Bruins Win Dual Meet At Fullerton With 195.925

Feb. 3, 2006

Fullerton, Calif. - Freshman Kristina Comforte (Burr Ridge, Ill.) scored the first 10.0 in the nation this season, hitting a perfect Yurchenko layout full to help the UCLA gymnastics team defeat Cal State Fullerton in a dual meet at Titan Gym, 195.925-190.05.

Comforte also won the uneven bars with a career-high 9.9 and tied for third on beam and floor while recording a career-high 39.475 in the all-around to place second behind teammate Kate Richardson, who won the all-around with a season-high 39.55. Bruin freshman Ariana Berlin was third with a career-high 38.975.

Berlin led off the competition with another solid routine on the uneven bars, scoring a 9.65. Jalynne and Janelle Dantzscher followed with scores of 9.625 and 9.725, respectively. Comforte nailed her difficult routine to score a career-best 9.9. Richardson had a slight over-arch on a handstand early in the routine but recovered well to score 9.825, bringing the Bruins' team total to 48.725, nearly a point ahead of Cal State Fullerton, which scored 47.8 on vault.

On vault, Janelle Dantzscher stuck her Yurchenko layout to start the rotation and scored a career-best 9.65. Jordan Schwikert returned to the lineup and scored a 9.625 on the same vault. Berlin competed a Yurchenko layout full and scored a career-high 9.85. Melissa Chan added a 9.75, and Comforte stuck a big Yurchenko layout full for a perfect 10, UCLA's first of the season and the first 10 by any gymnast on any event in the nation this year. Richardson closed the rotation with a 9.9, and the Bruins finished with a team vault score of 49.15 and a two-event total of 97.875 Cal State Fullerton scored 47.9 on bars for a two-event total of 95.7.

'I'm thrilled for Kristina,' said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. 'She is one of best vaulters in the world. She can do a few bigger vaults, but we're hoping to save her ankle for season. She's been trying to find the balance of not over-rotating and not under-rotating, and it's nice that she's been able to find it.'

Berlin started off the floor rotation with a 9.75. Jalynne Dantzscher hit her Arabian double front opening pass, leading to a score of 9.825, a new career-best. Schwikert made her 2006 debut on floor and recorded a 9.725. Comforte hit another solid routine, scoring 9.75. Richardson's high-energy routine, highlighted by a stuck double layout opening pass, merited a season-high tying and meet-winning 9.9, giving UCLA a 48.95 on floor and a three-event score of 146.825 to Fullerton's 142.975.

The Bruins' strong performances continued on beam. Leadoff competitor Berlin earned a 9.725 to tie her career-best. Schwikert's season-best 9.775 included a perfect side somi and stuck gainer full dismount. Chan followed with a career-high tying 9.85 after sticking her double back dismount. Richardson was picture-perfect on her handstand to layout/layout flight series and earned a 9.925 to win the event and edge out Comforte for the all-around title with a season-high 39.55. Comforte's beam score of 9.825 gave her a second-place all-around total of 39.475 and a team total of 49.1 on beam (a new season-high) and a final overall score of 195.925.

'Competitively we're still trying to find our competitive groove,' said Kondos Field. 'We've still got some nerves happening, but hopefully those will be gone soon. And what makes it all great is that they're still so enthusiastic to go up and compete. I think that's where the nerves are coming from. As they get more confident, I hope they never lose that enthusiasm to compete.'

The Bruins will next compete at California on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 pm before hosting Washington on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 2 pm in Pauley Pavilion.

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