Jan. 18, 2004
UCLA Travels To Georgia - After Friday's dual meet at 11th-ranked Arizona, fifth-ranked UCLA travels to No. 10 Georgia for a Monday, Jan. 19 meet against the Gym Dogs. The meet will take place at Stegeman Coliseum at 1:00 pm ET and will be televised by Fox Sports Net on Jan. 24 at 5:00 pm PT and on Jan. 25 at 2 pm. PT. Live scoring will be available through Georgia's website, www.georgiadogs.com.
Bruin Depth On Display At Arizona - With two road meets this weekend, UCLA used the Arizona meet to not only rest key athletes for Monday's dual meet at Georgia but to give several gymnasts the opportunity to compete for the first time. Making their career competition debuts at Arizona were freshmen Ashley Peckett and Michelle Selesky, sophomore Jennifer Sutton and junior transfer Kisha Auld (fourth-place score of 9.875 on vault). Seniors Jamie Williams, Trishna Patel and Christy Erickson made their season debuts. Both Williams and Patel set new career highs, with Williams scoring a 9.9 on beam, and Patel earning a 9.55 on floor. Also earning career highs were Christie Tedmon on beam (leadoff score of 9.9) and Lori Winn on vault (9.9) and bars (9.875). Arizona won the meet, 196.725-194.625.
UCLA Scores 196.375 In Season Opener - After a shaky start on vault, UCLA came back with three scores of 49.1 or higher on bars, beam and floor, and totaled a 196.375, but it wasn't enough to overtake Utah, which scored a 197.35, a school record season opening mark for the Utes. Senior Jeanette Antolin and sophomore Kate Richardson set a high standard in the all-around, scoring career-best marks of 39.85. Their score ranked as the third-highest all-around total in UCLA history. Each gymnast scored a perfect 10 (Antolin on vault on her first routine of the year and Richardson on beam) and a 9.975 (Antolin on floor to close the meet and Richardson on vault to set up Antolin's 10).
Maloney Impressive In Comeback - Showing little signs of rust after sitting out the last two seasons with a leg injury, senior Kristen Maloney impressed in her first competition since April of 2001. In her first routine, against Utah, Maloney hit a clean Yurchenko layout full vault for a score of 9.85, which tied her career high. She also scored a 9.675 on bars and a 9.875 on beam. Against Arizona, Maloney earned a first-place score of 9.95 on beam.
Winn, Walker Make Strong Collegiate Debuts - Freshmen Lori Winn and Aimee Walker were amongst the many highlights in UCLA's season opener against Utah. Winn placed fourth in the all-around with a 39.375 in her collegiate debut. Her scores included a 9.9 on beam that ranked fourth overall, and a 9.9 on floor that tied her for third place. Against Arizona, Winn tied for first on bars with a 9.875 and was third on vault with a 9.9. Walker was a late substitute in the Utah meet and made her UCLA competitive debut on the floor exercise. Taking her cues from her coaches and teammates, Walker, who is hearing impaired, performed a spirited and inspiring routine and scored a 9.65 on a routine valued at a 9.8. Walker also competed an exhibition bars routine, scoring a 9.725. She made the competition lineup on bars and floor at Arizona, and scored a 9.775 on bars and 9.625 on floor.
Auld Vaults To New Levels - Junior vault specialist Kisha Auld, who has been out of gymnastics for five years, has been impressive in UCLA's two meets this season. In the season opener, she scored a 9.725 on an exhibition routine and then nailed a 9.875 at Arizona to tie for fourth place in her first competition routine. Auld, a former Level 8 state vault runner-up back in 1998, has been out of competitive gymnastics for five years and performed a Tsukahara layout full, one of the most difficult vaults in collegiate gymnastics.
About The Bruins - Defending NCAA champion UCLA is coached by four-time national coach of the year Valorie Kondos Field. The Bruins return five All-Americans in four-time NCAA champion and 2000 Olympian Jamie Dantzscher (2002 all-around, vault and floor; 2003 bars), two-time NCAA champion and 2000 Olympian Kate Richardson (2003 bars and beam), 2001 NCAA bars champion and two-time Olympian Yvonne Tousek, 2003 Team MVP and 1999 World Championships competitor Jeanette Antolin and former U.S. Olympian Kristen Maloney.
A Look At Georgia - Five-time NCAA Champion Georgia returns eight All-Americans, including 2001 NCAA vault champion Cory Fritzinger and 2003 SEC Gymnast of the Year Chelsa Byrd. Georgia placed third in its season opener at the Super Six Challenge, scoring 195.55. Byrd tied for first on vault with a 9.925, and freshman Kelsey Erickson tied for first on bars with a 9.9. The Gym Dogs have a road meet at Auburn on Jan. 16 prior to hosting UCLA. Georgia has won 61 of its last 62 regular-season home meets.
Last Time Against Georgia - The Bruins won the last meeting between the two teams with a first-place showing at the 2003 NCAA Championships. Georgia placed third in the competition. In the last dual meet between the two powerhouses, Georgia won at home on Jan. 13, 2002, 197.9-196.875 just two days after defeating UCLA and four other teams at the Super Six Challenge.
Dantzscher Limited To Uneven Bars - An ankle injury will limit senior superstar Jamie Dantzscher to just one event this season. The four-time NCAA champion will compete only on the uneven bars, an event on which she has scored six perfect 10s and averaged a national-best 9.954 a year ago. Dantzscher is the defending NCAA co-champion on this event, sharing the title with teammate Kate Richardson.
Bruins In The Rankings - UCLA is ranked No. 5 in this week's national rankings, which are based on season average. The Bruins have the nation's top score on beam (49.525) and are ranked fourth on floor (49.35) and eighth on bars (49.1).
UCLA Hosts 2004 NCAA Championships - UCLA will host the 2004 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships on Apr. 15-17 in Pauley Pavilion. Team preliminaries begin on Thursday, Apr. 15 with an afternoon and evening session. The top three teams from each preliminary session advance to Friday's Super Six Team Finals, and the individual event finals take place on Saturday, Apr. 17. Tickets for the Championships are on sale now at the UCLA Central Ticket Office by calling 310-UCLA-WIN or visiting the ticket office website at www.tickets.ucla.edu.
Schwikert, Vanden Eykel To Join Bruins In 2005 - UCLA has signed U.S. Olympian and 2003 World Championship gold medalist Tasha Schwikert and former junior U.S. national champion Lindsay Vanden Eykel to national letters of intent. The duo will join the Bruin squad for the 2005 season. Schwikert is a two-time U.S. all-around champion (2001, 2002), as well as the 2003 all-around runner-up, the 2002 bars and floor champion and the 2001 beam champion. Vanden Eykel won the junior national title in her first season as a junior international elite in 1999 and repeated in 2000. In 2003, she placed in the Top 10 in the all-around and second on bars at the American Classic.