Nov. 1, 1999
MEET THE BRUINS - The UCLA women's gymnastics team will host a pre-season "Meet the Bruins" exhibition on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 1:00 pm in the John Wooden Center. The event is free to the public. RSVPs to Jill Johnson (310/825-2343) are suggested
FORMAT - "Meet the Bruins" is intended to educate and familiarize the fans with collegiate gymnastics and the 2000 UCLA team. Bruin gymnasts will do exhibition routines on the uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Fan and team interaction will be a key component, as the team will conduct question and answer sessions throughout the event. Following the exhibition, the UCLA team will be available for autographs and photo opportunities.
INTERNATIONALLY-SEASONED BRUINS RETURN - The 2000 Bruins will be led by returning All-Americans Heidi Moneymaker, Lena Degteva and Mohini Bhardwaj. All three Bruins competed in the 1999 World University Games during the summer, with Moneymaker and Bhardwaj representing the United States and Degteva representing Canada. Degteva finished 13th in the all-around finals, the best showing ever by a Canadian gymnast. Moneymaker, the defending NCAA vault champion, placed 16th but was ninth all-around during team competition. Bhardwaj qualified for the all-around finals but had to withdraw due to injury. In addition to competing at the World University Games, Moneymaker competed at her first-ever USA Championships, where she placed 21st.
STRONG FRESHMAN CLASS EXPECTED TO MAKE BIG IMPACT- Head coach Valorie Kondos will have the services of seven outstanding freshmen for the 2000 campaign. Headlining the Class of 2003 are 1997 Canadian all-around champion Sarah Deegan (Oshawa, Ontario), 1995 USA balance beam national champion and four-time national team member Doni Thompson (Olympia, WA), 1998 Level 10 national all-around, vault and bars champion Onnie Willis (Tacoma, WA) and former USA National Team member Amy Young, who redshirted the 1999 season with a knee injury.
Others to watch for are top Level 10 competitors Malia Jones (Sparks, NV), Kristin Parker (Hanford, CA) and Carly Raab (Seattle, WA). At the most recent Level 10 national championships, Parker placed first on bars and Jones placed in the Top 20 in the all-around. Raab was a Top 10 finisher in the all-around at the 1998 Championships.
BRUINS OPEN SEASON AT SUPER SIX CHALLENGE - UCLA's 2000 gymnastics season will kick off on Saturday, Jan. 8 at the Super Six Challenge, hosted by Georgia. The meet, which will be televised by ESPN, will see six of the top teams in the NCAA competing against each other in a format similar to that of the NCAA Super Six Team Finals. The field includes five of the six Super Six Teams from last year - champion Georgia, second-place Michigan, third-place Alabama, fifth-place UCLA and sixth-place Nebraska. The sixth team - Florida - placed 10th at the Championships last year. UCLA's first home meet will be Friday, Jan. 28 against Arizona State in Pauley Pavilion. The Sun Devils placed fourth at last year's NCAA Championships.