NCAA Championship Blog - April 23, 2008
April 23, 2008
Athens, GA -
The Bruins are winding down after a busy afternoon at Stegeman Coliseum. When we arrived to the arena, Anna Li and Jordan Schwikert went off to do specialty shots for CBS, and Kristina Comforte did a website interview for GeorgiaDogs.com (check for that later on at their NCAA multi-media page), while Valorie Kondos Field and Tasha Schwikert went to the pre-meet press conference.
The press conference was one of the more animated ones I've seen in awhile. Up on the podium with Val and Tasha were Denver's Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart and Jessica Lopez, Georgia's Suzanne Yoculan and Katie Heenan and Stanford's Kristen Smyth and Tabitha Yim. Each coach gave an opening statement, and each gymnast was asked a prepared question. When they opened up the floor for questions is when it really got interesting.
The other three non-Georgia coaches were asked if they were tired of running into the SEC. I don't think they were really understanding the question (or the relevance of it). Val just said that she hopes we can repeat our last run-in we had at a national championship here (when we won in 2001). To which Suzanne quickly replied, 'Winning by .05 with fulls on beam? That ain't happening.' Actually, it was .175. And one of those fulls came from Mohini Bhardwaj, who had more difficulty than anyone in the nation that year and did more than enough to warrant a 10.0 start value even with a full dismount. But I digress.
After a little pause, Val just said, 'Game on.' And Suzanne took that literally. After the next question was asked, she interjected to expound on her thought. 'She outcoached me that night,' she acknowledged. 'That's the part that's not going to happen again.' Val's reply: 'Well I plan on doing it again!'.
By the way, Val and Suzanne are friends, and there was a lot of wink, wink during this whole exchange. To watch the press conference video, click HERE.
Practice was not nearly as eventful, thankfully. It was all business for the Bruins, who took the practice time to get used to the brand-new equipment and to the podium. No injuries to report! After dinner, it was back to the hotel for some rest and relaxation before tomorrow night's big meet.
One last thing ... check out this feature on Tasha in Wednesday's Daily Bruin. It's hard to believe this is going to be her and Jordan and Natalie's last weekend of gymnastics. They will be missed!