Maranda Smith Signs Grant-In-Aid With UCLA Gymnastics

Oct. 21, 2005

Placerville gymnast Maranda Smith has signed a grant-in-aid to attend UCLA and compete on the gymnastics team in the 2006 season, announced UCLA gymnastics head coach Valorie Kondos Field.

Smith, an honors student at Union Mine High School, will be graduating early and will report to UCLA on Dec. 27 for the start of the upcoming season. She is the 2005 Level 10 Senior B floor exercise national champion. She also placed 11th in the all-around at the national meet. At the 2005 Region 1 meet, Smith placed second in the all-around, vault and uneven bars and captured the floor exercise title, and at the Level 10 Nor Cal State meet, she won the vault and uneven bars titles, placed second in the all-around, fourth on floor exercise and fifth on balance beam. At the junior level, she won the 2004 Level 10 floor exercise national title and was first in the all-around, vault, balance beam and floor exercise at the 2004 Region 1 Championships.

Smith is coached by Eli and Debbie Rodriguez and Mas Watanabe at Byers Gymnastics.

'Having Maranda Smith join our team for the 2006 season is a dream come true for all of us,' said Kondos Field. 'She adds exciting and dynamic gymnastics to our already-talented freshman class. Having spent time with Maranda during three unofficial visits that she made during the course of last year, we already feel that she is a part of our team.'

Smith will be one of seven freshmen on UCLA's 2006 squad, joining Ariana Berlin, Melissa Chan, Kristina Comforte, Jalynne Dantzscher, Janelle Dantzscher and Alyssa Kitasoe.

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