UW Gymnasts Head to Pac-10 Championships
March 24, 2003
The Meet: The 15th-ranked Washington women's gymnastics team (15-6) travels to Los Angeles this week for the 17th Pac-10 Conference Championships to be held at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion. The event figures to be one of the toughest collegiate gymnastics meet of the year with all seven team ranked among the top 20 in the nation in the GymInfo poll. UCLA is the defending champion after compiling 197.625 points last year. The Huskies were fifth in 2002 with a point total of 195.425. The Huskies finished third in both 2000 and 2001. The Huskies have never finished higher than third at the event. Husky junior Emily Pritchard is the defending Pac-10 champion on vault. The current UW roster also includes a second Pac-10 champion, Stacy Wong, who captured the uneven bars title in 2001. Due to injury, Wong did not participate in last year's event. Tanya Powers was the Huskies' top all-around competitor last year with a seventh-place finish (39.250).
Television: The Pac-10 Championships will be broadcast by Fox Sports Net. The meet will be shown in the Pacific Northwest by Fox Sports Net Northwest on the following playback dates:
April 4 at 12:00 p.m.
April 4 at 2:00 p.m.
April 5 at 3:00 a.m.
April 11 at 12:00 p.m.
On the Net: Live scoring of the Pac-10 Championships can be found on the Internet at www.uclabruins.com. Scores will be updated after each rotation.
Record Setting Score: Washington set a record for total score in the Huskies final regular-season meet of the season. Washington scored 196.700 to defeat Cal State Fullerton (193.650) and Seattle Pacific (191.825) in a three-way meet at Bank of America Arena. Washington's previous best team score was 197.425 the Huskies recorded at the 2001 Pac-10 Championships. Freshman Kelly McDonald led the Huskies by winning the all-around with a score of 39.675. That was the best mark of the year by a UW gymnast and tied for the third best mark in the program's history. McDonald posted career best scores on vault (9.900) and floor (9.950), but did not win any of the event titles that the Huskies swept. Husky junior Emily Pritchard (Buckley) returned after a three-week absence due to kidney stones to take first place on vault (9.950) and set a career high on bars with a 9.975 to win that event. Senior Stacy Wong tied the UW all-time mark on beam with a 9.975 to win that competition. Sophomore Carly Dockendorf posted her second perfect 10.000 score of the year to take top honors on floor. She joins Tiffany Simpson as the only Husky to post more than one perfect score during a career. Simpson had three 10s on floor exercise. Washington had a season-best score of 49.425 on vault.
Levesque on the Pac-10s: 'You always want to do well at your conference championship, but the reality is that placement is not our most important goal at the Pac-10s,' says Husky coach Bob Levesque. 'We want to raise our RQS (regional qualifying score) to move up in the rankings and to help us with the placement at the NCAA regional. To do that, we need to score 194.950 or higher. If we can do that, then this will be a very successful meet for us. This is going to be a very hard meet. The whole Pac-10 is just having a phenomenal year. UCLA is the obvious favorite, but Arizona State is also having a great year. I just want to see everyone hit their routines and score well.
Husky Lineup: Washington is relatively healthy heading into the Pac-10 Championships. Husky freshman Christina Pelaez is questionable after straining her neck during her beam dismount during UW's last home meet. Junior Emily Pritchard could return to the all-around after not competing on beam Friday. Pritchard missed three weeks while recovering from kidney stones. Tanya Powers and Kelly McDonald could join Pritchard as all-arounders. Senior Stacy Wong will compete on vault and beam while sophomore Tacia LaBatte is expected to go on vault, bars and floor. Carly Dockendorf, who has produced a pair of 10s on floor this year, will also compete on bars and beam. Pelaez (vault), Kim Lewis (bars and floor), Courtney Canavan (beam) and Amy Metcalf (beam and floor) have also been key contributors to the Husky lineup this season.
Hitting the Mark: Washington has scored at least 194.000 in all 12 of its meets this year. That marks the first time a Husky team has posted that high of a score in every meet during the season. 'At home, we've done great, but we have struggled a bit at times on the road,' says Levesque, whose team averaged 196.600 during home competitions in 2003. 'Overall, the season has been great.'
Top Dawgs at the Pac-10s: Husky gymnasts have won conference championships seven times since 1987. Emily Pritchard's win on vault (9.975) last year is the most recent Pac-10 title by a Washington competitor. Stacy Wong took first on bars (9.975) in 2001. Klara Kudilkova was a Pac-10 champion on floor (9.900) in 1997 and won the vault with a 10.000 in 1996. Yumi Mordre won three conference titles during her Husky career. She was the beam champ (9.900) in 1989 and took top honors in the all-around (38.350) and floor (9.600) in 1987.
In the Rankings: The Huskies are ranked 15th in this week's GymInfo collegiate poll. The Huskies have a season-high score of 197.600 and current sport a RQS (regional qualifying score) of 196.355. Washington is ranked 19th on the floor, 23rd on the balance beam, 11th on the uneven bars and sixth on the vault. Sophomore Carly Dockendorf is ranked seventh on the floor with an RQS of 9.945. She is sixth on the uneven bars (9.920 RQS). Senior Stacy Wong is ranked fourth on the balance beam (9.945 RQS) and 24th on the vault (9.895 RQS). Junior Emily Pritchard is tied for 22nd on the uneven bars (9.900 RQS). Freshman Kelly McDonald is ranked 10th on vault (9.925 RQS). Complete rankings can be found at www.troester.com/gym.
Pritchard's Remarkable Return: After missing three weeks due to kidney stones, including several days in the hospital, Husky junior Emily Pritchard made a remarkable return during Washington's final home meet of the season. Pritchard won the vault (9.950) and bars (9.975) and placed fifth on floor (9.825). 'That's the way Emily is,' says Husky coach Bob Levesque. 'She bounces back really quickly. It probably helped her to get that much rest at the end of the year. The last two years she's struggled at end of the season. I think the time off has infused her with more energy.' Pritchard's two event victories raised her season total to six. Her bars score (9.975) in the home finale was a career-best effort.
NCAA Regional Ticket Information: Washington will host the 2003 West Regionals on Saturday, April 12 at 5:00 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. Reserved seats are $12.50 in the lower bowl for all ages. General admission tickets are $8.50 for adults and $5.50 for UW students, youths 18 and under, and senior citizens in the upper level. Visit www.gohuskies.com to purchase tickets or call 206-543-2200. The field for the NCAA West Regional will be announced Monday, March 31.
Pac-ing It In: All of the Pac-10's seven gymnastics team are ranked in the top 20 this week. UCLA heads up the poll followed by Arizona State (3), Stanford (7), Oregon State (11), Washington (15), California (18) and Arizona (20). UW has faced seven opponents this year that are currently ranked among the top 10 in the nation. That list includes UCLA (1), Nebraska (2), Arizona State (3), Florida (8), Stanford (7), Oregon State (11) and Utah (9). Washington already has a pair of wins against top-10 opponents this year with victories against seventh-ranked Stanford and 11th-rankedOregon State.
The Double Vault Threat: Sophomore Carly Dockendorf is not only competing for the Husky gymnastics team, she is also a pole vaulter for Washington's track program. While she will not return to track competition until the conclusion of the gymnastics season, Dockendorf did turn in a two-sport performance over a 12-hour period following a home gym meet on Feb. 28. Dockendorf scored a 10 during her floor routine in UW's victory against Oregon State, Boise State and Sacramento State. The next morning she competed at the Huskies home indoor track meet, vaulting 12-0. While competing unattached at the time, the mark would register as the fifth best effort by a Husky pole vaulter in UW history. It was only Dockendorf's second track competition in her UW career. She competed once before, unattached, at the Ken Foreman Invitational in 2002. With only two weeks of practice, Dockendorf finished third with a mark of 12-1 1/2 that would have ranked her fourth all-time in UW history. Washington has only been competing in pole vaulting for six years. Dockendorf won the B.C. Provincial Championship in the pole vault as a senior in high school in Port Moody, British Columbia. She is also having an outstanding season for the gymnastics team. She has recorded a pair of 10s on floor exercise and turned in career-best scores on vault (9.850) and bars (9.950) during the course of the season. She leads the Huskies this season with nine event titles, including a 39.525 to win the all-around in a dual competition with Stanford.
Wong Finishing Strong: Senior Stacy Wong turned in her best performance of the season in UW's last home meet. She equaled the school record on beam with a near-perfect score of 9.975. It marked the fifth meet this season that Wong has finished first on beam. She is currently ranked fourth in the nation in the event with an RQS of 9.945. Wong's ranking is the highest of any Husky in the national standings. Due to a series of injuries, Wong is limited to competing on vault and beam for the Huskies. She missed the entire 2000 and 2002 season due to knee injuries. She is Washington's school record holder in the all-around, with a 39.725 she scored at the 2001 Pac-10 Championships. She owns three of the best six all-around scores in UW history. 'I wish she could be an all-arounder, not just for us, but for herself,' says Husky coach Bob Levesque. 'She has put in her dues and battled back. She will be an awesome person in life. She is lucky to still be able to do compete in gymnastics. She is the stabilizing influence on this team and a big calming difference.'
Powering Up: Junior Tanya Powers has put together her best season as a Husky. This year Powers has posted career high scores on all four events and the all-around. Her best meet came in UW's dual victory against Stanford when she scored a career-best 39.375 in the all-around. That total included career-best scores of 9.900 on beam and 9.825 on floor. She has been an all-arounder for the Huskies in 10 of 12 meets this year. Powers has competed in the all-around 20 times over the past two seasons, the most of any UW competitor.
LaBatte Makes Impact: Sophomore Tacia LaBatte has had a huge impact on the Husky scoring during the second half of the season. During her last five outings, she has competed in at least three events and racked up a total of seven career-high scores during that span. Her best outing of the season came at Utah, where she began her collegiate career before transferring after her freshman season. She finished third in the all-around against the Utes with a score of 39.350. LaBatte missed most of the 2002 season due to a broken foot. She did not compete for the Huskies in UW's road win at Boise State due to leg soreness. She rebounded last week to equal her career high on floor with a 9.950.
McDonald Having Brilliant Frosh Campaign: Prior to the start of the season Husky coach Bob Levesque predicted that freshman Kelly McDonald would be a significant scorer for the Huskies. He nailed that prediction. In her last five meets, McDonald has scored at least 39.200 in the all-around. In UW's home finale she won the all-around with a career-best 39.675, tying as the third best mark in Husky history. Interesting, McDonald, who had career bests on beam (9.900) and floor (9.950) did not win any event titles during the meet. The all-around championship marked the second time this season McDonald has finished first in the all-around. She has won the vault four times and owns one bars title.
Head Coach Bob Levesque: Washington head coach Bob Levesque is in his 13th season coaching the Huskies in 2003. Levesque owns a career record of 149-119-1. 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.
A New Husky: Assistant coach Frank Lee did not travel to Utah on Mar. 7. Lee's wife, Uyen, gave birth the day of the competition to Landon Lee. He was born at 8:25 a.m. and weighed seven pounds, three ounces. The Lee's have an older daughter, Jasmine.
GymInfo National Rankings
(March 24, 2003)
1 UCLA 197.980 2 Nebraska 197.510 3 Arizona State 197.455 4 Georgia 197.300 5 Alabama 197.265 6 Oklahoma 197.165 7 Stanford 197.110 8 Florida 197.010 9 Utah 196.98010 Michigan 196.78011 Oregon State 196.50012 L.S.U. 196.48513 Iowa State 196.46014 Ohio State 196.35515 Washington 196.35516 Auburn 196.35017 Iowa 196.21018 California 196.05519 Denver 196.03520 Arizona 195.96521 Minnesota 195.96022 Kent State 195.79523 North Carolina State 195.78024 Brigham Young 195.74025 Missouri 195.590