No. 1 Bruins Return To Competition At Michigan

March 3, 2003

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This Week - The top-ranked UCLA women's gymnastics team (10-1-1) will embark on its final road trip of the regular season, traveling to 10th-ranked Michigan (9-4) on Friday, Mar. 7. The two teams will face off at 8:00 pm ET at Crisler Arena.

About The Wolverines - Michigan has been battling injuries all season but has come on strong as of late, defeating Utah at home pm Feb. 28 and posting a season high of 197.025 at Denver on Feb. 22. The Wolverines are without the services of 2000 U.S. Olympic captain and 2001 NCAA all-around co-champion Elise Ray, who is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Freshman Jenny Deiley ranks No. 6 nationally in the all-around. Calli Ryals (17th) and Janessa Grieco (19th) are also ranked in the Top 20. Ryals also ranks second nationally on floor.

The Series With Michigan - UCLA leads the all-time series with the Wolverines, 6-4, and have won the last three meets in a row. Last season, the Bruins scored a then-school record 198.35 to Michigan's 196.775 in winning the UCLA Invitational in Pauley Pavilion. In 2001, the Bruins defeated the Wolverines in Ann Arbor, 197.7-197.125.

UCLA In The Rankings - For the second consecutive week, the Bruins are ranked No. 1 across the board in the team and individual rankings. Rankings are now based on Regional Qualifying Score (RQS), which takes the team's top six scores, six of which must be away, throwing out the high and averaging the remaining five. The Bruins hold national-best regional qualifying scores of 197.98 overall, 49.525 on vault, 49.495 on bars, 49.575 on beam and 49.54 on floor. UCLA can improve upon its RQS this weekend at Michigan by scoring higher than 197.45.

Individually, freshman Kate Richardson (39.615) and senior Onnie Willis (39.590) occupy the top two spots in the all-around rankings. Junior Jeanette Antolin is also ranked at No. 23 (39.28). Five Bruins are ranked in the Top 15 on vault - Antolin is No. 1, Willis No. 3, Jamie Dantzscher No. 6, Richardson No. 12 and Kristin Parker No. 15. On bars, four Bruins are in the Top 25 - Dantzscher at No. 1, Willis at No. 5, Richardson at No. 21 and Antolin at No. 25. On beam, Richardson is No. 1, followed by No. 6 Tousek, No. 10 Willis and No. 14 Antolin. And on floor, Dantzscher is No. 1, Willis No. 8 and Richardson No. 11.

UCLA Boasts Nations' Top Scores - In addition to team total, UCLA also has the distinction of scoring the top marks in the nation this year on vault (49.7 on Feb. 9 and Feb. 16) and floor (49.725 on Feb. 2). Individually, Onnie Willis' 39.8 score (earned twice this year) in the all-around is tied as the nation's top score.

Bruins Become First Four-Time 198 Team - UCLA has reached the 198 plateau an unprecedented four times this season and has tied Georgia for the all-time NCAA record with six scores of 198+ in the program's history. The Bruins have reached 198 three times in the last five meets. UCLA's 198 scores this year came on Jan. 19 at the Bruin Classic (198.275), on Feb. 2 against Arkansas (198.175) , on Feb. 9 against Washington (198.575) and on Feb. 23 at Arizona State (198.4).

Bruins Are Beaming - UCLA has been a force on the balance beam in 2003, averaging a national-best 49.347. The Bruins have won several meets this year on the balance beam in the final rotation, most recently at Arizona State on Feb. 16. With the Bruins clinging to a one-tenth of a point (148.675-148.575) lead with the Sun Devils moving to the floor exercise, UCLA needed just about all of the school record 49.725 it earned on beam to secure the victory. The Bruins dropped a 9.875 as its lowest score and counted a 9.9 from Alyssa Beckerman, a 9.925 in the leadoff position from Malia Jones, a pair of 9.95s from Onnie Willis and Yvonne Tousek and a 10 from Kate Richardson. Earlier in the year, the Bruins erased a .525 deficit at Cal State Fullerton and won by a .2 margin after scoring a 49.375 on beam. The Bruins are no strangers to closing out big victories on the balance beam. UCLA won its last two NCAA titles in 2000 and 2001 with killer performances in the final rotation on balance beam.

Vaulting To No. 1 - UCLA also has the nation's highest average on vault and has twice posted the nation's highest score this year, a 49.7. Five Bruins are ranked in the Top 15 in the nation on vault, including top-ranked Jeanette Antolin and defending NCAA vault champion Jamie Dantzscher. The Bruins have scored 49.2 or better in all but one meet this year.

Perfect Bruins - The Bruins have scored a school-record 16 perfect 10s this season. Jamie Dantzscher leads the pack with nine - two on vault, three on bars and four on floor. Dantzscher needs just one more 10 this year to tie her school record of 10 perfect 10s in a season, set last year. Freshman Kate Richardson has three 10.0s - two on beam and one on floor. Richardson is the first Bruin ever to score multiple 10s on the balance beam. Jeanette Antolin has earned two perfect 10s on vault in her last three meets. Also scoring perfect 10s this year are Onnie Willis on floor and Yvonne Tousek on bars.

Models Of Consistency - NCAA all-around champions Jamie Dantzscher (2002) and Onnie Willis (2001) have displayed this season the consistent effort that helped them capture their respective championships. The two Bruins have hit all of their routines this season. Dantzscher is 24-24 with no score lower than 9.8 and 20 scores of 9.9 or higher. Willis is 33-33 and has hit 22 9.9 or higher routines. In addition, Dantzscher has hit 24 consecutive routines on bars and has scored 9.95 or higher on 18 straight floor routines. Kristin Parker has hit 36 straight vaults, and Yvonne Tousek has hit 23 consecutive beam routines.

All-Arounders All-Around - UCLA has no shortage of all-around gymnasts this season. Eight Bruins have competed all-around so far - Jamie Dantzscher, Onnie Willis, Kate Richardson, Kristin Parker, Yvonne Tousek, Jeanette Antolin, Malia Jones and Christie Tedmon. Six of the eight have scored above 39.4 - Willis (high of 39.8), Dantzscher (39.775), Richardson (39.75), Antolin (39.65), Tousek (39.525) and Parker (39.45).

Leaders Of The Pac - UCLA is tops in the rankings amongst the seven Pac-10 schools, no small feat considering the Pac-10 Conference has all seven teams ranked in the Top 25. Four teams are in the Top 10 - No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Arizona State, No. 8 Stanford and No. 9 Oregon State. Washington ranks 12th, followed by Arizona in 18th and Cal in 22nd.

Bruins To Host Upcoming Championships - Pauley Pavilion will play host to two big championship events in the next 14 months, as UCLA will host the 2003 Pac-10 Championships on Mar. 29 and the 2004 NCAA Championships on Apr. 15-17, 2004. Tickets for the 2003 Pac-10 Championships are on sale now at the UCLA Central Ticket Office (310/UCLA-WIN). Reserved seats are selling quickly.

UCLA Signs Three For 2004 - UCLA has signed three standouts to national letters of intent in the early signing period. Joining the Bruins in 2004 will be reigning Canadian balance beam champion Ashley Peckett (Mississauga, Ontario), international elite Aimee Walker (Valley Village, CA) and Level 10 standout Courtney Walker (Santa Monica, CA).

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