June 4, 2004
Mississauga, ON - UCLA sophomore All-American and two-time NCAA champion Kate Richardson (Coquitlam, BC) placed fifth in the all-around and qualified for event finals on bars and floor at the Canadian Gymnastics Championships.
In her first elite competition since 2002, Richardson recorded an all-around total of 35.6. Kylie Stone placed first with a 36.5. Richardson qualified for Saturday evening's event finals on uneven bars, where she placed seventh with an 8.675, and on floor, where she placed first with a 9.4. Richardson's floor exercise routine was the only one in the competition on any event that had a start value of 10.0.
Richardson added news skills on all events, including a full-twisting Tkatchev, which she just learned two weeks ago, on uneven bars; a full-in somersault for her second tumbling pass on floor exercise; and two new leaps combos on floor. She vaulted a Yurchenko half-on, front pike-off (start value of 9.5) and recorded the third-highest score of the competition, a 9.025. She also competed new leaps combos on beam and a full-twisting backhandspring. Despite a fall, she still tied for ninth on beam with an 8.5.
"I was extremely pleased that Kate was able to compete with the same confidence that she competed with in college," said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. "These were her first elite routines since 2002. She just made one mistake on balance beam. I was impressed that she was able to maintain her technique on all her new skills despite not having competed elite skills in two years."
Kondos Field earned an award herself at the Championships, receiving honors for Choreography of the Year for Richardson's floor exercise routine.
Richardson's all-around score should be enough to qualify her for the Olympic Trials. The selections for Trials will be announced on Sunday afternoon. Ten gymnasts will be selected for the July 10-11 Trials based on 25 percent from international results and 75 percent from the Canadian Championships.