Three U.S. National Team Gymnasts Sign Letters-Of-Intent With UCLA

Nov. 10, 2005

Three senior international elite gymnasts have signed national letters-of-intent to compete at UCLA. Joining the five-time NCAA champion Bruins for the 2007 season are 2005 U.S. vault and floor champion Alicia Sacramone from Winchester, Mass.; 2005 U.S. national team member Brittani McCullough of Corona, Calif.; and 2003 U.S. junior national team member Ashley Jenkins of Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Alicia Sacramone (photo by Jeff Sipsey)

Sacramone, who trains at Brestyan's Gymnastics and attends Winchester HS, is one of the top vault and floor performers in the world. This year, she won the vault and floor titles at the World Cup meet in Ghent, Belgium, defeating the Olympic champion Catalina Ponor (Romania) on floor. Sacramone also won double gold at the Pan American Gymnastics Championships in Brazil and was first on vault at the American Cup. In 2004, she won the vault gold medal at the World Cup Final, defeating reigning Olympic champion Monica Rosu of Romania. At the 2005 U.S. Championships, Sacramone won the vault and floor events, placed third on beam and fourth in the all-around. Her score of 9.9 on floor in the final day of competition was the first 9.9 or better awarded in the women's division of the national competition since 1996. A three-year U.S. National team member, Sacramone is one of six gymnasts currently at selection camp for the 2005 World Championships.

Brittani McCullough (photo by Jeff Sipsey)

McCullough had a rapid rise from Level 10 to Senior International Elite in 2005. After winning the Level 10 national vault, uneven bars and floor exercise titles in May, she worked her way into earning a berth in the U.S. Championships, where she placed 11th in the all-around to make the national team. The Centennial HS senior trains at SCEGA and was the 2003 Level 10 national bars champion.

Jenkins, who attends Mater Dei HS and trains at SCATS, made the 2003 U.S. junior national team after a 10th-place all-around finish at the U.S. Championships. Jenkins also placed fourth on floor exercise in that meet and earned a seventh-place showing at the U.S. Classic. Also that year, she teamed with Sacramone and current Bruin freshman Kristina Comforte at the Massilia Gym Cup in Marseille, France. Jenkins competed at the 2005 U.S. Championships.

Ashley Jenkins (photo by Jeff Sipsey)

'We are extremely excited about the diversity, experience and overall athleticism that these three elite athletes will bring to our program,' said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. 'They are all exceptionally talented student-athletes in their own right, yet together they combine to form one of the strongest classes in the history of UCLA gymnastics.'

'When asked about our 2006 recruiting class, the first thing that comes to mind is that they are all extremely confident in their personal and athletic lives,' Kondos Field continued. 'I'm always interested in bringing in talented athletes who have strong character and a strong sense of who they are as individuals. Their diversity in personalities, as well as athletic strengths, will fit in perfectly with our team's chemistry, the bonus being that it's always fun to coach spirited, strong-minded, talented athletes.'

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