UCLA Places Second In Preliminaries, Dantzscher Wins All-Around Title
April 18, 2002
Tuscaloosa, Ala. - The two-time defending NCAA champion UCLA gymnastics team placed first at the second preliminary session at the NCAA Championships at the University of Alabama's Coleman Coliseum Thursday night. UCLA totaled a 197.1 to qualify for the NCAA Super Six Team Finals, along with Alabama (197.3) and Stanford (196.05).
Sophomore Jamie Dantzscher (San Dimas, CA/San Dimas HS) won the all-around with a 39.675 to become UCLA's second-straight all-around champion. She follows in the footsteps of teammate Onnie Willis who was the 2001 co-champion. Willis finished fourth in the session and eighth overall with a 39.425 to earn first-team All-America honors. Dantzscher will compete in the individual event finals on all four events Saturday.
'I'm thrilled for Jamie because the victory is well-earned,' said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. 'I say that because she's worked hard to feel as confident on beam as she does on the other events. It's nice to see an athlete - an Olympian - get better.'
The Bruins began the meet on the balance beam with six spectacular routines. Junior Doni Thompson earned an impressive 9.85 lead-off score, and Dantzscher followed suit with a 9.875. Malia Jones' 9.85, Willis' 9.8, Yvonne Tousek's 9.775 and Alyssa Beckerman's 9.875 rounded out the scoring to give the Bruins a team total of 49.25, good for first place after one rotation.
On floor exercise, UCLA hit 6-for-6 routines, with Dantzscher's 9.95 and Willis' 9.9 leading the way. The Bruins counted no score lower than 9.825 for a event total of 49.35 and two-event total of 98.6.
UCLA scored 49.225 on vault in its third rotation. Dantzscher again led the way with a 9.95, and Willis added a 9.875.
With the Bruins leading Alabama, 147.825-147.75, heading into the sixth and final rotation, UCLA needed a 48.25 on bars to leapfrog Stanford, which had finished in rotation five with a final total of 196.05. Jones led off with a 9.75. Parker recorded a 9.7, Willis earned a 9.85. Defending NCAA bars champion Tousek added a 9.875 and qualified for the event finals with a chance to defend her title. Thompson and Dantzscher closed with a pair of 9.9s to give UCLA an overall team score of 197.1, two-tenths behind first-place Alabama.
Dantzscher needed a 9.9 on bars to clinch the all-around title and did just that.
'No one told me what I needed to win,' she said. 'It's not what's most important to me. I'm more focused on the team always.'
'Starting out on the balance beam was a good thing,' Dantzscher continued. 'After leading off the competition on beam, it was great to be able to relax and enjoy the meet.'
Final Team Standings - Preliminary Session II (Top 3 teams advance to NCAA Super Six Team Finals)
1. Alabama, 197.3, 2. UCLA, 197.1, 3. Stanford, 196.05, 4. Minnesota, 195.7, 5. Florida, 195.675, 6. Oregon State, 192.925.
Final Team Standings - Preliminary Session I (Top 3 teams advance to NCAA Super Six Team Finals)
1. Utah, 196.775, 2. Georgia, 196.65, 3. Nebraska, 196.575, 4. Michigan, 196.175, 5. LSU, 195.85, 6. Arizona, 194.975.
Final All-Around Standings:
1. Jamie Dantzscher (UCLA), 39.675, 2. Andree Pickens (Alabama), 39.625, 3. Theresa Kulikowski (Utah), 39.6, 4. Elise Ray (Michigan), 39.525, 5. Calli Ryals (Michigan), 39.475.