Photography Courtesy of Todd Cheney '90
The UCLA women's gymnastics team was in the zone.
And there was no one in the crowd at the 2004 NCAA gymnastics championships,
held April 16 at Pauley Pavilion, who could disagree. The Bruins
vaulted past Georgia, Alabama and Stanford to win their fifth championship
— their fourth title in five years.
"It is an amazing feeling to watch them perform so exquisitely,"
says Coach Valorie Kondos Field '87. "And it is 100 times sweeter
that it all happened at Pauley."
Twelve schools came to Westwood. Six of them — UCLA, Utah,
Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Stanford — made it to the finals.
Utah and Florida fell behind early. Georgia, however, stayed close
until the final rotation, when the Bruins had to finish on the balance
beam, widely considered the least desirable closing rotation.
No sweat. UCLA tallied a meet-high 49.6, making it mathematically
impossible to top the team's total score of 198.125, an NCAA championship
meet record. Georgia finished in second place, and Alabama and Stanford
tied for third.
The Bruin gymnasts — Jeanette Antolin, Jamie Dantzscher,
Kristen Maloney, Ashley Peckett, Kate Richardson, Christie Tedmon,
Yvonne Tousek and Lori Winn — struggled with injuries early
in the season, but found their groove when it counted.
"We believed in our hearts that we would hit all our events,"
says Antolin, a senior. "We worked really hard, and we deserve
this national championship."
As summer approached, UCLA added three more
NCAA titles to its trove of national trophies: women's golf, women's
softball and women's track and field. Look for more about these
great teams in the Fall 2004 issue of