No. 16 UW Gymnastics Team Opens at Denver

Jan. 11, 2001

This Week: The Washington women's gymnastics team (0-0) travels to Denver, Colo. this week to open its 2001 season. The Huskies will participate in a four-way meet with Denver, California and Maryland at Hamilton Gymnasium at the Univ. of Denver. The meet is the first competition for all four teams. The host Pioneers are ranked 13th in the preseason GymInfo. Preseason Coaches Poll while Maryland stands 23rd in the rankings. The meet gets underway at 6 p.m. PT.

'This is a great starting meet for us,' says Husky coach Bob Levesque. 'Denver came on really strong last year and the meet provides us the opportunity to see how we stack up against Maryland, a team that we really have never seen before, but they have been close to us in the polls the past few years. We'll put some freshmen out on the floor, so I'm anxious to see how they compete. Your first college meet is always an interesting experience, dealing with the pressure and nerves among other things.'

Husky Breakdown: Washington's lineup includes six upperclassmen and seven seniors. Heading up this year's team are seniors Lanna Apisukh, Mandi Klug and Jessica Schedler. The three juniors on the team include Allison Bruce, Sidney Field and Stacy Wong. Washington's roster features seven freshmen, including four, Emily Pritchard, Molly Seaman, Kim Claussen and Gharde Geldenhuys, who are scheduled to compete in the season opener.

The Lineups:

Vault              Bars           Beam           Floor1. Jessica Schedler   Kim Claussen      Emily Pritchard  Emily Pritchard2. Molly Seaman       Sidney Field      Molly Seaman     Gharde Geldenhuys3. Lanna Apisukh *    Jessica Schedler  Lanna Apisukh    Molly Seaman4. Emily Pritchard *  Lanna Apisukh     Stacy Wong       Stacy Wong5. Mandi Klug         Emily Pritchard   Mandi Klug       Lanna Apisukh6. Stacy Wong *       Stacy Wong        Sidney Field     Mandi Klug*All-arounder

Injury Story: Washington will be without junior Allison Bruce during the 2001 season. Bruce suffered a preseason Achilles tendon injury that will force her to miss the entire season.

Wong Finally Set to Go: After being sidelined for most of her freshman and all of her sophomore seasons, Husky junior Stacy Wong is finally ready to step on the floor for a season opener. A knee prevented Wong from competing last season. As a freshman, she performed on bars in Washington's final five meets of the season after missing the first portion of the schedule due to back (disc) surgery. 'We're really excited to see Stacy compete as an all-arounder,' says Husky coach Bob Levesque. 'She is someone that could really have an impact on our scoring.'

Last Year: Washington posted a 12-11 record including a third-place showing at the Pac-10 Championships and a fourth-place finish at the NCAA regionals in Corvallis. The Huskies finished 17th in the final GymInfo Coaches Poll. Washington's NCAA regional appearance was its 19th straight. The Huskies were led by all-Pac-10 performer Tiffany Simpson, who tied a school record with a 10.000 performance on floor during the season. Washington All-American Lauren Riesenman made her fourth straight appearance at the NCAA championships, competing as an all-arounder.

Departed Seniors: Washington lost five starters from its 2000 team. The biggest loss was six-time All-American Tiffany Simpson, who was a fifth-year senior last year. She finished her career as the owners of the school records in floor exercise (10.000) and balance beam (9.975). Simpson posted three 10.000 scores on floor during her career. Also graduated is Lauren Riesenman, a four-time performer at the NCAA Championships. Crystal Collins was a steady specialist on bars while Rhyan Pelander and Leah Waarmaki came on strong as seniors and were regulars in the Husky rotation.

Next Up: Washington will head to one of the regional sites to attempt to qualify for the 2000 NCAA Championships.

2001 GymInfo Women's Pre-Season Coaches Poll(Jan. 2, 2001 - first-place votes in parentheses, with total points listed)

Team              Points 1. UCLA (22)        718 2. Georgia (3)      674 3. Michigan (1)     647 4. Utah (3)         632 5. Alabama          614 6. Nebraska         553 7. Stanford         495 8. LSU              490 9. Penn State       464    Florida          46411. Arizona State    39812. Oregon State     38613. Denver           34114. West Virginia    30115. Brigham Young    26516. WASHINGTON       24617. Iowa State       24118. Minnesota        24019. N.C. State       15520. Arizona          14221. Oklahoma         13422. Iowa              9823. Maryland          9424. Ohio State        8525. Boise State       83
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