UCLA Gymnasts Travel To Oregon State
Feb. 14, 2007
Bruins Head North To Visit Oregon State - The seventh-ranked UCLA Gymnastics team (5-3) will travel to 16th-ranked Oregon State (3-4) for a Pac-10 dual meet on Friday, Feb. 16. The meet will take place at Gill Coliseum at 7 pm.
Live Coverage - Live scoring will be provided at osubeavers.com
In The Rankings - UCLA maintains the No. 7 ranking in the latest national rankings with a total season average of 195.546. The Bruins rank fifth on uneven bars (49.100), seventh on vault (49.071) and floor exercise (48.964), and 20th on balance beam (48.411). Individually, Tasha Schwikert ranks No. 6 in the all-around (39.396), No. 5 on floor exercise (9.900), No. 8 on vault (9.889) and tied for No. 17 on balance beam (9.825). Ariana Berlin ranks 17th in the all-around after scoring 39.25 in her first all-around appearance of the year last weekend, and Anna Li is 17th on uneven bars (9.864).
Oregon State ranks 16th nationally with a 194.745 season average. The Beavers rank ninth on beam (48.690), 16th on floor (48.750), 20th on bars (48.560) and 22nd on vault (48.745). Individually, Jami Lanz ranks 22nd in the all-around (39.180) and 21st on beam (9.820). Tasha Smith is tied for second on floor (9.9), and Mandi Rodriguez ranks 19th on vault (9.850).
Short-Handed Bruins Fall To Denver - A short-handed Bruin gymnastics squad battled through adversity but fell just short, losing by one-tenth of a point at Denver, 194.9-194.8. The Bruins were without Kristina Comforte (fractured ankle) and Janelle Dantzscher (stress fracture, foot) and had Tasha Schwikert limited to just vault and bars (strained Achilles). Ariana Berlin, Natalie Padilla and Ashley Jenkins were called upon in their teammates' absence and stepped up big. Berlin posted a career-high all-around score (39.25) in her first all-around attempt of the year. Padilla saw her first competitive action of the year on bars, beam and floor and came through with hit routines, including a career-high 9.725 on beam. Jenkins, who had to sit out bars and floor due to a hyperextended elbow, came through on beam with a reworked routine that put no weight on her injured elbow and scored a career-high 9.8. Jordan Schwikert also helped out with her first action on balance beam this year. Tasha Schwikert won both of the events in which she competed, scoring 9.95 on vault and 9.9 on bars. Berlin won beam with a career-high 9.875 and placed second in the all-around.
Injury Update - Tasha Schwikert is listed as probable for this weekend's meet. Ashley Jenkins will compete on the balance beam. Anna Li, who got injured on her beam dismount at Denver, is looking good to compete on a few events and could possibly do all-around. Kristina Comforte and Janelle Dantzscher remain out.
Tasha Schwikert Back To 2005 Form - Junior Tasha Schwikert is back to the form that brought her the NCAA all-around title in 2005. The two-time Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week has averaged a whopping 39.588 during her four-meet all-around winning streak. She has posted the top two all-around scores in the nation this year, a 39.7 vs. Arizona on Jan. 21 and a 39.675 at Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 19.
Sixteen of Schwikert's 26 scores this season (62%) have been 9.9 or higher, including 13 of her last 15 routines. She leads the team with averages of 39.396 in the all-around, 9.900 on floor, 9.889 on vault and 9.825 on beam. Schwikert, a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team, missed nearly all of last season after undergoing shoulder surgery. She returned to competition in the last regular season meet of 2006 and also competed on three events in the Pac-10 and NCAA Regional meets. She qualified for the NCAA Championships on vault.
Jordan Schwikert Returns On Three Events - Junior Jordan Schwikert, who had been limited to just uneven bars in the Bruins' first five meets due to a hamstring injury, made her season debut on vault at Arizona State on Jan. 26. Schwikert made a more than successful return to the lineup, scoring a team-high 9.825. She also recorded a season-best 9.875 on the uneven bars, earning a 9.95 from one of the two judges. On Feb. 10 at Denver, she made her season debut on balance beam.
Peckett, Berlin Have No-Fall Policy - Last season's most consistent competitors - Ashley Peckett and Ariana Berlin - have not skipped a beat in 2007. Peckett has hit 80 of her last 81 routines without a fall, including all 21 routines this season, while Berlin has hit 71 of her 74 career routines without a fall. This season, Peckett is averaging 9.76 or higher on all three events in which she competes (9.779 on vault, 9.768 on bars and 9.771 on floor). Berlin, whose training has been limited due to pain caused by the rod in her leg, has been pulling in big scores despite competing mainly in the leadoff position. She averages 9.793 on vault and 9.804 on bars and has posted three 9.8+ routines on beam and a 9.75 on floor in her season debut on Feb. 10.
Selesky Shines - Senior Michelle Selesky continues to bring big scores to the Bruins in 2007. The former walk-on had only seen competition time just five times prior to this season but has been not only a mainstay but a top contributor on vault and floor. In the season opener, she won the floor exercise with a 9.9 and tied for third on vault with a 9.825 to make the medals stand for the first time in her career. Both scores were, at the time, two-tenths higher than her previous career-bests. She continued her success the following week, twice scoring 9.825s on vault and earning a 9.825 on floor at Utah to tie for fourth. She improved her personal-best on vault at Cal State Fullerton, scoring a 9.85 to tie for third place and improved it again against Arizona, scoring a 9.9 to earn her first vault victory, tying with teammate Tasha Schwikert. Selesky has placed in the Top 3 on vault in four out of seven meets.
Li Makes Stellar Debut - Freshman Anna Li made her Pauley Pavilion debut a memorable one, winning the all-around (39.0) and uneven bars (9.85) in her first collegiate meet on Jan. 6. Making the event even more special was the presence of her parents, Yuejiu Li and Jiani Wu, who had won Olympic team medals for China in the same arena at the 1984 Olympic Games. Li improved her all-around score the following week at Utah, scoring 39.2 to place fourth. She also placed second on beam with a 9.825. More career-highs were set at Fullerton on Jan. 19, as Li placed second in the all-around with a career-high 39.275. She also improved her personal-bests on vault (9.85 to tie for third), bars (9.875, second place) and beam (9.825 to tie for second). Li had an even better meet on Jan. 21 vs. Arizona, scoring a career-high 39.55 in the all-around to post the highest score by any freshman in the nation this year. She also won the uneven bars with a career-high 9.95 and placed third on vault (9.825), second on beam (career-high 9.9) and tied for second on floor (9.875). Li is currently ranked 17th in the national rankings on uneven bars.
Comforte Out For Season - Sophomore Kristina Comforte's long-time battle with ankle injuries has forced her out of competition for the year. An old fracture in her left ankle that has been causing her pain for the last four years was recently discovered, and she will sit out the rest of the year to heal. Comforte competed through the injury all of 2006 and earned first-team All-America honors in the all-around and on vault. She competed in six meets on balance beam this year, averaging 9.767, with a high of 9.825.
Dantzscher's Momentum Slowed With Injury - Sophomore Janelle Dantzscher's stress fracture in her foot could not have come at a worse time for her, as she has hit her stride in her last five competitions, averaging 9.84 on floor and 9.66 on beam. Dantzscher placed in the Top 3 on floor in her last four meets and has more Top 3 showings on floor than anyone on the team outside of Tasha Schwikert. Dantzscher scored a career-high 9.9 vs. Stanford on Jan. 15 and has placed second on the event in her last two consecutive meets. She was also coming off a season-best beam score of 9.725, set at Arizona State. Dantzscher is expected to be out another 2-3 weeks.
About The Beavers - Oregon State is coached by former UCLA All-American Tanya (Service) Chaplin. The Beavers had a successful 2006 campaign, qualifying to the NCAA Championships and placing third at the Pac-10 Championships, with Pac-10 titles being won by Tasha Smith on vault and floor. Jami Lanz was honored as the Pac-10 Co-Freshman of the Year, along with UCLA's Ariana Berlin.
Two Meets To Be Televised On LA36 - UCLA home meets on Feb. 25 (vs. California, Cal State Fullerton and Denver) and Mar. 4 (vs. Georgia) will be televised on a delayed basis on Los Angeles cable station LA36. The station can be found throughout Los Angeles on Time Warner Cable and other LA-affiliated cable stations. Check your local listings for air dates and times.
Ten-Year Anniversary - UCLA will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its first NCAA women's gymnastics title on Mar. 4 when the Bruins host Georgia in the home finale at 2 pm in Pauley Pavilion. Members of the 1997 squad will be in attendance and honored during the meet.