UF GYMNASTICS

Sisters face off on the mat


Published: Friday, March 12, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 12, 2004 at 12:26 a.m.
Vladimir and Iva Tousek packed up the Jeep Cherokee earlier this week and began the 24-hour drive from Toronto to Gainesville.
Tonight, they will reap the benefits of their marathon road trip when they file into the O'Connell Center for the 7 p.m. gymnastics meet between No. 7 Florida and No. 1 UCLA.
The Tousek's daughters, Florida freshman Chantelle Tousek and UCLA senior Yvonne Tousek, will be competing against each other for the first time at the collegiate level. With their parents in the stands, it will make for a nerve-raking, emotional evening for the Touseks.
"I think I'll be extra excited, have a little more adrenaline," Chantelle said. "I just want to show my parents what it's like to compete here and show them all the Gator fans."
The Tousek sisters haven't seen each other since Christmas. So it would be understandable if the two had a wondering eye tonight when competition begins, quietly checking each other's performances out. But that's definitely not the case.
"I would love to see her compete," Yvonne said. "But as my teammates know, I'm intense and I'm focused on our team so there's not much of a chance of that."
Yvonne Tousek is a three-time All-American on the bars and won an NCAA title in that event as a freshman in 2001. She was a two-time Olympian (2000 and 1996) and four-time (1995-97, 1999) World Championships competitor prior to arriving at UCLA.
Chantelle Tousek has had a major impact for Florida in her freshman season. She has been a part of Florida's last nine vault lineups and turned in her collegiate best of 9.85 Feb. 6 against Georgia and Feb. 20 against Arkansas.
Florida coach Rhonda Faehn said she doesn't have to worry about Chantelle's nerves tonight.
"Chantelle is such a competitor," Faehn said. "She will thrive on it. In any pressure situation she does a great job. It will be nice for her to have her parents here as well. It's pretty exciting."
The Tousek sisters competed against each other back in Canada prior to college. But tonight will be a new experience. The two hope to get together after the meet before Yvonne leaves town with the Bruins.
"We talk on the phone a lot," Yvonne said. "We talk before meets to give each other advice and after meets to see how we did. Of course I'm excited to be competing against her (Friday)."
But the Tousek sisters aren't the only connection between these schools. Faehn was an all-American at UCLA in the early 1990s.
"It's going to be a great reunion for all of us," Faehn said. "But I'd be lying if I said we didn't want to win."

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top