No. 18 Gymnasts Host No. 4 Utah
Jan. 11, 2006
The Meet: The No. 18 Washington women's gymnastics team (2-3) welcomes No. 4 Utah (1-0) to Bank of America Arena on Friday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. for the Huskies first home meet of the 2006 season. Live scoring will be available for free on www.gohuskies.com and live video streaming is available to those who purchase a Dawg Channel All-Access pass. Former Husky gymnast Carly Dockendorf will be providing commentary of the meet on the live video stream.
Series History: Friday will be the 33rd meeting between Washington and Utah on the mat. The Huskies have never beat the Utes, but have tied them once in Seattle in 2001. Utah is 8-0-1 all-time in Seattle, winning five straight against UW, including the last two in Seattle (2002 and 2004). Utah won last year in Salt Lake City by a 197.850-195.175 margin.
Scouting the Utes:Utah, who finished third in the NCAA's in 2005, will be making its second road trip in as many weeks. The Utes opened their season in Los Angeles against then-ranked No. 3 UCLA and beat the Bruins by a score of 194.875-193.850. Utah is led by sophomore All-American Ashley Postell, who missed the first meet while recovering from torn ligaments in her elbow, but is expected to return to the mat on Friday. Freshman Kristina Baskett of Normandy Park, Wash., will return to her stomping grounds for the first time as a collegiate gymnast. She won floor at UCLA with a 9.825.
Last Week: The Huskies opened their 2006 season on Jan. 3 at the Hawaiian Classic in Kailua, Hawaii. UW scored a 190.425 to finish fourth among six schools. UCLA (193.775), Oregon State (191.925), Arkansas (190.625) all scored higher than the Huskies, while California (189.350) and Sacramento State (188.075) finished behind the Dawgs. Kelly McDonald won bars (9.850) and true freshman Ashley Houghting debuted by winning the vault (9.850). Four true freshman made their collegiate debuts for the Huskies in Hawaii.
Injured Dawgs: The Huskies will be without three of their key scholarship athletes for the 2006 season. Third-year sophomore Nicole Waiss will miss the season after tearing her right ACL in fall camp. She was expected to be a regular in the vault and beam lineup. Brittney Brabec, the team's 2005 Most Promising Freshman, will red-shirt this season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery on her elbow. Fellow sophomore Julie Medeiros will sit out this season while nursing a stress fracture in her left foot.
The Last Dawg Standing: Kelly McDonald is the only senior on the Huskies roster. She was also the only junior on last year's roster. McDonald was originally part of a six-person class, but is the proverbial 'last man standing' after the other five athletes either retired from gymnastics due to injury or quit the team. McDonald has endured her share of injuries, twice undergoing heel surgery during her career. The native of Seattle underwent her original surgery in May of 2004 and had her latest surgery in May of 2005. She is limited to bars and beam while recovering from her injury, but hopes make an appearance on floor and vault again before her career ends. McDonald owns 15 career individual titles as a Husky, including one bars title from this season. She is one of four Huskies to record a 10 on vault, accomplishing that feat on Feb. 13, 2004 vs. Arizona State.
Head Coach Bob Levesque: Washington head coach Bob Levesque is in his 16th season coaching the Huskies in 2006. Levesque owns a career record of 221-207-2. 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.