Jan. 12, 2004
UCLA Travels Cross Country For Two Duals - Fifth-ranked UCLA will travel cross country for a pair of dual meets this weekend against No. 11 Arizona and No. 10 Georgia. The Bruins will first meet Pac-10 Conference foe Arizona in Tucson on Friday, Jan. 16 at the McKale Center at 7:30 pm MT. UCLA will hop on a plane again to travel to Georgia for a Monday, Jan. 19 meet against the Gym Dogs. That meet will take place at Stegeman Coliseum at 2:00 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 - Live scoring will be available for both meets. At Arizona, live scoring will be found on the UCLA webpage, www.uclabruins.com. For the UCLA-Georgia meet, Georgia will provide live scoring at www.georgiadogs.com.
Bruins Will Showcase Depth This Weekend - With two road meets this weekend, UCLA will take the opportunity to showcase its tremendous depth. With the grueling schedule this week, head coach Valorie Kondos Field is expected to compete each healthy student-athlete throughout the two meets.
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.
Antolin, Richardson Set All-Around Career Highs - In just the first meet of the season, 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, 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.
Winn, Walker Make Strong Collegiate Debuts - Freshmen Lori Winn and Aimee Walker were amongst the many highlights in UCLA's season opener. 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. Walker was a late substitute in the 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.
Auld Vaults To New Levels - Junior Kisha Auld, who has been out of gymnastics for five years, competed an exhibition vault in the season opener and hit a Tsukahara layout full, one of the most difficult vaults in collegiate gymnastics. Auld was a former Level 8 state vault runner-up back in 1998.
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 Arizona - Arizona won its season opener on Jan. 9, defeating No. 10 LSU, Michigan State and Western Michigan in East Lansing, Mich. The Wildcats scored 195.425, and junior Monica Bisordi won the all-around with a score of 39.3. Jamie Duce earned top honors on bars with a 9.875, and Katie Johnson placed first on floor with a 9.875.
Last Time Against Arizona - UCLA won last season's dual meet matchup in Pauley Pavilion, 197.4-195.275. UCLA scored 49.25 on its first three events and then blasted a 49.65 on floor thanks to six scores of 9.85 or higher, including a 10.0 from Jamie Dantzscher. Onnie Willis won the all-around with a score of 39.625. The Bruins and Wildcats met again at the Pac-10 Championships, which UCLA won with a meet record 198.175. Arizona placed sixth.
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.