Top-Ranked Gymnasts Host No. 5 Georgia
March 12, 2001
THIS WEEK - The top-ranked UCLA gymnastics team (17-1) will host fifth-ranked Georgia (13-1-1) Sunday, Mar. 18 in a match-up of the last two NCAA Champions. The two teams together have won the last four national team titles and seven altogether. The Bruins have won two championships (1997, 2000), while Georgia has won five (1987, 1989, 1993, 1998, 1999). The meet will be UCLA's final regular season competition, as it begins post-season play Mar. 24 at the Pac-10 Championships. UCLA will honor its lone senior, Mohini Bhardwaj, in a pre-meet ceremony. Considered the most talented gymnast in UCLA history, Bhardwaj has raked in numerous honors and awards, including the 2000 NCAA uneven bars title and the Pac-10 and Regional all-around championships, This year, she has posted five perfect scores and owns the school record in the all-around with a 39.8.
A LOOK AT THE COMPETITION - The Georgia Gym Dogs posted a season-best mark of 197.8 in a dual meet victory over North Carolina State last weekend. Georgia is the nation's No. 1 vault squad, posting a regional qualifying score (RQS) of 49.325. Senior Kristi Lichey ranks second nationally in the all-around with a 39.495 RQS and is tops on vault with a 9.970 RQS. Lichey has recorded three 10s on vault this year and five in her career. Senior Suzanne Sears is the defending NCAA floor exercise champion and currently ranks second behind UCLA's Jamie Dantzscher. Sears has scored a 10.0 on floor in her last three consecutive meets.
FOLLOW GEORGIA MEET LIVE - Fans can follow the UCLA-Georgia meet live on the internet (www.uclabruins.com) with real-time scoring and play-by-play text commentary.
UCLA GYMNASTICS A PERFECT 10! - With still a few weeks to go in the season, the 2001 UCLA Bruins have already scored 16 perfect 10s, four more than UCLA's all-time mark entering the year. Prior to the start of 2001, only 12 perfect 10s had ever been scored in UCLA history. In just three months, the Bruins have surpassed that number. Leading the wave of perfect 10s has been freshman Jamie Dantzscher, who has a school-record six (four on floor, two on bars). The 2000 U.S. Olympian has scored at least one perfect 10 in half of her meets. Senior Mohini Bhardwaj is close behind with five 10.0s this year (three on floor, two on bars). Bhardwaj's first three floor routines of the season merited perfect 10s. Also earning perfect marks this year were sophomores Kristin Parker (floor, Jan. 19) and Onnie Willis (vault, Feb. 16, floor, Mar. 4) and freshman Kristen Maloney (beam, Feb. 16, floor, Mar. 4). Of UCLA's 16 perfect 10s this year, nine have come on the road.
UCLA ATOP NATIONAL RANKINGS - The Bruins maintain their No. 1 position in the national rankings with a regional qualifying score (RQS) of 197.465. The Bruins are also ranked first nationally on bars (49.545) and floor (49.605) and have moved up to second on vault (49.230) and beam (49.245). The RQS is compiled by taking the top six scores, three of which must be away scores, dropping the high and averaging the remaining five marks. UCLA has been No. 1 all season, except for one week when an early reporting deadline precluded the Bruins from entering its Jan. 14 meet score of 196.825, which was the highest team score in the nation at the time.
Individually, seven Bruins are ranked this week - Jamie Dantzscher, who is first on bars and floor, Kristen Maloney, who is tied for first on beam, Mohini Bhardwaj, who ranks third on bars, Kristin Parker, who is fourth on vault and 14th on floor, Yvonne Tousek, who holds the No. 7 spot on beam and the No. 9 spot on floor, Onnie Willis, who moves up to 16th on vault and 19th on floor, and Doni Thompson, who maintains the No. 18 ranking on bars.
BRUINS HAVE NATION'S TOP MARKS - UCLA gymnasts have recorded the nation's highest individual and team scores this year. Individually, Mohini Bhardwaj has the nation's top all-around total this year with a 39.8. UCLA's five perfect 10 scorers have the nation's top marks on their respective events. As a team, UCLA has posted the nation's highest overall total (198.25), as well as the highest totals on vault (49.575), bars (49.75), beam (49.7) and floor (49.85).
UCLA SWEEPS MICHIGAN SCHOOLS - The Bruins completed a successful road swing through Michigan, topping Michigan on Mar. 9 and Michigan State on Mar. 11. The Bruins recorded their fifth consecutive 197+ team total in downing the Wolverines, 197.7-197.125. UCLA received 9.95s from Yvonne Tousek and Kristen Maloney and a 9.875 from Mohini Bhardwaj on beam in the final rotation to clinch the victory. At Michigan State, the Bruins used a modified lineup but won easily, 195.475-194.0.
WILLIS WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT ALL-AROUND - Sophomore Onnie Willis continued her unbeaten streak in the all-around this year, taking first place at Michigan. Willis' 39.5 topped reigning U.S. all-around champion Elise Ray, who scored 39.425. The three-time All-American leads the team with her four all-around victories and is tied for first with 11 overall individual wins. Her all-around average of 39.594 is tops on the team. Willis has two perfect 10s this season, recording one each on vault and floor.
BHARDWAJ RECORDS FIFTH 10 OF THE SEASON - Senior Mohini Bhardwaj recorded her fifth 10.0 of the year with a perfect 10 on the uneven bars (her second on that event) at Michigan State Mar. 11. Bhardwaj scored her 10 in the Bruins' first rotation. She was set up beautifully by Doni Thompson, who recorded a career-high 9.95 just before her. Bhardwaj and freshman Jamie Dantzscher are running neck-and-neck for the team lead in 10s. Dantzscher currently leads with six.
ANTOLIN UPGRADE GIVES UCLA EIGHT 10.0 VAULTERS - With freshman Jeanette Antolin recently upgrading her 9.9-start value vault (Yurchenko layout full) to a 10.0-start value Yurchenko half front layout, the Bruins now have eight athletes who can compete 10.0-value vaults - Antolin, Yvonne Tousek and Onnie Willis (Yurchenko half front layout), Kristin Parker (handspring front pike and handspring front layout), Kristen Maloney (Yurchenko 1 1/2), Jamie Dantzscher and Lindsey Dong (layout Phelps) and Mohini Bhardwaj (Yurchenko 1 1/2, Yurchenko double twist). Antolin received a 9.775 the first time she competed her new vault at Michigan and then improved it to a 9.85 to place second at Michigan State.
NUMBER CRUNCHING - UCLA has scored 49+ on bars in 18 consecutive meets ...Doni Thompson has hit 23 of 24 routines on the uneven bars in her career, a hit percentage of 95.8 ... Thompson is also 20-21 on beam for a 95.2% ... Despite its first sub-49 score on floor in two years at the Michigan State meet, UCLA still has not had to count a fall on floor since 1999 ... Bhardwaj has hit all 26 floor routines in her career ... Onnie Willis has hit all 19 of her floor routines in her career, and Kristin Parker has hit all 20 ... Willis holds UCLA's longest active 'hit' streak with 18 consecutive clean routines, none of which have scored lower than 9.8 ...Jamie Dantzscher is second with 16 consecutive 'hits', and Parker is close behind with 15 ... Kristen Maloney is averaging 9.95 on beam in her last three meets ... After hitting a season-best 9.8 at Michigan State, Lindsey Dong now averages 9.75 on vault ... Valerie Velasco is averaging 9.765 on floor and 9.82 in her last three meets ...The Bruins' score of 49.575 on vault at Oregon State was the second-highest vault total in school history.
UCLA TO HOST NCAA WEST REGIONALS - The defending NCAA champion and top-ranked UCLA gymnastics team will host the 2001 NCAA West Regional Women's Gymnastics Championship in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday, Apr. 7. The meet begins at 6:00 pm.
Teams from five other universities, plus five at-large individual all-around competitors and four individual event competitors, will compete for team and individual titles, and the top two teams and all-arounders from each of the six regionals around the country will qualify for the NCAA Championships, which will be held in Athens, GA Apr. 19-21. The teams and individual competitors competing at the regional will be determined based on rankings Mar. 26.
Tickets for the regional championships can be purchased at UCLA's Central Ticket Office, (310) UCLA-WIN. Reserved tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for youth. General admission prices are $6 for adults and $4 for youth.