NCAA Gymnastics Pre-Championships Press Conference

April 21, 2010

Gainesville, Fla. -

To watch video from UCLA's press conference session, CLICK HERE.

NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships
Wednesday Press Conference Quotes

UCLA Head Coach Valorie Kondos Field
On being in Gainesville at the 2010 NCAA Championships:
'We would like to thank the University of Florida and their entire staff for working withus and making this an exciting experience. This weekend feels like a homecoming for us,because this is where we won our first national championship and there are a lot of littlethings that have gone into UCLA getting back here. It's been four long years in themaking to climb back up and compete for another championship. It's been a hard road,but I wouldn't change it for the world. As the previous coaches said you can never takemaking the championships for granted. It's a really fun event and we're looking to go outtomorrow and have a blast.'

Anna Li
On being at NCAAs as a senior:
'I'm really excited to be out here with my team. I've never been a part of a group of girlsand coaches in a program that is just so amazing. Our team has a lot of integrity. Thisyear has been amazing and I couldn't have asked for it to end any better. I'm reallyexcited to go out tomorrow with my team and compete for a championship.'

Alabama Head Coach Sarah Patterson
On being in Gainesville at the 2010 NCAA Championships:
'First of all, I just want to say thank you to the University of Florida for their hospitalityand hosting this event. I know what a great deal of work it is and we appreciate theirhospitality. Second of all, to my colleagues, I want to say congratulations because foreverybody who is here at the National Championship, it has been a tremendous year. Formy own team, this has been a really sensational season. We've enjoyed the journey andwe're proud to be here at the National Championship.'

Alabama gymnast Morgan Dennis
On weighing the opportunity to repeat as an individual floor champion versus winninga team championship:
'I would definitely prefer a team championship. When I was out there [competing] myfreshman year and won, it was an awkward feeling that I didn't have my girls down thereon the floor with me. I would trade in that championship for a team championship anyday, especially after experiencing it at the SEC Championship last year.'

Arkansas Co-Head Coach Rene Cook
On competing at the 2010 NCAA Championships:
'I'd like to thank Florida for hosting the Championships. We're excited to be here. Like(Alabama head coach Patterson) Sarah said, all the teams here are exceptional or theywouldn't be here. We're excited to compete against them. We're excited to get in thearena today and this event started. We really look forward to this opportunity.'

Arkansas gymnast Casey Jo Magee
On competing on podium:
'To be up on podium, you have to make adjustments but this is a different podium thanwhat we competed on at the SEC Championships and every team is going to have tomake those adjustments. It helps with confidence, having already done that, but everyteam gets today to get those kinks out and we're just going to take advantage of that.'

Head Coach Rhonda Faehn
On if hosting the 2010 NCAA Championships adds to the pressure:
'No, I don't think so. The athletes are looking at it as a home competition during theregular season and we don't feel extra pressure when we're hosting anyone coming intoGainesville; we didn't feel any extra pressure in Jacksonville for SEC's because it was inFlorida. This team is really special from all of the teams that I've coached in that theydon't really look at all of the outer (elements) that they can't control and that don't reallyconcern them. They just go out, have fun, do their job and it's really exciting. I don'tanticipate that they're going to feel any extra pressure. I think that they're just reallygoing to feed off of the fact that they're familiar with the arena and that they're at homeand visually familiar with their surroundings. So, it's not going to be a negative.'

Florida gymnast Maranda Smith
On competing while still overcoming her injuries:
'It's different for every gymnast depending on your personality and your willpower. Forme, the toughest part was not being able to practice while everyone else was. It'sdiscouraging when you see all of your teammates practicing every day and improvingfrom last season and you're still doing rehab every day. The way I've overcome havingsurgery is visualizing and the mental aspect of it - making my mind strong - so when Ican't practice the same numbers as everyone else, I can sit and visualize it. Still, duringseason right now, I can't do as much as the other girls, so I still work on it everyday andthat has helped me be successful in college because I can't train all the time, but mymind is strong so I can still improve.'

LSU Head Coach D-D Breaux
On being in Gainesville at the 2010 NCAA Championships:
'We're excited to be here. The second half of our season defined our program and ourteam more than our entire season. We've had great leadership from our seniors and justa real tenacious and competitive group. We lost some of our student-athletes to injuriesand they didn't even get to touch the floor. We had a student-athlete that wasn't going tobe able to start until the middle of the season and we were able to add Ericka Garcia toour lineup mid-season. That was an infusion of enthusiasm and new life because it gaveus nine kids to work with. It put a little bit of depth and a little bit of competition amongthe kids as far as line-up positions.'

LSU gymnast Susan Jackson
On being at the NCAA Championships and the opportunity to set a school record forall-around titles in a single season
'I'm very excited to be here. I'm not really thinking about (the all-around record) rightnow and I don't think that I should be thinking about it. My thoughts are 100 percentwith my team and the team's success. That's where my head is right now.'

Michigan Head Coach Bev Plocki
On competing at the 2010 NCAA Championships:
'I, too, would like to thank the University of Florida for hosting the nationalchampionship. We have not hosted a championship before, but I know it's a tremendousamount of work. They've been working at it for a whole season to get ready for this. Forour team, this has been a great season. We had a difficult season last year and werebounded from that. We've taken it one step at a time and have progressively gottenbetter and better as the season has gone along. We are excited to be here at the nationalchampionship and looking forward to the competition.'

Michigan gymnast Kylee Botterman
On being at this stage of the NCAA Championships:
'We did make the NCAA Championships as a team my freshman year and I did make itas an individual last year. So, compared to last year, I'm very excited. I had a fun timelast year but it's not as fun as the time we're having now. We're looking forward to agreat experience.'

Missouri Head Coach Rob Drass
On being in Gainesville at the 2010 NCAA Championships:
'We would like to thank the University of Florida. We know it is a huge undertaking tohost a championship like this. Everything looks fantastic, so great job to Rhonda andher staff. For Missouri, it is history in the making. This is our first trip to the NCAAChampionships and we are absolutely thrilled to be here. We just want to go out andrepresent our school as well as do well on our routines. Good luck to everyone.'

Sarah Shire
On being at NCAAs:
'I was here as an individual last year and it is a totally different feeling being here withmy best friends. We've been working together since August and we are a really closegroup. To be here with my team makes me feel like I'm home again, which I think helpsboost my confidence. I couldn't ask for a better way to end my senior season.'

Nebraska Head Coach Dan Kendig
On competing at the 2010 NCAA Championships:
'Florida has done nothing but a great job welcoming us. We are happy to be here and ourteam is looking forward to a great competition. Speaking of competition, the competitionat this meet, top to bottom, is unbelievable. It's going to be a great event and we'reexcited about it. Again, thank you Florida for all you've done. I know how it is to hostthese. It's been fun so far and it's only going to get more fun.'

Nebrask gymnast Maria Scaffidi
On being at the 2010 NCAA Championship in Gainesville:
'We're all really excited to be here, we haven't been to nationals in two years. Only threeof us have been to NCAAs before, so this is really exciting for our team. We've put in a lotof hard work this year and it's finally time for us to shine, especially at our last meet.We're just really thrilled and honored to be here.'

Oklahoma Head Coach K.J. Kindler
On being in Gainesville at the 2010 NCAA Championships:
'Everything looks great here. It's exciting to see the podium again out there. It's fun tohave all the athletes up there showcasing what they can do and have the arena in whichto do it in. We are extremely excited. We've had a great season that has been recordbreakingfor us, personally. I'm very proud of our team. We have an unbelievable groupof seniors - five athletes who really brought us together this year and put the team first.They have made an impact on our team and on our season. We're very fortunate to behere. As you know, Regionals are tough - it's do or die. We were fortunate to come out ofit. We are looking forward to the competition and looking forward to seeing what we cando out there.'

Oklahoma gymnast Hollie Vise
On how approaching college NCAAs is different than a senior elite or worldcompetition:
'A lot of my elite competitions were individual and now my focus is on the team. Everyteammate's workout is just as important as mine. We have to work together, keep eachother up and cheer for one another. Really, that's how we've prepared for this. College isa completely different world - how close we are to our teammates and how we dependon one another is different than what I've seen before. We're really excited.'

Oregon State Head Coach Tanya Chaplin
On being in Gainesville at the 2010 NCAA Championships:
'We're honored to be here today. We had a Regional and we had to fight for everythingto be here. Our team has gone through that all year. That's one thing that has helped usprepare for this competition. Thank you to the University of Florida. They've done abeautiful job with the arena. It looks great. We're just honored to be here and to be ableto start competing tomorrow. Our team has done a fabulous job. They've stuck together- they're one of the closest groups I've ever coached. I'm excited for them to get thecompetition going. We're ready to get out there and compete.'

Oregon State gymnast Mandi Rodriguez
On being at NCAAs and topping Georgia in Oregon State's Regional:
'I'm really excited, personally. We had a very difficult Regional. We beat out five-timenational champion Georgia, so that was huge for our confidence coming into this meet.We're happy to be here. Nothing is going to be handed to us and we know that. We're ina good session, we have a good rotation and we're all really excited to start tomorrow.'

Stanford Head Coach Kristen Smyth
On the 2010 NCAA Championships:
'I just want to echo what the other coaches have said. Florida has done a tremendous jobhosting this event and everything in the arena looks great. We have five seniors with usready to compete and we are coming off a good win at regionals. We are just ready to getout there and get started.'

Stanford gymnast Carly Janiga
On what she is looking forward to the most:
'I'm just looking forward to spending these last few days in competition with my teamand taking it in and appreciating every single moment out there. I know that I'm notgoing to be able to do anything like this again so I'm just looking to enjoy it and not focuson scores but just be in the moment.'

Utah Co-Head Coach Megan Marsden
On being at the 2010 NCAA Championships:
'I don't think there's any question that all 12 teams that are here feel very fortunate.There are definitely a group of teams that have come up tight against (NCAA caliber)teams that are used to being here on a regular basis. More and more, I think once you'rehere, you feel like you've been one of the very lucky ones. We feel that way, and our teamis hoping to capitalize on our regional performance. We seem to be coming together anddoing our best gymnastics at the right time, which is post season, and we're lookingforward to tomorrow. '

Utah gymnast Annie DiLuzio
On the opportunity it is being at the NCAA Championships:
'I think it's been an up and down year for us personally, but that's what teams gothrough. You can't be on your game all the time and I feel we are very fortunate for thisopportunity to be here. At Regional's, when we found out that we made it, it was justincredible - like a weight was lifted off of our shoulders. We're here, excited and justgetting ready to go tomorrow morning and hit 24 for 24.'

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