Huskies Host No. 1 Utah

Feb. 6, 2002

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The Meet: The Washington women's gymnastics team (2-2) faces its toughest challenge of the seasn when the Huskies host top-ranked Utah in Seattle. The Huskies and Utes will compete at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8 at Bank of America Arena. Utah enters the meet with a record of 3-1. The Utes have a season-high score of 197.475 and have averaged 196.731 during their first four meets of the year. Last year the Washington and Utah had a rare tie, both scoring 196.725, in a meet held at Bank of America Arena. With the Winter Olympic games currently being held in Salt Lake City, Utah is in the middle of astretch of five consecutive road meets.

Television: Friday's meet against Utah will be televised by Fox Sports Net Northwest on a delayed basis. The meet will air on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. PT and Sunday, Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. PT.

Last Week: Washington fell to Oregon State in Corvallis, 194.950-103.850. on Friday, Feb. 1. Husky sophomore Emily Pritchard won the all-around competition with a score of 39.325. Pritchard also won the beam with a 9.825 and tied for first on the vault against Oregon State's Theresa Videan with a 9.825. Sophomore Tanya Powers scored second on the beam at 9.800 Powers took fifth on the all-around with a 37.850.

About the 2002 Huskies: Washington returns nine letterwinners from last season's team that finished with a 17-13-1 mark and competed at the NCAA South Central Regional. The Huskies' postseason appearance marked the 20th consecutive season they have competed at an NCAA Regional. Washington finished the season ranked 15th. Gone from last year's squad are lettermen Lanna Apisukh, Sidney Field, Mandi Klug and Jessica Schedler. The Husky roster also features six new faces, including five freshmen and one transfer.

Wong Out Again: Washington junior Stacy Wong will miss the entire 2002 season after suffering a knee injury during training on Jan. 11. Wong, UW's top performer, missed most of the 1999 season due to injuries and had to sit out the 2000 season due to an ACL injury in her right knee. She became UW's school-record holder in the all-around in 2001, scoring 39.725 at the Pac-10 Championships. She won the Pac-10 title on bars with a score of 9.975. She was second on beam at the 2001 NCAA South Central Regional. Wong won a total of 14 event titles last season to lead Washington. She earned all-Pac-10 honors on all-around, vault and bars.

More Injuries: Washington will also be without sophomore Daniela Medlin for the 2002 season. A series of foot surgeries will cause her to seek a medical redshirt for the year. Medlin competed on bars for Washington in 2001, recording a career-high score of 9.900 at the Pac-10 Championships. The Huskies have lost the services of sophomore Tacia LaBatte, who suffered a broken right foot on Jan. 21 during practice. Sophomore Molly Seaman suffured a season-ending knee injury during practice not even a week after winning the all-around for the Hukies in a meet against California.

Head Coach Bob Levesque: Washington head coach Bob Levesque is in his 12th season coaching the Huskies in 2002. Levesque owns a career record of 129-102-1. He came to Washington in 1991 after a career as a highly-successful club coach. He has taken the Huskies to the NCAA Championships three times (1994, 1997, 1998) and guided the team to one NCAA Regional championship (1998). Levesque was honored as the Pac-10 coach of the year in both 1997 and 1998. As a club-level coach, he tutored six future Olympians. He also coached Tanya Chaplin, the current head coach at Oregon State. Levesque is a 1972 graduate of Fresno State.

Sophomore Sensation: Washington's Emily Pritchard hopes to go from freshman phenom to sophomore sensation in 2002. So far, so good. Last year she arguably had the best season ever by a Husky gymnast. An all-arounder, Pritchard competed in every meet for the Huskies, won the NCAA South Central Regional bars title (9.900) and finished second in the all-around at that meet. Pritchard's top performance came during the Pac-10 Championships when he recorded career highs on bars (9.925), beam (9.850) and floor (9.825) for a season-best score of 39.500. Pritchard competed as an individual at the NCAA Championships. Her top finish was a 33rd-place showing on vault (9.775). Pritchard has made her mark this year, taking first ain the all-around at Stanford (38.925) and winning the bars competition against Boise State, with a score of 9.800 . Pritchard then tied for first on the bars with My-Lan Dodd of Cal, 9.850. Pritchard's three event titles in UW's first three outings this season equals her total from the 2001 season.

Stepping Up: With the loss of Stacy Wong due to a knee injury, and now a knee injury to Molly Seaman, sophomore Tanya Powers is expected to see more time as an all-arounder for the remainder of the year. Powers, who was second in the all-around against Cal at 39.200. She also picked up her first event championship with first-place honors on vault with a career-best score of 9.900. Against Oregon State, Powers captured fifth in the all-around with a 37.850.

First Timers: Washington will have to count on several freshman to make contributions during the 2002 season. Lauren Brooks has competed during all four meets on vault and added floor for the second time against Oregon State. Brooks scored a 9.600 on the vault against Oregon State. Courtney Canavan is also in the vault rotation, with a high score of 9.675 against Boise State and Oregon State. Against Cal, Carly Dockendof was impressive with solid routines on vault (9.750), bars (9.775) and floor (9.875). Freshman Kim Lewis competed on the beam for the first timeat Oregon State, scoring 9.325. Lewis set a new career high on the flloor with a 9.775 in the same meet. Freshman Lauren Brooks set a new career high on the vault at Oregon State wit a 9.600.

The Boss is Back: After missing the 2001 season due to an Achilles tendon injury, Allison Bruce returns to the Washington lineup this season as the team's lone senior. Bruce has competed on all four events during her UW career, but never once as an all-arounder. In 2000, as a sophomore, Bruce was a regular on vault, beam and floor. Bruce has already set one career high this season with a 9.725 on bars.

Young Pups: This year's Husky team will be one of the youngest since Husky coach Bob Levesque took over the program in 1991. The active roster features just one senior (Allison Bruce), seven sophomores and five freshmen.

Local Ties: There is a distinctive northwest flavor to this year's Husky squad. A total of eight of Washington's 15 gymnasts hail from the state of Washington. Another, freshman Carly Dockendorf, is from British Columbia.

The Schedule: Washington once again faces a very challenging schedule in 2002. The Huskies will meet six of the teams ranked in the preseason top-10 of the GymInfo National Rankings coaches poll. All but one of Washington's events this year are dual meets. The Huskies' schedule features just four home dates this season.

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