Huskies Sweep SPU In Regular-Season Finale
March 23, 2007
SEATTLE - Sophomore Ashley Houghting won two events and the all-around, and posted the highest individual score by a UW gymnast in nearly two years Friday, leading Washington to a 194.475-193.725 win over Seattle Pacific in the 2007 regular-season finale at SPU's Brougham Pavilion.
Washington's victory was made all the sweeter by the fact that it came against a Seattle Pacific team at its best. The Falcons, who scored just 190.050 and 189.750 in two previous meetings with the Huskies this year, rode a school-record team performance on vault and terrific rotations on beam and floor to a 193.725 overall team score, their highest since the 2003 season.
SPU's strong performance, combined with two falls by Washington gymnasts on both vault and bars, left the meet in doubt entering the final two rotations. The Huskies (5-9), however, responded with two of their highest scores of the year on beam (48.600) and floor (49.100) to finish with their third-highest team score of the year, and gain some important momentum heading into next weekend's Pac-10 Championships.
'We had some uncharacteristic falls on bars and vault, but these girls are really tough and responded to that by nailing their floor and beam routines,' said first year head coach Joanne Bowers. 'It's been exciting all year to see the pieces fall into place one at a time. We were great on beam and floor tonight, and we've been strong on vault and bars all year, so we're looking to peak at the Pac-10 meet next week.'
Houghting, already a winner of 12 events this season, posted UW's highest scores in nearly two years on vault (9.950) and floor (9.975), the latter equaling the 10th-best mark ever by a Husky gymnast in the event. Houghting won both events and the all-around to bring her season win total to 16 and her career total to 24, just three shy of UW's all-time career top-10.
Houghting entered Friday's meet tied for sixth nationally on vault and tied for 17th in the NCAA on floor, and has topped the 9.90 mark nine times in 2007, including six times in the former event, and three in the latter.
'Ashley's on fire right now,' Bowers said. 'She's nailing everything, and when she's in the huddle she's firing up our other girls. She's a tremendous positive force for our team right now.'
While Houghting's scores made for dramatic wins, no UW victory was more inspirational Friday than that by junior Raimey Iselin on bars. Declared 'out for the season' after tearing the meniscus in her right knee just two months ago, Iselin returned to competition ahead of schedule Friday, scoring a 9.800 on bars for her second-career win.
'We wanted to get Raimey back in before Pac-10s next week, to give her a chance to get back in the swing of things,' Bowers said. 'We didn't really expect her to win, we just wanted her to get used to competing again, and get any jitters out she might have for her first meet back. As it turns out, when Chelsea [Bakken] took a fall, the pressure was suddenly put on Raimey to get a good score, and she toughed out a win.'
Junior Kristen Omori also notched her second win of the year with a 9.850 on beam, completing the Huskies' third sweep this season.
'This is the toughest group of girls I've ever been around,' Bowers said. 'They are so dedicated and so committed to succeed. Tonight we had some girls in on different events, just to give them a shot, and they responded with some outstanding scores. I think they're really proud of how far they've come this year, yet they know that they still haven't put it all together on the same night. That's going to be the goal next weekend at Pac-10s, and I know they can do it.'
Washington will join the six other Pac-10 Conference gymnastics teams next Saturday at the Pac-10 Championships in Berkeley's Haas Pavilion. For complete results from Friday's meet, or for more information on Washington gymnastics, visit www.gohuskies.com.
Team Scores Vault Bars Beam Floor TotalWashington 48.675 48.100 48.600 49.100 194.475Seattle Pacific 48.650 47.775 48.525 48.775 193.725
Vault 1. Ashley Houghting, WASH 9.950 2. Cassidy Lance, WASH 9.850 Kristin Bryant, SPU 9.850 4. Sarah Sullivan, SPU 9.800 5. Nikki Waiss, WASH 9.775 6. Kristen Omori, WASH 9.750 7. Melissa Daniels, SPU 9.725 8. Debra Huss, SPU 9.700 9. Amber Lundgren, SPU 9.57510. Tracy Smith, SPU 9.50011. Natalie Gillan, WASH 9.35012. Katie Boyko, WASH 9.200
Uneven Bars 1. Raimey Iselin, WASH 9.800 2. Darcee Schiller, WASH 9.750 3. Natalie Gillan, WASH 9.700 Ashley Domres, SPU 9.700 5. Ashley Houghting, WASH 9.650 Amber Lundgren, SPU 9.650 7. Debra Huss, SPU 9.575 8. Sadie Johnston, SPU 9.475 9. Sarah Sulliva, SPU 9.37510. Chelsea Bakken, WASH 9.20011. Nikki Waiss, WASH 9.10012. Christie Chinaka, SPU 8.500
Balance Beam 1. Kristen Omori, WASH 9.850 2. Ashley Houghting, WASH 9.775 Sarah Sullivan, SPU 9.775 4. Debra Huss, SPU 9.750 5. Tori Quandt, WASH 9.700 Chelsea Bakken, WASH 9.700 7. Christie Chinaka, SPU 9.700 8. Brianna Schwartz, SPU 9.650 Ashley Domres, SPU 9.65010. Natalie Gillan, WASH 9.57511. Kelly Gilbert, WASH 9.37512. Kristin Bryant, SPU 9.200
Floor Exercise 1. Ashley Houghting, WASH 9.975 2. Kristen Omori, WASH 9.875 Sarah Sullivan, SPU 9.875 4. Debra Huss, SPU 9.825 5. Kelly Gilbert, WASH 9.775 Brianna Schwarz, SPU 9.775 7. Darcee Schiller, WASH 9.750 Kristin Bryant, SPU 9.750 9. Natalie Gillan, WASH 9.72510. Amber Lundgren, SPU 9.55011. Ashley Domres, SPU 9.50012. Celia Short, WASH 9.200