GymDawgs Come From Behind To Beat Utah State

Jan. 12, 2007

SEATTLE - Washington's women's gymnastics team gave first-year head coach Joanne Bowers a late Christmas present Saturday, sweeping first- and second-place in all four events to key a thrilling 193.000-191.400 victory over Utah State (1-2), the first of Bowers' coaching tenure at Washington.

Washington (1-1) held the lead early after strong performances on vault and bars, but fell behind by .025 after counting three falls on beam.

'We had some adversity on the beam, but these girls really came out strong on the floor routines,' Bowers said after the meet. 'I'm extremely proud of the way they competed.'

Faced with a potential 0-2 start to the season after a tough loss at No. 5 UCLA last weekend, Washington's gymnasts pulled together for an outstanding rotation on floor, their 48.775 team score the highest by either team on any rotation in the meet. Senior Chelsea Bakken gave the Huskies the lead with a career-high equaling 9.800 on floor, before sophomore Ashley Houghting clinched the win with a near-perfect 9.925 in the Huskies' final competition of the night, crushing her previous floor career-high of 9.725.

'The girls really wanted this tonight,' Bowers said. 'All of them stepped up, and together they came away with the win.'

Houghting's victory was the first of her career on floor, and her second of the night, following an equally-impressive 9.925 performance on vault that Bowers says helped spark the Huskies' confidence early on.

'We've been struggling on the vault, so to come out strong in that event tonight really set the tone for the rest of the meet,' she said.

The Huskies followed up their strong vault rotation with a 48.375 score on bars, their highest in that event in nearly two years. Junior Raimey Iselin captured the title on bars with a career-high equaling 9.800, while sophomore Kristen Omori rescued an otherwise difficult beam rotation with a 9.800 to match her career-best as well.

Perhaps the most outstanding contributor of the night was Bakken, who scored no lower than 9.725 on any event, and was either the Huskies' No. 2 or No. 3 scorer on all four rotations. The senior from Mesa, Ariz., easily won the all-around with a 39.025 total, nearly a full point ahead of her previous lifetime best.

Having already faced one top-five opponent in UCLA, the Huskies will battle another next Saturday when they travel to Salt Lake City to face perennial national powerhouse Utah at 6 p.m. For more information on Husky gymnastics, visit

Quick hits: Ashley Houghting's nine career victories on vault are already tied for the fourth-most ever by a UW gymnast; Kelly MacDonald holds the record with 12 vault wins ... Only three Washington gymnasts won events in all of 2006, a feat accomplished by four different gymnasts Saturday ... Four Huskies earned their first-ever victories in a specific event, including Houghting (floor), Raimey Iselin (bars), Kristen Omori (beam) and Chelsea Bakken (all-around) ... Iselin's win was the first of her career in any event ... With the win, Washington improved its all-time non-conference home record to 80-15-1, including a 21-5 record since the re-opening of Bank of America Arena in 2001.

Team Scoring          Vault     Bars     Beam    Floor     Total 1. Washington       48.475   48.375   47.375   48.775   193.000 2. Utah State       48.475   48.175   47.150   47.600   191.400

Vault 1. Ashley Houghting, UW 9.925 2. Kristen Omori, UW 9.775 Katy Schilla, USU 9.775 Heather Heinrich, USU 9.775 5. Chelsea Bakken, UW 9.725 6. Jessica Parenti-Otte, USU 9.725 7. Nicki Felley, USU 9.600 Meagan Lewis, USU 9.600 9. Nikki Waiss, UW 9.57510. Celia Short, UW 9.475 Rachael Mandy, USU 9.47512. Katie Omann, USU 9.425 (exh.)13. Darcee Schiller, UW 9.400 (exh.)14. Cassidy Lance, UW 9.350

Bars 1. Raimey Iselin, UW 9.850 2. Chelsea Bakken, UW 9.775 Ashley Barr, USU 9.775 4. Darcee Schiller, UW 9.700 Alex Martin, USU 9.700 6. Meagan Lewis, USU 9.675 7. Natalie Gillan, UW 9.650 8. Devin Markle, USU 9.600 9. Katie Omann, USU 9.42510. Tori Quandt, UW 9.40011. Jessica Parenti-Otte, USU 9.27512. Nikki Waiss, UW 9.05013. Heather Heinrich, USU 8.775 (exh.)

Beam 1. Kristen Omori, UW 9.800 2. Chelsea Bakken, UW 9.725 3. Nicki Felley, USU 9.700 Heather Heinrich, USU 9.700 5. Alex Martin, USU 9.625 6. Tori Quandt, UW 9.475 (exh.) 7. Ashley Houghting, UW 9.325 Kelly Gilbert, UW 9.325 9. Jenni Chang, UW 9.20010. Jessica Parenti-Otte, USU 9.17511. Bonita Lee, UW 9.12512. Meagan Lewis, USU 8.95013. Devin Markle, USU 8.27514. Katie Omann, USU 8.700 (exh.)

Floor 1. Ashley Houghting, UW 9.925 2. Chelsea Bakken, UW 9.800 Megan Tschida, USU 9.800 4. Kelly Gilbert, UW 9.775 5. Katy Schilla, USU 9.725 Devin Markle, USU 9.725 7. Celia Short, UW 9.675 Ashley Barr, USU 9.675 (exh.) 9. Darcee Schiller, UW 9.60010. Tori Quandt, UW 9.45011. Nicki Felley, USU 9.20012. Jessica Parenti-Otte, USU 9.15013. Meagan Lewis, USU 8.950

All-Around 1. Chelsea Bakken, UW 39.025 2. Jessica Parenti-Otte, USU 37.325 3. Meagan Lewis, USU 37.175

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