Washington Gymnastics Hosts #22 Cal in Home Opener

Jan. 23, 2008

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Meet #3: California at Washington
Date...
Friday, January 25, 2008
Time... 7 p.m. Pacific Time
Site... Seattle, Wash. (Bank of America Arena)
Internet... GoHuskies.com (Live Streaming & Scoring)

The Meet
The Huskies (0-2) will open the home season at Bank of America on Friday night, as Washington hosts California at 7 p.m. Following the meet, fans are invited to meet the Huskies, get autographs and team posters, and enjoy free refreshments at the 5th Event. At the conclusion of each home meet, fans can join the Huskies in the Founder's Club. This week, the entire team will be signing autographs.

The Opponent
The Golden Bears opened the season with a pair of wins over Towson and UC Davis, but lost their Pac-10 opener against Arizona State last week, 195.175-191.750. Despite the loss, Cal posted a season-high team score on bars, 49.125, as junior Joanna Bennett won the event with a personal-best 9.900. Last year, the Huskies won two out of three meetings against the Bears, as they topped Cal in the dual meet and at the Pac-10 Championships before falling just short against them at the NCAA West Regional.

Coach's Comments
'We had one of our best practices of the year this week,' said head coach Joanne Bowers. 'We realize that it is early in the season, but we're also realizing that everyone can step up. It's a long season and I think we're on the right path. Some of our gymnasts need time to get used to competing again. A lot of people have overcome injuries during their careers, and they just need time to get back into the routine of competition. More than anything, I think that being at home will make a huge difference. We'll be in front of our fans and I think that will really help our confidence.'

Strong Schedule
The Huskies schedule is one of the toughest in the nation ­­­-- on the road and at home. Not only will Washington face off against the teams of the Pac-10, the GymDawgs will also take on four non-conference foes who are ranked in the top-25 (after a loss to then-No. 15 Denver, the Huskies are still set to face: No. 3 Utah, No. 5 LSU and No. 22 Illinois). The Pac-10 remains a tough conference from top to bottom, with five squads ranked in the top-20 (No. 8 UCLA, No. 9 Stanford, No. 11 Oregon State, No. 14 Arizona and No. 20 Arizona State).

Last Time Out
Washington's freshmen continue to make an impression on their opponents, as Haley Bogart won her first event title and Kristen Linton snagged second place on two events last Friday against the 16th-ranked Oregon State Beavers. Although the Huskies opened the conference season with a loss, 195.625-191.425, Washington (0-2, 0-1 Pac-10) improved in its second meet of the season. Bogart (Woodside, Calif.) captured first place on balance beam with a 9.825, winning her first event in just her second collegiate meet. Linton (Edmonds, Wash.) began the night by taking second place on bars, scoring a 9.825, and ended the night by tying for second place on beam with a 9.775.

Mark Your Calendars!
Washington will host the 2008 Pac-10 Championships on March 29 at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies, along with the six other teams in the conference, will compete for Pac-10 titles while making a final push to qualify for the NCAA Regionals.

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