UCLA Gymnasts Set To Defend NCAA Championship
April 11, 2001
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS -- UCLA (23-2, ranked No. 1 and seeded No. 2) will seek its second consecutive NCAA team title and its third in five years when it competes in the NCAA Gymnastics Championships Apr. 19-21 in Athens, GA.
COMPETITION FORMAT -- The three-day competition begins on Thursday, Apr. 19 at Stegeman Coliseum with two sessions (1:00 pm and 7:00 pm ET) of preliminary team competition. The Top 3 teams from each Thursday session will advance to the team finals (The 'Super Six'), which will begin at 7:00 pm on Friday, Apr. 20. The individual event finals competition will be held Saturday, Apr. 21 at 7:00 pm. The all-around champion and individual event finalists will be determined during the preliminary competition. Individuals qualify for event finals by placing in the top four (including ties) of that particular event during their own preliminary session.
THE TEAMS -- Competing in the Championships are Alabama (198.0 Regional score), UCLA (197.775), Georgia (197.775), Michigan (197.225), Stanford (196.725), Florida (196.650), Nebraska (196.200), Arizona State (195.950), Oklahoma (195.225), Oregon State (194.075), Utah (194.075), Denver (193.900).
UCLA TO COMPETE IN AFTERNOON SESSION -- In a blind draw conducted by the NCAA, UCLA drew the afternoon (1:00 pm) session, along with Alabama, Michigan, Florida, Oklahoma and Oregon State. Georgia, Nebraska, Stanford, Arizona State, Utah and Denver will vie for three spots in the Super Six during the evening (7:00 pm) session.
ROTATION ORDER -- UCLA will begin the preliminary competition on a bye before floor. After the bye, the Bruins will then move to floor, vault and another bye, bars and then beam.
MEET COVERAGE -- CBS will broadcast the meet on a tape-delayed basis Sunday, Apr. 29 at 10:00 am. Pacific Time, with Craig Bolerjack (play by play), Amanda Borden (color) and Bonnie Bernstein (sideline) calling the action. The Georgia website will provide live statistics throughout the championships at www.georgiadogs.com.
UCLA AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS -- The Bruins have won two of the last four NCAA Championships and are the defending champs. Last year, UCLA hit 48-for-48 routines over the two days of the Championships and won the title with a 197.3 team total during the Super Six. UCLA won its first-ever NCAA Championship in 1997, breaking the Utah-Georgia-Alabama triumvirate which had won all the other previous titles. This is UCLA's 10th consecutive and 18th overall appearance in the 20 NCAA Championships. UCLA and Georgia are the only two teams to qualify for every Super Six.
BHARDWAJ SEEKING BARS REPEAT, ALL-AROUND TITLE -- Bruin senior Mohini Bhardwaj, the defending NCAA bars champion and 2000 all-around runner-up, will attempt to add more trophies to her collection. Bhardwaj is a strong contender for event titles on all four events and the all-around. The eight-time All-American has scored at least one 10.0 on bars, beam and floor this year, along with a 9.975 on vault. In fact, she reached those numbers all in one meet, to the all-around tune of a 39.975! Bhardwaj and Georgia's Suzanne Sears (floor) are the only returning 2000 event champions. There are, however, a few 1999 champions - Utah's Theresa Kulikowski in the all-around and beam, and Alabama's Andree Pickens on beam.
INDIVIDUAL NCAA HISTORY -- Seven Bruins have won 13 NCAA titles to rank third amongst all teams. UCLA's NCAA champions are: Kim Hamilton (1987-89 floor, 1989 vault), Jill Andrews (1988 vault, 1989 beam), Stella Umeh (1995 and 1998 floor), Heidi Moneymaker (1998 bars, 1999 vault), Kiralee Hayashi (1999 beam), Mohini Bhardwaj (2000 bars) and Lena Degteva (2000 beam). Two other Bruins won AIAW national titles - Sharon Shapiro (1980-81 all-around and vault, 1980 bars, 1980 beam, 1980 floor) and Diane Dovas (1981 bars). Shapiro remains the only gymnast ever to sweep the all-around and all four events in one year. Hamilton is the only woman to win three consecutive floor titles. UCLA has won two individual titles in each of the last three years.
THE 2000 CHAMPIONSHIP -- UCLA hit 48-for-48 routines throughout the two-day competition and won its second NCAA title with a final score of 197.3. In the team finals, the Bruins led throughout the competition and never let any competitor within four-tenths of a point after two events. Four Bruins placed in the Top 10 in the all-around, with Mohini Bhardwaj placing second, Heidi Moneymaker fourth, Lena Degteva fifth and Kristin Parker 10th. UCLA shined in the individual event finals as well, with Degteva first winning the beam, just ahead of Bhardwaj, and then Bhardwaj winning the bars, with Degteva third. The Bruins also placed three athletes in the Top 5 on vault. Bhardwaj, Moneymaker, Degteva, Parker and Onnie Willis combined to earn a school-record 18 All-America honors. The coaching staff was honored as well, with Valorie Kondos Field earning Co-Head Coach of the Year honors, her third in five years, and Randy Lane earning Assistant Coach of the Year acclaim.
THE 1997 CHAMPIONSHIP -- UCLA entered the 1997 season as the pre-season No. 1, saw Georgia assume the role of favorites during the regular season, then proved they were worthy of the No. 1 ranking by winning the school's first-ever NCAA Gymnastics title. Georgia opened the door early for UCLA, counting two falls on beam while the Bruins were on a first-rotation bye. In contrast, the Bruins scored a 49.2 on beam to stay in contention. Going into the final rotation, UCLA and Michigan trailed Arizona State, which ended its meet with a final score of 196.6. The Bruins and Wolverines needed a 49.25 in the final rotation to overtake the Sun Devils. While Michigan could only score 48.875 on floor, UCLA recorded a school-record 49.525 to win the crown with a final score of 197.15.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES --
* Only four teams have ever won the NCAA title in the 19 years of the Championships - Utah (9), Georgia (5), Alabama (3) and UCLA (2).
* UCLA will attempt to become only the third school to win back-to-back championships. Georgia last accomplished this feat in 1998-99. Utah did the same in 1994-95 and also from 1982-86.
* Seven schools return from the 2000 NCAA Championships, including all six Super Six teams - UCLA (1st place), Utah (2nd), Georgia (3rd), Nebraska (4th), Alabama (5th), Michigan (6th), Oregon State (10th). Last year's competitors not qualifying in 2001 are Penn State (7th), Iowa State (8th), LSU (9th), BYU (11th) and West Virginia (12th).
* Denver is making its first-ever NCAA appearance, while Oklahoma returns for the first time since 1989. Stanford, Arizona State and Florida each return after a one-year hiatus.
* Hosting the NCAA Championship has not been easy in recent years. No host school has finished higher than fifth in five of the last six championships.
* The Bruins enter the championships seeded No. 2. In the history of the NCAA Championship, only two No. 2 seeds have ever won the title - UCLA in 1997 and in 2000.
* UCLA ranks third with 13 individual titles. Georgia leads all teams with 25.
* The Bruins have won more individual titles in the last three years (six) than any other team.
* The Pac-10 Conference has qualified a national-best four teams to the NCAA Championships - UCLA, Oregon State, Arizona State and Stanford. The conference has been represented by at least two teams in all 20 championships. A record six Pac-10 teams competed in the 1992 Championships.
UCLA vs. 2001 FIELD -- The Bruins have defeated every NCAA qualifying team they have faced this year, going 1-0 vs. Alabama, 1-0 vs. Georgia, 1-0 vs. Michigan, 1-0 vs. Nebraska, 1-1 vs. Stanford, 1-1 vs. Arizona State, 3-0 vs. Oregon State and 1-0 vs. Utah.
BRUINS WIN WEST REGIONALS TO EARN NCAA BERTH -- Needing to place in the Top 2 at Regionals to qualify for the NCAA Championships, UCLA easily won its regional Apr. 7 in Pauley Pavilion with a score of 197.775, the third-highest score in school history. Oregon State was a distant second with 194.075.
BHARDWAJ WINS FOUR REGIONAL TITLES -- Senior Mohini Bhardwaj continued her dominance this season, winning the all-around, bars, beam and floor at the West Regional Championships. The four titles give her seven regional crowns in her career, tying her with Kim Hamilton and Jill Andrews for most in school history. Surprising no one, Bhardwaj was selected the West Region Gymnast of the Year. She was also named the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year and has a chance at a sweep, having been named a finalist for the AAI American Award, which honors the nation's top senior gymnast. The American Award winner will be announced at the NCAA Championship banquet Apr. 21.
TOUSEK HAS BREAKTHROUGH MEET -- Freshman Yvonne Tousek had the meet of her short collegiate career at the West Regional Championships, placing second in the all-around with a 39.6. Her score was half a point better than her previous all-around best and also a new school freshman record, breaking Jamie Dantzscher's mark of 39.55. Tousek also tied for first on the vault with teammates Kristin Parker and Onnie Willis, scoring another career-high of 9.925. Tousek's previous best had been 9.85. The two-time Canadian Olympian was also second on bars (9.9) and beam (9.9) and fifth on floor (9.875).
UCLA GYMNASTICS A PERFECT 10! - The 2001 UCLA Bruins have scored 20 perfect 10s this season, eight 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 one season, the Bruins have surpassed that number and then some. Leading the wave of perfect 10s has been Mohini Bhardwaj, who has a school-record and Pac-10 record-tying eight (three on bars, one on beam and four on floor). 2000 U.S. Olympian Jamie Dantzscher has the school and Pac-10 freshman mark with seven (five on floor, two on bars) and is believed to be the first gymnast in NCAA history to record a 10 on her first-ever routine (she competed only on bars and floor at the Maui Invitational and scored 10s on both routines). 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 20 perfect 10s this year, half have come on the road. In addition, a Bruin has scored a perfect 10 in 71% of UCLA's meets (10-14).
NUMBER CRUNCHING - UCLA has scored 49+ on bars in 21 consecutive meets ...Doni Thompson has hit 26 of 27 routines on the uneven bars in her career, a hit percentage of 96.3% ... UCLA has not had to count a fall on floor since 1999 ... Mohini Bhardwaj has hit all 29 floor routines in her career ... Onnie Willis has hit all 22 of her floor routines in her career, and Kristin Parker has hit all 23 ... Willis has hit 29 of her last 30 routines ...Parker holds UCLA's longest active 'hit' streak with 23 consecutive clean routines.
UCLA ATOP THE NATIONAL RANKINGS - The Bruins ended the regular season ranked No. 1 in the national rankings with a regional qualifying score (RQS) of 197.640. The Bruins are also ranked first nationally on bars (49.615) and floor (49.655) and are second on vault (49.340) and sixth on beam (49.255). 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.
Individually, seven Bruins are ranked - Mohini Bhardwaj, who ranks first in the all-around and bars, second on floor, fifth on beam and 11th on vault, Jamie Dantzscher, who is first on bars and floor and 19th on vault, Onnie Willis, who moves into sixth in the all-around and floor and 14th on vault, Kristen Maloney, who is fourth on beam and 16th on floor, Yvonne Tousek, who holds the No. 6 spot on beam and the No. 20 spot on floor, Kristin Parker, who is seventh on vault, and Doni Thompson, who holds the No. 19 ranking on bars.
UCLA ON VAULT:
* Seven of the Bruin regulars have competed 10.0 start value vaults - Jeanette Antolin, Yvonne Tousek and Onnie Willis (Yurchenko half front layout), Kristen Maloney (Yurchenko 1 1/2, but has mainly competed a 9.9-start value Yurchenko layout full), Jamie Dantzscher (layout Phelps), Kristin Parker (handspring pike front with a half-twist, handspring layout front with a half-twist), Mohini Bhardwaj (double-twisting laid-out Yurchenko, Yurchenko 1 1/2). Junior Lindsey Dong also vaults a 10.0-value layout Phelps.
* UCLA's best vault performance this season came at Oregon State Feb. 16. Led by a perfect 10 from Willis, the Bruins scored a national season-high 49.575 (second-highest score in school history). Also hitting career-highs at the meet were Parker (9.95), Dantzscher (9.925), Tousek (9.85) and Maloney (9.85).
* The Bruins have scored 49+ in all but two meets - the season opener and the Michigan State meet, where most of the Bruin regulars did not compete. UCLA is averaging 49.43 over its last three meets.
* Six vaulters average 9.798 or better - Dantzscher (9.859), Bhardwaj (9.847), Parker (9.818), Maloney (9.813), Willis (9.8) and Antolin (9.798).
* Willis has recorded a perfect 10 on vault twice, once in 2000 and once in 2001. Bhardwaj has recorded two 9.975s this year.
* Five Bruin vaulters placed in the Top 8 at Regionals.
* Bhardwaj is the first collegiate gymnast to compete a double-twisting laid-out Yurchenko.
* Bhardwaj is a two-time first-team All-American on this event and placed fifth in 2000 and seventh in 1998.
* Willis also placed fifth on vault at the 2000 NCAA Championships .
* Bhardwaj placed fifth at the 1997 World Championships on vault to earn the USA's highest finish at the Championships.
* Maloney is the reigning USA Champion on vault.
* Tousek won the Canadian vault championship in 1999.
UCLA ON BARS:
* The Bruins scored a school-record 49.75 in the season opener Jan. 5. At that meet, all six gymnasts scored 9.9 or higher - Jamie Dantzscher with a 10.0, Yvonne Tousek with a 9.975, Mohini Bhardwaj with a 9.95, Kristin Parker with a 9.925 and Malia Jones and Doni Thompson with 9.9s.
*Dantzscher and Bhardwaj have combined to score five perfect 10s on bars this year. Dantzscher scored her 10s Jan. 5 and Feb. 11. Bhardwaj recorded hers Jan. 28, Mar. 11 and Mar. 18. She also won the West Regional title with a 9.975.
* UCLA has scored 49+ in every meet this season and has hit 49.5 or higher six times and 49.6 or higher four times.
* Eight Bruins have 'E' level dismounts - Jones and Tousek (double layout), Kristen Maloney (double front or double layout), Parker (double front), Onnie Willis and Jeanette Antolin (double front with a half-twist), Dantzscher (arabian double front), Bhardwaj (full-twisting double layout). Also, Valerie Velasco, who has performed on bars in exhibitions only this year, dismounts with a double front with a half-twist. Thompson has a full-in dismount.
* Six Bruins average 9.8 or better: Dantzscher (9.911), Bhardwaj (9.898), Thompson (9.881), Willis (9.866), Jones (9.833), Parker (9.816).
* Bhardwaj won the NCAA bars title in 2000 with a winning score of 9.95. She has earned first-team All-America honors on bars three consecutive years.
* Tousek is the reigning Canadian bar champion.
* Dantzscher won the USA bar championship in 1999.
* Maloney has two moves on bars named after her in the international code of points.
UCLA ON BEAM:
* The Bruins set a new school record with a 49.7 at Oregon State Feb. 16.
* At that Oregon State meet, Kristen Maloney became the first Bruin gymnast ever to score a 10 on beam.
* Three other Bruins scored 9.95 to help the team achieve the school record - Mohini Bhardwaj, Kristin Parker and Yvonne Tousek.
* On Mar. 18, Bhardwaj earned her first career 10 on beam.
* UCLA has scored 49+ eight times this year.
* The Bruins' 49.4 at the West Regional was the fifth-highest beam score in school history.
* Bhardwaj has hit all nine balance beam routines this year and averages a team-best 9.897.
* Onnie Willis has hit all eight of her beam routines, scoring no lower than 9.8 each time, with a career-best of 9.9 set twice.
* Parker averages 9.867, second-best on the team.
* Maloney holds an average of 9.819.
* Bhardwaj is the two-time West Region beam champion
* Tousek has a move named after her in the international code of points. The 'Tousek' is a cross-wise backhandspring.
* Maloney won a gold medal on the balance beam at the 1998 Goodwill Games.
UCLA ON FLOOR:
* UCLA set a school record of 49.85 Mar. 4 after counting no score lower than 9.925. Malia Jones started the set with a career-high 9.925. Valerie Velasco's career-high 9.85 was thrown out when Kristin Parker scored 9.925, and Kristen Maloney, Jamie Dantzscher and Onnie Willis scored back-to-back-to-back 10s.
* Dantzscher leads the squad with five perfect 10s on floor
* Mohini Bhardwaj has scored a 10 in four of seven meets (57%).
* Parker scored her first-ever perfect 10 Jan. 19 at Stanford.
* Maloney and Willis earned their first 10s on floor Mar. 4.
* The Bruins have scored 49.5 or better in nine meets.
* Seven Bruins average 9.83 or better on floor: Bhardwaj (9.968), Dantzscher (9.938), Maloney (9.928), Willis (9.925), Jeanette Antolin (9.875), Parker (9.864) and Yvonne Tousek (9.831).
* Some of the nation's most difficult tumbling will be seen here - Bhardwaj opens with a double layout and has a middle tumbling pass of a full-in. Dantzscher opens with a double layout and closes with a double tuck. Maloney also opens with a double layout and throws a double pike in her second pass. Kristin Parker starts with an Arabian double front and ends with a double pike. Willis opens with a front full through to a double back. Tousek tumbles a triple twist and a 2 1/2 twist-punch front.
* Bhardwaj is a two-time Pac-10 floor champion and the 2001 West Region champion.
* Maloney is the reigning USA floor champion.
* Tousek won the last two Canadian floor championships.
* UCLA has had nine athletes score 39.0 or greater in the all-around: Mohini Bhardwaj (high of 39.975), Onnie Willis (39.675), Kristin Parker (39.675), Yvonne Tousek (39.6), Jamie Dantzscher (39.55), Kristen Maloney (39.475), Doni Thompson (39.425), Malia Jones (39.375) and Jeanette Antolin (39.05).
* Bhardwaj (second place) and Parker (10th place) are returning All-Americans. Bhardwaj also earned second-team All-America honors as a sophomore.
* Bhardwaj has won the all-around in each of her last three meets and five times in her seven all-around stints this year. Willis has four all-around victories, Parker two, and Thompson and Jones one each.
* Bhardwaj won the Pac-10 and West Region all-around titles for the second consecutive year.
* Both Bhardwaj (39.664) and Willis (39.521) average 39.5 or greater in the all-around.
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