UCLA Gymnastics Signs British Champion Holly Murdock

Nov. 15, 2001

Two-time defending NCAA gymnastics champion UCLA has signed 2001 British vault and beam champion Holly Murdock of Northern Ireland to a national letter of intent. Murdock will join the Bruin squad in 2003.

Murdock recently placed 14th in the all-around at the World Championships, the highest finish ever by a British gymnast at a World Championships or Olympic Games. In addition to capturing first place on vault and beam at the 2001 British Championships, she also won a silver medal in the all-around and bars. Murdock nearly swept the gold at the 2001 Northern European Games, placing first in the all-around, vault, bars and beam.

In 1999, Murdock was Britain's youngest competitor at the World Championships, where she helped her team qualify for the Olympic Games. She was the first alternate for the Olympic team.

Murdock, who is coached by Tony Byrne at Salto Gym Club, achieved success at the junior level as well, winning the all-around and bars at the 1998 British Championships, placing first on vault in 1997 and third in the all-around in 1996.

'I am extremely excited about Holly joining the program,' said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. 'Holly is the epitome of what the program is built on. She has proven to be one of the best gymnasts in the world - she placed 14th at the World Championships - and she has also achieved as much academic success as she has gymnastics success. She is ecstatic about her opportunity to come to UCLA and be a student-athlete.'

UCLA expects to sign one more gymnast during the Spring signing period.

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