Jan. 20, 2004
UCLA's Cross Country Travels Continue In Minnesota - UCLA's cross country travels continue when the 10th-ranked Bruin gymnasts trek to Minnesota for a dual meet against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Sunday, Jan. 25. The meet will take place at the Sports Pavilion at 1:00 pm CT.
Looking Ahead - The Bruins return home on Sunday, Feb. 1 for a triangular meet with No. 17 Arizona State and Cal State Fullerton. The meet begins at 2 pm in Pauley Pavilion. Pre and post-meet entertainment will be provided by the Japanese Men's Rhythmic Gymnastics team. (Watch video here). In the spirit of "SOUP"er Bowl Sunday, the Bruins are having a canned food drive in which a fan can get one free general admission ticket with a canned food donation.
Bruins Claim First Road Win At Georgia In 16 Years - UCLA accomplished a major feat Monday afternoon with a 197.85-197.475 victory over Georgia in Athens. The win was not only the Bruins' first of the season, but also their first regular season road win over the Gym Dogs since Mar. 12, 1988, when UCLA won in an upset, 189.55-189.15. Senior Jeanette Antolin won the all-around (39.8) and bars (career-high 9.975) and tied for first on vault (9.95) and floor (9.925) and second on beam (9.95). Sophomore Kate Richardson was second all-around with a 39.7 and tied for first on vault (9.95) and second on bars (9.925). Kristen Maloney contributed 9.9+ scores on all three events on which she competed, scoring new career-highs on vault (9.9) and bars (9.9) and earning a 9.925 on beam. The Bruins as a team set season-bests on all four events, scoring 49.4 or higher on each apparatus.
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 has impressed in her first season of competition since April of 2001. In her first routine back, 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. She set new career-bests at Georgia on Monday, earning 9.9s on vault and bars.
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. In two meets, Winn is averaging a 39.288 in the all-around. 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. She hit for a 9.75 on bars at Georgia.
Auld Vaults To New Levels - Junior vault specialist Kisha Auld, who has been out of gymnastics for five years, has earned a spot on the Bruins' competition lineup, competing both against Arizona and Georgia. In the season opener, she scored a 9.725 in exhibition and then nailed a 9.875 at Arizona to tie for fourth in her first competition routine. Auld, a former Level 8 state vault runner-up back in 1998, performed a Tsukahara layout full, one of the most difficult vaults in collegiate gymnastics.
A Look At Minnesota - The Golden Gophers are 0-1 this season after a season-opening defeat to Michigan on Jan. 17, 194.650-193.975. Sophomore Laura Johnson won the all-around in that meet with a 39.25 and was named the MVP of the meet. Minnesota co-head coach Jim Stephenson helped UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field get her start in gymnastics by hiring her to play the piano for floor exercise at his gymnastics club. From there, she learned the fundamentals of the sport, and she has since led UCLA to four NCAA titles.
Last Time Against Minnesota - The Bruins won the last meeting between the two teams in 2002, claiming first place at the UCLA Invitational with a then school-record score of 198.35. Minnesota placed third with a 196.2. The two teams combined for seven perfect scores in the meet, with UCLA's Jamie Dantzscher scoring three (vault, bars and floor), Onnie Willis earning two (vault and floor) and Minnesota's Carolyn Yernberg and Courtney Norman each recording one on vault.
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. 10 in this week's national rankings, which are based on season high scores. Monday's national season-best score of 197.85 will not count until next week's rankings. The Bruins have the nation's top score on beam (49.525) and are ranked sixth on floor (49.35) and 14th 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.