NCAA Championships Pre-Tournament Quotes

April 23, 2008

NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships
April 23, 2008
Wednesday Press Conference Quotes

UCLA Head Coach Valorie Kondos Field
'It's great to be back in Athens. We had a fun time when we were here justa few weeks ago, and we're glad to be back and compete against the bestteams in the country. There have been many bumps in the road for us thisyear, but the trials and tribulations are what makes this so fun. It showsthe character of your team, and I'm thrilled for the championship and toturn over a new leaf. We're working out the small details, but we plan onstill competing Friday night.'

UCLA Senior Tasha Schwikert
'I'm very excited to be here at the NCAA's. I've been dreaming of this myentire career, and when I entered college, I couldn't imagine having justthree days left. We've had a lot of injuries, but also some great momentsand great rotations and when you put it all together we can change thegame.'

Alabama Head Coach Sarah Patterson
'We are very excited to be here for the 26th consecutive time. I feel thatqualifying for nationals this year is just as exciting as qualifying 26years ago. We have a wonderful team this year, who have all been through alot of trials and tribulations, but they stuck together and shown howtalented they are to be here.'

Alabama Senior Kaitlin White
'We started pretty consistent, but once we headed out to California westruggled. We had to sit down and talk about a lot of things, change ourgoals, and write new ones down. I love the team that we have. We get alonginside the gym and out of it, and I am excited.'

Arkansas co-Head Coach Mark Cook
'This is our second time being here and we are excited with theopportunity. This entire season we have been on a mission. They are anexciting group of ladies who are very driven and have given 100% thisentire season. I am proud to be back this year with this group'

Arkansas Senior Samantha Cortez
'The last time we were here we were underdogs and not expected to make itthrough our regional and into nationals. This year is a different team withdifferent expectations and we have shown everyone that we deserve to makeit.'

Denver Head Coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart
'We're just excited to be here at the championship and especially thrilledto be here at UGA where there is an excellent tradition. This is oursecond year qualifying for the national championship. This year we'vetrained better and we're stronger and more focused. We're looking forwardto going out there and doing what we know we can.'

Denver Junior Jessica Lopez
'It's pretty much the same pressure here with your team as it is competingindividually. We have the same support of the team and the coaches. I'mdoing the sport that I love so there's no pressure. I'm just ready to goout there and do the best I can.'

Florida Head Coach Rhonda Faehn
'First I would like to comment on the beautiful facility. We are thrilledto be here and we want to thank UGA. It is wonderful to be up on thispodium in this championship atmosphere. We have been training very wellsince our regional meet. Physically and menatally we are as fresh as wehave been all year, which is a change from years past, and we feel ready.'

Florida Sophomore Melanie Sinclair
'After a meet I just try to get back to the gym and work on the smalldetails and try to pick up 10ths here and there. We did a lot of pressuresets this year in the middle of practice to try to create a competitiveatmosphere to get ready and focused.'

Georgia Head Coach Suzanne Yoculan
'This is the 4th championship we've hosted here and it feels great. I'm abig perfectionist but our staff is amazing and it's been great to get achance to relax. It's given us a chance to focus on our academics andresolve any distractions that might arise, because that can happen hostinghere at home. We're ready, we're peaking now, and this is the time thatevery coach likes to peak. Our conference and individual goals werereached, and our goals are going to culminate here in Athens.

Georgia Senior Katie Heenan
'Us seniors couldnt ask for more. When we won our first national title in2005, I couldn't imagine looking back at winning three. We're going forfour and it's so special here at home. It's very exciting here, we have ourhome crowd, and I just could not ask for anything more.'

LSU Head Coach D-D Breaux
'We are very excited to be back here an an SEC school for thechampionships. We are glad to be able to come back and compete. We have hada methodical season. We are a young team but we have progressed, improvedand gotten stronger each week. We are more consistent in our preparationand in competition and we are coming off of an exciting experience atregionals.'

LSU Junior Ashleigh Clare-Kearney
'After each meet I try to focus on the little things I did wrong, I am byno means perfect. I just try to focus on consistency and improving on thelittle things each week.'

Michigan Head Coach Bev Polcki
'I would first like to thank UGA for hosting this championship. It hasmoved to a lot of different places but the hospitality here has beenamazing. We are thrilled to be here and feel that we have a chance to dosomething. We have had a great year this year following last season'sinjuries. We have had great depth and consistency, and we are confident inwhat we are capable of doing.'

Michgan Senior Lindsay Bruck
'This team has been amazing. Our chemistry is incredible. Everyone iscommitted 100% to what we are doing in and out of the gym. I think that hashelped everyone with their progress and allowed us to have a great year.'

Oklahoma Head Coach K.J. Kindler
'We feel very fortunate to be here. We are healthy, and we have been forthe past two years, which has been a big part of our success. The team hascome together in terms of chemistry, and things seem to be falling intoplace. Our Big 12 experience was exciting and we had a great time. We havebeen working hard to get where we need to be. We hope to be able to put ittogether we and have a great meet.'

Oklahoma Sophomore Hollie Vise
'Going to the World Championships was a great experience. I am now having alot of fun with collegiate gymnastics. It is a lot different, it's so muchmore team oriented. I am glad to be able to bring my experience to thetable and I hope to contribute and make my scores count.'

Oregon State Head Coach Tanya Chaplin
'Our team has worked tremendously hard and have tried to build on lastseason's success. We were the runner-up in the Pac 10 this year and we hada great West region meet. It has been an honor to work with these youngwomen. They are driven and enthusiastic. We hope to come in this weekendand continue to build on the exciting things we were able to do lastweekend.'

Oregon State Junior Jami Lanz
'This is a team that has built on our success each year. We have a greatopportunity now and we are ready to take the next step and make the SuperSix. I can't wait until tomorrow night's competition.'

Stanford Head Coach Kristen Smyth
'It's exciting to be one of the 12 teams here competing for thechampionship. I can't think of a better place to compete; we're lookingforward to this fantastic atmosphere that Athens has to offer. We've had agreat postseason and competing here gives us the opportunity to get betterand better. Our goal is to enjoy every minute left with this incrediblegroup of girls.'

Stanford Senior Tabitha Yim
'Having basically the same group competing here as last year really helpsgive the team confidence because we know exactly what to expect. We have agreat chance to challenge for the title. We're just really excited to behere.'

Utah Head Coach Greg Marsden
'We are very happy to be here, and we had a very good season. Our team isdetermined and they are a close group. We did not choose a captain this year because we wanted everyone to take part in becoming leaders. They havedone a great job of doing that and the result has been a very consitentyear. We feel that we are in a good place and we hope to have a greatweekend.'

Utah Senior Ashley Postell
'I think my decision to go to Utah was a really good one. I don't think Icould be any happier anywhere else. I am very thankful for Greg and for myteammates. They have allowed me to grow as a person and an athlete. Whetherwe win the championship or not, it was a great decision to come to Utah.'