UCLA Gymnastics Opens Season In Hawaii Jan. 2

Dec. 31, 2002

This Week - The UCLA women's gymnastics team travels to Honolulu, HI for the first NCAA gymnastics meet of the season against Oregon State on Thursday, Jan. 2 at 6:00 pm Hawaii time at Kokokahi Gymnastics.

About The Bruins - Three-time NCAA champion UCLA is coached by four-time national coach of the year Valorie Kondos Field. The Bruins boast one of the most impressive lineups in collegiate gymnastics history, led by the last two NCAA all-around champions, 2001 co-winner Onnie Willis and 2002 champ Jamie Dantzscher. UCLA's roster includes three NCAA champions (Willis, Dantzscher and Yvonne Tousek), eight All-Americans (Willis, Dantzscher, Tousek, Doni Thompson, Alyssa Beckerman, Kristin Parker, Malia Jones, Kristen Maloney), five Olympians (Dantzscher, Tousek, Beckerman, Maloney and Kate Richardson) and eight World Championships team members (Dantzscher, Tousek, Beckerman, Maloney, Richardson, Thompson, Jeanette Antolin and Holly Murdock). Last season, UCLA won the Pac-10 and South Central Regional Championships and placed third at the NCAA Championships.

A Look At The Beavers - Oregon State is coached by former UCLA All-American Tanya (Service) Chaplin. The Beavers advanced to the NCAA Championships for the third consecutive year in 2002 and return 19 of their 24 routines from last year's championships. Included amongst the returners are All-Americans Elizabeth Jillson and Tanya Ricioli.

Waller, Freshmen To Make Bruin Debuts - Assistant coach Chris Waller and freshmen standouts Kate Richardson and Holly Murdock will get their first taste of women's collegiate competition this week. Waller, who won two individual titles and one team title for the Bruin men at the NCAA Championships, is in his first year of coaching at his alma mater. Richardson, a 2000 Canadian Olympian, is coming off a Commonwealth Games all-around and beam championship. Murdock, who is coming back from a leg injury suffered in the off-season, placed 14th in the all-around for Great Britain at the 2001 World Championships.

New Vault To Be Used In 2003 - A new vaulting table will be used in collegiate gymnastics, starting this season. The new equipment has more surface for a gymnast to hit and propel herself off with, making it safer in many regards.

Looking Ahead - UCLA will attempt to break Utah's 170-meet regular season home court winning streak on Friday, Jan. 10 at 7 pm MT. The Bruins return to Southern California for a dual meet with Cal State Fullerton on Friday, Jan. 17 at 7 pm and then host their first home meet on Sunday, Jan. 19 at 2 pm PT against California, Cal State Fullerton and UC Davis in the Bruin Classic.

Head Coach Valorie Kondos Field - In her 13th season as head coach of the Bruins, Valorie Kondos Field has positioned her team as the premier program in collegiate gymnastics. In the past seven years alone, Kondos Field has led UCLA to three NCAA titles and one runner-up finish, six Regional titles and four Pac-10 Championships. She has been voted the national coach of the year by her peers four times in the past seven years.

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