March 20, 2004
Just one week after defeating Florida by the smallest margin possible, .025, UCLA lost the 2004 Pac-10 Conference Championship by the same margin, placing second to Stanford, which scored 197.9 to the Bruins' 197.875. Oregon State took third with a score of 197.075.
The Bruins' defense of the Pac-10 title began with an impressive rotation on floor during which they scored a 49.65. Sophomore Kate Richardson successfully defended her floor title, scoring a 10.0 for the second consecutive year. Jeanette Antolin added a 9.975, Yvonne Tousek and Lori Winn a 9.9 (career-high tying score for Winn), and Ashley Peckett a 9.875.
While the Bruins were on a bye in rotation three, Stanford racked up a 49.65 on beam with five scores of 9.9 or higher, including a pair of 9.95s from Natalie Foley and Lindsay Wing, to surge ahead with a two-event score of 99.125.
UCLA reclaimed the lead in rotation four, scoring a 49.575 on vault to tally a team total of 99.225, one-tenth ahead of the Cardinal. Antolin also successfully defended her conference vault title, scoring a 10.0, her sixth consecutive. Richardson and Kristen Maloney each added scores of 9.95.
With Stanford holding a three-event total of 148.5, UCLA went to the uneven bars for its third event. Winn led off with a solid 9.875. Maloney and Tousek followed with 9.9s. Richardson earned a 9.875, and Antolin scored a 9.95 to give UCLA a team total on bars of 49.5 and three-event score of 148.725, .225 ahead of the Cardinal.
In the final rotation, UCLA and Stanford battled head-to-head, the Bruins on beam, the Cardinal on vault. Stanford's Shelly Goldberg hit a 9.9 leadoff score to put the pressure on the Bruins, and Caroline Fluhrer followed with a 9.925. Leadoff beam performer Winn scored a 9.55 after touching down on the beam after a straddle full. Antolin followed her with a 9.85, around the same time that Stanford's Jessica Louie scored a 9.675 on vault. Christie Tedmon tied her career-high with a 9.9 in the third position for UCLA, and Maloney scored a meet-high tying 9.95. However, Stanford kicked it up a notch on vault, with Lise Leveille scoring a 9.9 and Foley recording a perfect 10. Wing's 9.55 score was thrown out. With Stanford's 49.4 vault score in hand, Tousek came up on beam and scored a 9.9, setting up Richardson for the deciding score. Needing a 9.6 to win, Richardson suffered a rare fall on her flight series and scored a 9.425.
"It's hard to feel that in the big picture, this is going to do us a lot more good," said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. "It's nice to see that there's enough parity in the Pac-10 where you can't count a fall and win. If we were looking for something to fire us up for next month, this will certainly do that."
Foley won the all-around with a 39.8. Antolin placed second with a 39.775. Antolin won the vault (10.0) and bars (9.95, tied with Foley) titles. Richardson was first on floor (10.0), and Maloney finished in a six-way tie for first on beam (9.95) with Arizona State's Ashley Kelly, Cal's My-Lan Dodd, Stanford's Caroline Fluhrer and Lindsay Wing, and Washington's Molly Seaman.
Antolin walked home with Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year honors. Stanford's Kristen Smyth was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year, and Oregon State's Chelsea Plourde was selected the Freshman of the Year.