No. 23 Huskies Headed to Pac-10 Championships

March 23, 2005

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The Meet: The 23rd-ranked Washington women's gymnastics team (11-7, 4-3) heads to Berkeley, Calif. for the 19th Pac-10 Conference Championships to be held on Saturday, March 26 at 3 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. The meet will feature four other top 25 teams in the latest GymInfo poll, including UCLA (3), Oregon State (12), Arizona (19) and Arizona State (25). Stanford is the defending Pac-10 champion after scoring 197.900 last year. The Huskies were sixth in 2004 with a 196.425. The Huskies have never finished higher than third in the event. Husky senior Carly Dockendorf is the Huskies' top returning Pac-10 finisher, tying for second on floor and tying for third on bars in 2004. She was the 2003 winner on bars. Senior Molly Seaman is the reigning Pac-10 beam champion, but will be unable to defend her title due to a right knee injury that has hampered her throughout the season. Live stats of the meet will be available at www.calbears.collegesports.com and FSN Northwest will be rebroadcasting the meet on April 2.

Last week: The Huskies took the top three individual spots on bars, beam and floor en route to a season-high 195.325 to beat Boise State on Monday, March 14 at Bank of America Arena. Carly Dockendorf won three events, scoring a season-high 39.525 in all-around and also recording first-place finishes on bars and floor. The Huskies began the evening on vault, where they had to count a fall towards their total and equalled their season low with a 48.175. Tacia LaBatte paced Washington's effort with a second-place 9.825. Dockendorf tied for third with two Broncos, recording a 9.800. UW managed to turn it up a notch in their second event, recording a 49.025 on bars. Dockendorf recorded a season-high 9.950, while Kelly McDonald also recorded a seeason-high 9.900. Molly Seaman took third with a 9.800. On the Huskies third event, four Huskies scored 9.825 or better on beam en route to a season-high 49.100. Seaman nailed her routine and scored a 9.875 to pace the Huskies' effort and take first, while McDonald equaled her season-high with a 9.850 to claim second. Freshman Jennifer Chang made a dynamic collegiate debut on beam for the Huskies scoring a 9.825. Dockendorf also scored a 9.825, equalling her season high. Chambers led the Broncos effort with a 9.825. The Huskies wrapped up the evening on floor, where Dockendorf led the Huskies with a 9.950, while Chelsea Bakken hit her routine for a 9.875. Sophomore Tori Quandt, who was in the floor lineup for only the second time this season scored a career-high 9.775 to tie for third with Boise State's Kristin Gaare.

Ranked Dawgs: The Huskies are currently ranked 23rd in the nation based on a RQS of 194.875. The Huskies started the season ranked 21st in GymInfo's rankings and have moved to as high as 11th on the list. The team is ranked 22nd on bars with a RQS of 48.695 and 22nd on vault with a RQS of 48.880. They are also currently 31st on floor (48.825) and 36th on beam (48.400). Carly Dockendorf is the only Husky individual to dot the top top 25, ranking 15th on bars with a RQS of 9.875.

Double Dockendorf: Carly Dockendorf competed in the all-around for the Huskies at top-ranked Utah on Mar. 11 then hopped on a flight the next morning to Fayatteville, Ark., where she competed in the NCAA Track & Field Indoor Championships. She finished 17th at the meet, clearing 12-feet, 7 1/4-inches. Dockendorf was limited to two indoor track and field meets this season after suffering a partially torn groin in the Huskies season-opening gymnastics meet on Jan. 7. She was one of four Huskies that qualified for the NCAA's in pole vault. In 2004, Dockendorf finished 11th at the NCAA Outdoor championships. She was also the Huskies lone representative at the 2004 NCAA Gymnastics Championships, tying for 24th on floor.

Head Coach Bob Levesque: Washington head coach Bob Levesque is in his 15th season coaching the Huskies in 2005. Levesque owns a career record of 214-198-2. 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.

Huskies Hire Jeff Lutz: Jeff Lutz, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, has been hired to assume the duties of former assistant gymnastics coach Frank Lee. A former elite gymnast, Lutz and his wife Linda own Gymnastics Express in Auburn, Wash. Lutz was a five-time NCAA All-American while at the University of Oklahoma. He was the captain of the Sooners' 1991 NCAA Championship team. A national search will be conducted at the end of the season to fulfill the position.

Assistant Coach Leaves: Washington assistant coach Frank Lee has announced his resignation effective Feb. 18. Lee will become a member of the North Kitsap Fire Department following a 16-week training program. Lee, who has served as a volunteer fire fighter, has spent the last six seasons as the Husky assistant coach. One of the most highly-respected coaches on the West Coast, Lee is also a co-owner of the Cascade Elite Gymnastics Club in Montlake Terrace, Wash. He has operated the highly successful club since he graduated from Washington in 1989. Seven of Lee's club gymnasts went on to compete for Washington during his reign as assistant coach, including current Huskies Kelly McDonald and Nikki Waiss. Lee has also produced numerous other current and former collegiate competitors.

Injury Bug: The Husky lineup has been shuffled throughout the season due to a rash of injuries to several of the team's major contributors. Freshman Brittney Brabec has missed the past two meets with a bad back. She was joined on the sidelines by Nikki Waiss, who missed the last three meets after suffering a concussion during practice. Senior Molly Seaman will miss the Pac-10 Championships after reinjuring her knee that has been surgically repaired three times since October. Carly Dockendorf was unavailable for all action against Stanford and has been limited in several other meets due to a slightly torn abductor (groin) muscle. Kelly McDonald missed the ASU meet while recovering from a non-gymnastics injury. Freshman Julie Medeiros is out for the season with a stress fracture in her left foot, and Jessica Brown will sit out the season following surgery on her shoulder. Tacia LaBatte is limited to vault and bars due to chronic ankle injuries.

Hot Start: The Huskies started the season 8-1, their best record to start a season under Head Coach Bob Levesque and their fastest start since 1984 when the Huskies began the season 19-1. The Huskies went 29-3 and finished eighth at the NCAA Championships during the 1984 campaign. Only the four seniors on the Husky roster, Carly Dockendorf, Tacia LaBatte, Kim Lewis and Molly Seaman, were alive during the 1984 season. The Huskies streak was stopped on Feb. 11 when they were third in a tri-meet against Oregon State and Arkansas.

Fresh Faces: The Huskies have seven freshmen on the roster with five of them seeing significant action on the mat. Brittney Brabec has competed six times in the all-around and Natalie Gillan once. Gillan has competed in every meet on vault and floor, while Raimey Iselin has competed in every meet on bars and floor. Redshirt freshman Nikki Waiss is a regular on vault and beam. Julie Medeiros did not compete in the season-opening meet, but participated on vault, beam and floor before a stress fracture in her left foot ended her season. Sophomore transfer Lily Le has been in the floor lineup the last eight Husky meets, and beam lineup three times.

Double Duty: Carly Dockendorf isn't the only Husky gymnasts that participates in multiple sports (see page 1). Teammate Tacia LaBatte also pulled double-duty, joining the Husky cheer squad this past fall. Freshman Raimey Iselin is also training with the track team in hopes of competing in middle-distances for Greg Metcalf's squad.

Seaman Sidelined: Molly Seaman will be unable to defend her Pac-10 beam title after reinjuring her surgically repaired right knee last week. The Huskies will miss the beam specialist as the Huskies had recently hit their stride in the event. In back-to-back meets against Utah and Boise State, Seaman scored a Husky season-high 9.875 and led the Huskies to a team season-high 49.100 in the event on Mar. 14. The senior from Tuscaloosa, Ala. has won individual titles on beam nine times during her career, the third most all time among Huskies. The Huskies are holding out hope that the latest setback has not ended her stellar career and that Seaman will be able to return to action in the NCAA Regionals on April 9 in Seattle.

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