Houghting, McDonald Shine For UW Gymnasts In Arizona

Feb. 3, 2006

Tucson, Ariz. - For the fourth time in five meets, Kelly McDonald won bars and Ashley Houghting won vault for the Husky gymnastics team (3-7 overall, 1-5 Pac-10), but 10th-ranked Arizona (2-7 overall, 2-1 Pac-10) escaped the evening with a 195.325-193.00 win at the McKale Center in Tucson, Arizona. The Wildcats' Danielle Hicks won all-around with a 39.175 total, while Houghting was the Huskies top all-arounder with a third-place total of 38.700.

The Huskies began their evening on uneven parallel bars, which has been the team's Achilles heel for the past two meets. After having to count three falls towards their bars scores against UCLA and ASU/SPU, the Huskies were much better on Friday night. The Huskies tallied a total of 47.000 but were still forced to count a fall towards their score.

McDonald (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt HS) equaled a season-best 9.900 to take first place on the event and win her 18th career individual title, eight of which have come on bars. Darcee Schiller (Abbottsford, B.C./Bateman Secondary) was the Huskies next-highest finisher behind McDonald, scoring a career-high 9.675 for seventh place. Arizona posted a whooping 48.900 and took second- through sixth-place on the event, led by Aubrey Taylor and Hicks, who each scored a 9.825.

'We only had to count one fall tonight, so considering our situation that's pretty good,' said Husky Coach Bob Levesque on the Huskies' bar performance. 'We had to put whatever warm bodies we could find in some spots and they really came through tonight. I'm really proud of how the girls stepped up.'

The Huskies were without all-arounder Natalie Gillan tonight, and perhaps longer, as the sophomore from Denver, Colo., missed the meet after severely injuring her big toe on a beam mishap in practice on Thursday. She is the fifth member of the six-person sophomore class to be sidelined with an injury this season.

Houghting (Welland, Ont./Welland Secondary) starred on vault once again for Washington, equaling her career-best mark of 9.900 for the third time this season. Chelsea Bakken (Mesa, Ariz./Mountain View HS) scored a 9.800 to take second, followed by teammate Kristen Omori (Kirkland, Wash./Juanita HS) and Arizona's Bree Workman who tied for third with a 9.775. The Huskies outscored Arizona on vault 48.750-48.625.

The Huskies were on floor in the third rotation and were led by Omori's second-place score of 9.800 on their way to a team total of 48.325. Arizona scored 48.950 and was paced by Alexis Greene's first-place total of 9.875. Hicks equaled Omori's 9.800 to tie for second. Bakken was the Huskies next-highest finisher with a seventh-place score of 9.725.

The Huskies wrapped up the evening on beam and shattered their season-high with a 48.925. UW freshman Kelly Gilbert (Mesa, Ariz./Mountain View HS) set a new career-high and tied McDonald and Hicks with a 9.825 to earn a three-way share of second place. Arizona's Briana Bergeson scored a 9.900 to win the floor title and pace the Wildcats' score of 48.850. Omori took sixth with a career-best 9.775 and Jennifer Chang was seventh with a 9.750.

The Huskies return to the mat on Friday, February 10 at 6:30 p.m. (PT) against Utah State in Logan, Utah.

Team Scoring          Vault     Bars     Beam    Floor       Total 1. Arizona          48.625   48.900   48.850   48.950     195.325 2. Washington       48.750   47.000   48.925   48.325     193.000
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