Bruin Gymnasts Seek Fifth-Consecutive Regional Championship

April 7, 2003

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This Week - The top-ranked UCLA gymnastics team (19-2-1) will travel to Columbia, Missouri for the NCAA South Central Regional Championships on Saturday, April 12 The meet will take place in the Hearnes Center on the University of Missouri campus at 6:00 pm. The top two teams from the regional will advance to the NCAA Championships, which will be held in Lincoln, Nebraska on Apr. 24-26.

The Regional Field - Also vying with UCLA for the two coveted spots in the NCAA Championships are 12th-ranked Oregon State, 13th-ranked Iowa, 19th-ranked Arizona, host Missouri and Illinois-Chicago. Also in the hunt for individual NCAA bids are all-arounders Ashley Godwin of Southeast Missouri State, Kristina Campos of Northern Illinois, Denise Houda of Illinois State, and Kara Kapernekas and Ashley Williams of Illinois-Champaign, as well as individual event specialists Luci Romberg of Texas Woman's University (vault), Stephanie Loudat of Texas Women's University (bars), Lisa Klein of Illinois State (beam) and Amber McMeans of Texas Woman's University (floor).

Rotation Order - UCLA will begin the meet on a bye before floor and will finish the meet on beam. Rotation order for the championship meet was determined by blind draw.

Live On The Web - Live scoring for the Regional Championships will be provided on the Missouri web site, Scores will be updated after each rotation.

UCLA's Regional History - UCLA has won 13 regional championships, including the last four and nine of the last 10. Last season, UCLA scored 197.425 to defeat second-place Arizona by nearly 2.5 points. The Bruins swept the individual events, with Jamie Dantzscher winning the all-around, vault (tied with Jeanette Antolin), bars and floor. Alyssa Beckerman tied for first on beam. UCLA had at least three athletes in the Top 3 of each event, including the Top 5 placings on bars.

UCLA Atop National Rankings - The Bruins continue to remain atop the national rankings with a team RQS of 197.98. UCLA is also first on vault (49.530), bars (49.515) and beam (49.575). The RQS is compiled by taking the top six scores, three of which must be away scores, dropping the high and averaging the remaining five marks.

Individually, five Bruins are ranked this week - Kate Richardson, who is first on beam, third in the all-around, tied for ninth on floor, 25th on bars and 24th on vault; Jeanette Antolin, who is first on vault and ninth in the all-around; Jamie Dantzscher, who is first on bars and floor and sixth on vault; Onnie Willis, who ranks sixth in the all-around, eighth on vault, 11th on bars, 15th on beam and 22nd on floor; and Yvonne Tousek, who is 10th on beam and 11th on bars.

UCLA Boasts Nations' Top Scores - UCLA has the distinction of scoring the top marks in the nation this year for team total (198.575 on Feb. 9), vault (49.7 on Feb. 9 and Feb. 16) and floor (49.725 on Feb. 2 and Mar. 29).

Bruins Capture 11th Pac-10 Title - Behind career-high performances from Kate Richardson and Jeanette Antolin, UCLA captured its 11th Pac-10 team title on Mar. 29 with a meet record score of 198.175. Richardson won the all-around championships with a meet record score of 39.825. Antolin was second with her all-time best of 39.7. Both Bruins scored perfect 10s to win their respective events - Richardson on floor and Antolin on vault. The Bruins were competing without two-time Pac-10 floor exercise champion Jamie Dantzscher, who sat out the meet due to illness.

Willis Honored As Pac-10 Gymnast Of The Year - Senior Onnie Willis was honored as the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year for 2003. The senior from Tacoma, Wash. has had an exceptional year, ranking in the Top 25 on all four events and the all-around. She currently ranks sixth in the nation in the all-around and has posted a career-high mark of 39.8 twice this year. She has hit all 41 routines she has competed this year, with 26 scores of 9.9 or higher. Willis earns UCLA's 12th Gymnast of the Year honor and seventh consecutive.

Richardson Named Pac-10 Freshman Of The Year - Kate Richardson earned UCLA's second all-time Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award. Richardson has been UCLA's workhorse this season, competing in the all-around in 12 of 13 meets. She ranks third in the nation in the all-around and first on the balance beam. She has scored four perfect 10s this year - two each on the balance beam and floor exercise. Richardson holds school freshman records for all-around score (39.825) and beam and floor score (10.0).

Kondos Earns Pac-10 Coach Of The Year Honors - Head coach Valorie Kondos Field was voted by her peers as the Pac-10's Co-Coach of the Year, along with California's Cari DuBois. Kondos has led UCLA to a No. 1 ranking all season long, and her team tied the all-time national-best team score of 198.575 on Feb. 9. Her Bruins have scored over 198 an unprecedented five times this year. Kondos Field earns this award for the third time in her career and the fifth time in school history.

Win Streaks Alive For Antolin, Dantzscher - Juniors Jeanette Antolin and Jamie Dantzscher are both holding long winning streaks on vault and floor, respectively. Antolin has won the vault in five consecutive meets, in eight of her last nine meets, and 10 times overall this year. Dantzscher is undefeated on floor this year, winning seven times in as many meets and 18 consecutive times dating back to last season. The last time Dantzscher did not place first on floor was on Jan. 13, 2002 at Georgia. Richardson had an eight-meet win streak on beam snapped at the UCLA Invitational on Mar. 16. Richardson has nine wins in 12 meets.

Bruins Are Beaming - UCLA has been a force on the balance beam in 2003, averaging a national-best 49.36. The Bruins have won several meets this year on the balance beam in the final rotation, most recently at Michigan on Mar. 7. With UCLA up by .425 after three rotations, UCLA needed to hit beam in order to win the meet, and the Bruins did just that. Four Bruins scored 9.85 or higher, leading to a team score of 49.35 to Michigan's 49.3 on floor. At Arizona State on Feb. 16, the Bruins were 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.

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 28-28 with no score lower than 9.775 and 23 scores of 9.9 or higher. Willis is 41-41 and has hit 26 9.9 or higher routines. In addition, Dantzscher has hit 25 consecutive routines on bars and has scored 9.95 or higher on 19 straight floor routines. Kristin Parker has hit 39 straight vaults, Yvonne Tousek has hit 26 consecutive beam routines, and Jeanette Antolin has hit 32-32 for her career on vault..

Perfect Bruins - The Bruins have scored a school-record 18 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 four 10.0s - two each on beam and floor. Richardson is the first Bruin ever to score multiple 10s on the balance beam. Jeanette Antolin has earned three perfect 10s on vault. Also scoring perfect 10s this year are Onnie Willis on floor and Yvonne Tousek on bars.

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 - Richardson (high of 39.825), Willis (39.8), Dantzscher (39.775), Antolin (39.7), Tousek (39.525) and Parker (39.45).

Bruins Become First Five-Time 198 Team - UCLA has reached the 198 plateau an unprecedented five times this season and ties Georgia for the all-time NCAA record with seven scores of 198+ in the program's history. 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), on Feb. 23 at Arizona State (198.4) and on Mar. 29 in the Pac-10 Championships (198.175).

UCLA Loaded With Elite Talent - Nine of UCLA's 15 team members have been members of their countries national teams, while five were on Olympic teams and eight were on World Championship teams. UCLA's 2000 Olympians are Alyssa Beckerman (U.S. alternate), Jamie Dantzscher (U.S.), Kristen Maloney (U.S.), Kate Richardson (Canada) and Yvonne Tousek (Canada, also 1996). Other World Championship team members are Jeanette Antolin (U.S.), Holly Murdock (Great Britain) and Doni Thompson (U.S.). Onnie Willis was a member of the U.S. National Team in 1996.

Seven Bruins have won National Championships for their respective countries - Beckerman (2000 beam), Dantzscher (1999 bars), Maloney (1998 and 1999 all-around, 2000 vault and floor), Murdock (2001 vault and beam), Richardson (2000 vault and 2001 all-around, vault, bars and beam), Thompson (1995 beam) and Tousek (1999 floor and vault, 2000 all-around, bars and floor).

UCLA To Host 2004 NCAA Championships - Pauley Pavilion will play host to the 2004 NCAA Championships on Apr. 15-17, 2004. Tickets for the Championships will go on sale soon at the UCLA Central Ticket Office (310/UCLA-WIN).

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