UCLA Gymnastics Season Wrap-Up
May 1, 2002
BRUINS PLACE THIRD AT NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS - UCLA's reign as the two-time defending NCAA champions ended in Tuscaloosa, as the Bruins placed third at the championships. The Bruins' score of 197.150 would have won all but four other previous NCAA Championships, but in 2002, it was only good enough for third place behind host team and winner Alabama (197.575) and runner-up Georgia (197.250). The Bruins did not count a fall during the finals and counted just one score below 9.8. UCLA finished the year with the No. 3 national ranking and a 19-5 record
DANTZSCHER WINS ALL-AROUND, VAULT AND FLOOR TITLES -Sophomore Jamie Dantzscher became UCLA's second consecutive NCAA all-around champion, winning the title with a score of 39.675. Dantzscher follows teammate Onnie Willis, who shared the title in 2001. In the history of the NCAA Championships, only one other school, Utah, has produced two different back-to-back all-around champions - Sue Stednitz in 1982 and Megan McCunniff in 1983.
Dantzscher backed up her all-around win at the Individual Event Finals, claiming the titles on both vault (9.9563) and floor (shared with Nicki Arnstad of LSU with a 9.95). Dantzscher also placed fifth on bars (9.8625) and 13th on beam (9.425).
The three titles won by Dantzscher are the most by a gymnast in a single year since Kentucky's Jenny Hansen won four in 1995 and the most by a UCLA gymnast in an NCAA meet. UCLA now has 19 individual NCAA titles to rank third amongst all schools. In addition, 2002 marks the fifth consecutive year in which UCLA has won at least two individual titles and the second consecutive in which the Bruins have won three.
FIVE BRUINS EARN 13 ALL-AMERICAN HONORS - Alyssa Beckerman, Jamie Dantzscher, Doni Thompson, Yvonne Tousek and Onnie Willis combined to earn 13 All-America honors at the 2002 Championships. UCLA had 11 first-team All-America honors, with Dantzscher leading the way with the maximum of five. Willis earned first-team acclaim in the all-around and on bars and floor and was a second-team selection on vault to give her 12 in her career, one short of Lena Degteva's school record 13. Tousek earned first-team honors on bars for the second consecutive year and was a second-team selection in the all-around. Thompson claimed first-team honors on bars for the second-straight year, and Beckerman took home her first All-America honor with a first-team nod on beam.
TEAM REMAINS INTACT FOR 2003 - The Bruins will be serious contenders for the 2003 crown, returning every Super 6 competitor, including the last two NCAA all-around champions in Jamie Dantzscher and Onnie Willis. In addition, 2000 Olympian Kristen Maloney, junior Carly Raab and freshman Christie Tedmon should return after season-ending injuries. UCLA's incoming freshmen class will include 2000 Canadian Olympian Kate Richardson and 2001 World Championships competitor Holly Murdock.
BRUINS WIN NCAA SOUTH REGIONAL TITLE - UCLA qualified for the NCAA Championships after a runaway first-place showing at the NCAA South Central Regionals. The Bruins totaled a 197.425 to outscore second-place Arizona, which scored 194.950. Jamie Dantzscher nearly pulled off a sweep, winning the all-around (39.7), vault (tied with teammate Jeanette Antolin with a 9.9), bars (9.95) and floor (9.95). Alyssa Beckerman also claimed an individual title on the balance beam.
LEADERS OF THE PAC - A strong floor performance in the final rotation propelled UCLA to a first-place showing at the Pac-10 Championships. The Bruins captured their 10th conference championship with a score of 197.625. Arizona placed second with a 197.050. Onnie Willis won the all-around and tied with teammates Doni Thompson and Jamie Dantzscher for first-place on bars. Dantzscher tied for first on floor, and Alyssa Beckerman tied for first on beam.
DANTZSCHER EARNS MULTIPLE HONORS - After a record-breaking season in which she won the NCAA all-around, vault and floor titles, Jamie Dantzscher was honored several times with post-season awards. The Bruin sophomore was selected the Pac-10 and West Region Gymnast of the Year and was a finalist for the Honda Award, which honors the nation's top gymnast.
MODELS OF CONSISTENCY - Sophomore Jeanette Antolin led the Bruins in hit-percentage in 2002 with a perfect 14-14 season. Antolin was 9-9 on vault, 4-4 on bars and 1-1 on floor. In terms of numbers, Jamie Dantzscher led with 50 of 52 (96.2%) hit routines. And not only did Dantzscher hit consistently, but she hit consistently big. In all, she scored 9.9 or higher 37 times (71.2%) and 9.8 or higher 48 times (92.3%). Several Bruins were perfect on the year on specific apparatuses - Antolin on her three events, Dantzscher on vault (12-12) and bars (14-14), Kristin Parker on vault (11-11) and floor (9-9), Yvonne Tousek on beam (11-11) and floor (11-11), Onnie Willis on vault (13-13), Doni Thompson on bars (15-15), Malia Jones on floor (10-10), Alyssa Beckerman on floor (9-9) and Michelle Conway on floor (8-8).
SENIOR SEND-OFF - Seniors Valerie Velasco and Lindsey Dong ended their Bruin careers with two NCAA team titles, three Pac-10 team titles and four NCAA regional team titles. Velasco saw regular action on the uneven bars this season, averaging 9.736 with a career-high of 9.825 set Feb. 17. She also competed on vault at the NCAA Championships, scoring a season-best 9.55 on a piked cuervo in her first time competing that vault. Due to injury, Dong was only able to compete once for UCLA in 2002, making a courageous effort on vault on Feb. 10 to help the Bruins defeat Stanford.
UCLA STREAKS AND RECORDS -
* UCLA qualified for the NCAA Championships for the 11th consecutive season. It was UCLA's 19th appearance in the 21 NCAA Championships.
* The Bruins qualified for the NCAA Super Six for the 10th consecutive year. UCLA and Georgia remain the only two schools to compete in the Super Six every year since its inception in 1993.
* Three individual event titles were won by Bruins for the second consecutive season - Jamie Dantzscher in the all-around, vault and floor.
* Dantzscher became the first Bruin ever to capture three event titles in a single year and also became only the second Bruin ever to earn first-team All-America honors on every event and the all-around in one year.
* UCLA won its Regional meet for the fourth consecutive year and for the 13th time overall.
* UCLA won the Pac-10 title for the 10th time in 16 years.
* A Bruin gymnast was named the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year for the sixth consecutive year and for the seventh time in the last eight years when the Pac-10 coaches selected Dantzscher.
* The Bruins won the UCLA Invitational for the 11th-straight year in 2002.
* The Bruins set school records in team total (198.35) and vault total (49.7) at the UCLA Invitational on Mar. 3.
* Dantzscher's all-around total of 39.9 at the UCLA Invitational was the fourth-highest all-around mark in NCAA history, and the three perfect 10s she scored in that meet marked only the third time in history that a gymnast has scored three 10s in one meet.
* Dantzscher set a national record by scoring seven consecutive perfect 10s on floor and also set a school record for most 10s in a season (10) and most 10s in a career (17).
* With two perfect 10s on vault and floor on Mar. 3, Onnie Willis became only the third Bruin gymnast to record multiple 10s in one meet.