, WA) and Kristin Parker (Hanford, CA) and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Doni Thompson (Olympia, WA). Also returning are sensational sophomores Malia Jones (Sparks, NV) and Carly Raab (Seattle, WA), as well as junior veterans Lindsey Dong (San Jose, CA), Stephanie Johnson (Ann Arbor, MI) and Valerie Velasco (Fullerton, CA). The Bruins are coached by three-time national coach of the year Valorie Kondos-Field.

OLYMPIC GYMNASTS HEADLINE FRESHMAN CLASS - For the second consecutive season, Kondos-Field has recruited the nation's top freshman class. Headlining the Class of 2004 are 2000 Olympians Kristen Maloney (Pen Argyl, PA) and Yvonne Tousek (Cambridge, Ont.), 2000 U.S. Olympic alternate Alyssa Beckerman (Middletown, NJ) and U.S. Olympic Trials competitor Jeanette Antolin (Huntington Beach, CA). In addition, UCLA adds four other freshmen to its star-studded lineup - Angie D'Agostino (Simi Valley, CA), Christy Erickson (Pomona, CA), Trishna Patel (Northridge, CA) and Jamie Williams (Tucson, AZ).

BRUINS SURROUNDED BY NATIONAL CHAMPIONS - If any one team in the nation knows what it takes to win, it is UCLA. Not only have nine Bruins won an NCAA team title, but many have won national championships for their respective countries. Included amongst UCLA's national champions are: Kristen Maloney (1998, 1999 U.S. all-around and 2000 vault and floor champ), Yvonne Tousek (2000 Canadian all-around, bars and floor champ, 1999 floor and vault champ), Alyssa Beckerman (2000 U.S. beam champ) and Doni Thompson (1995 U.S. beam champ), not to mention defending NCAA bars champion Mohini Bhardwaj.

OLYMPIAN JOINS UCLA COACHING STAFF - Maloney and Tousek are not the only Bruins with Olympic experience. Nineteen-ninety-two Japanese Olympian Mari Kosuge begins her first year on the staff as a volunteer assistant coach. Kosuge was the Japanese all-around champion from 1988-1992 and competed in four World Championships before retiring in 1995.

BRUINS OPEN SEASON AT MAUI INVITATIONAL - UCLA's 2001 gymnastics season will kick off on Friday, Jan. 5 at the Maui Invitational. The meet will be a homecoming of sorts for Bruin sophomore Malia Jones, who was born in the Aloha State.

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