Washington Gymnasts Start Home Stand with Arizona

Feb. 13, 2001

This Week: The Washington women's gymnastics team (7-5) returns to Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion this week for the first of three straight home meets. The Huskies will face Arizona on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. Washington's home stand includes a dual meet with Oregon State on Feb. 25 and a three-way meet with Utah and Western Michigan on March 4.

Levesque on This Week's Meet: 'We just competed against Arizona last Sunday at the UCLA Invitational and we placed second while they were fourth,' says Washington coach Bob Levesque. 'The scoring was pretty tight. They were just .275 behind us, so I'm sure their goal is to find a way to make up that difference this week. This is a very important stretch of the season for us. We need to hit on our routines and raise our team scoring so that we can climb back into the top 25 in the next few weeks. I did not think we performed very well at California (192.175) and that was the first time we have been outscored by them in a long time. I think we had a good team meeting before the UCLA Invitational and we came out and gave a much better performance. The key is to build on that this week.'

The Polls: The Huskies remain unranked in the team standings this week. Junior Stacy Wong remains ranked in the uneven bars. Wong figures 15th in the national polls with a six-meet average score of 9.875.

Against the Wildcats: Arizona leads the series behind the two schools 12-11, but the Huskies have made up considerable ground in the past few years. Washington's victory against the Wildcats last weekend was the seventh straight time the Huskies have outscored Arizona.

Last Time Out: Washington finished second in a pair of multi-team meets in California last weekend. The Huskies scored 192.175 in a three-way meet at California (194.00) that also featured UC Davis (188.525). Washington's top finisher was senior Mandi Klug, who tied California's Carrie Kreifels for first place on beam with a score of 9.750. The Huskies scored 194.675 to place second behind top-ranked UCLA (196.725) at the Bruins' Invitational. UC Fullerton was third with a score of 194.575 while Arizona was fourth at 194.000. Washington's top individual performances were turned in by freshman Emily Pritchard, who tied for second on bars (9.900) and by Lanna Apisukh, who tied for third on floor exercise (9.900). Husky junior Stacy Wong was sixth in the all-around with a score of 39.100 while Apisukh finished seventh at 39.050.

Apisukh Racks Up Another Win: Lanna Apisukh's all-around victory at Arizona State on Feb. 2 marked the eighth time in her career that she has taken top honors in the all-around at a meet. It was the third time this season and the 22nd time in her career she has won an event title. Apisukh holds the distinction of being one of just four Husky gymnasts to score 39.400 or higher in the all-around. She is one of just two Huskies to score at least 9.900 on vault, 9.900 on bars, 9.925 on beam and 9.950 on floor. Tiffany Simpson (1996-2000) is the only other UW gymnast to hold that distinction.

Wong Comes on Strong: The past two years Husky gymnastics coach Bob Levesque has had to wonder 'what if' when it came to Stacy Wong's appearance in the lineup. Injuries prevented her from competing as a sophomore and limited her to just five appearances on bars as a freshman. This year, back to full health, Wong has begun to show her potential. On Feb. 2 at Arizona State she posted her best-ever score of 9.850 on vault. The previous week she set career highs on bars (9.975), beam (9.825), floor (9.875) and in the all-around (39.350) in a meet with Stanford and Seattle Pacific. Wong leads the Huskies this season with four event victories, including three first-place showings on bars in her first five meets. Wong's all-round score of 39.100 last week at UCLA was her second best as a Husky.

The Freshman Factor: All seven members of Washington's talented freshman class have competed in competition this season. Heading up the list of newcomers is Emily Pritchard, who topped the 39.000 mark in the all-around against Stanford and Seattle Pacific on Jan. 28. Pritchard used career highs on bars (9.850), beam (9.825) and floor (9.825) to post a score of 39.075. Last week at UCLA she improved her bars score to 9.900. Molly Seaman is coming off a great stretch of scores on the road. She set a career-best score of 9.775 in three events (vault, beam, floor) last at Arizona State and improved her floor score to 9.900 at California. Kim Claussen has been a regular for the Huskies on bars, Gharde Geldenhuys has performed on bars and floor, Daniela Medlin has appeared on bars while Amy Metcalf has competed on floor. Tanya Powers saw her first competition last weekend on beam at both California and UCLA>

Next Week: The Huskies play host to Pac-10 rival Oregon State on Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. in Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Paviltion.

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.

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