Washington Travels East to Face Three Top-25 Teams at the IGI Chicago Style Invitational

Feb. 5, 2008

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Meet #5: Washington at IGI Chicago Style Invitational
(with No. 24 Illinois, No. 11 Stanford and No. 9 UCLA)
Date...
Friday, February 8, 2008
Time... 7 p.m. Central Time
Site... Chicago, Ill. (Navy Pier - Exhibition Hall A-B)
Internet... FightingIllini.com (Live Scoring)

The Meet
Washington (1-3) will travel to the Midwest for the IGI Chicago Style Invitational. This is the first year that a collegiate meet will be held at the annual meet. The Huskies will see #9 UCLA for the second week in a row as the Pac-10 invades the Navy Pier with three teams competing in the quad meet. Eleventh-ranked Stanford will also be competing, as well as No. 24 Illinois, who will serve as the meet host. Competition will begin at 7 p.m. (CT) on Friday, Feb. 8. The Huskies will begin the night on floor, before cycling through on vault, bars and beam.

Rotation Order

Vault Bars Beam Floor
1. Illinois UCLA Stanford Washington
2. Washington Illinois UCLA Stanford
3. Stanford Washington Illinois UCLA
4. UCLA Stanford Washington Illinois

The Opponents: UCLA
UCLA (7-0) is ranked No. 9 in the nation in team score, but has also posted the fourth-best team average on beam (49.000) and the sixth-best team average on vault (49.106). The Bruins come into the meet with consecutive wins over Stanford and Washington.

The Opponents: Stanford
Stanford (1-2) has only competed three times this season, with losses to No. 1 Georgia and then-No. 8 UCLA. The Cardinal is ranked in the top-10 on three events ­­­-- vault (No. 7, 49.058), bars (No. 7, 48.917) and beam (No. 8, 48.767).

The Opponents: Illinois
Last week, the Illini posted season-highs on all four events en route to a season-high total of 194.975, but still lost the meet to 13th-ranked Denver. Illinois is ranked in the top-25 on three events: vault, bars and beam.

Coach's Comments
'I'm really excited about going to Chicago,' said head coach Joanne Bowers. 'Region V is a very strong part of the country, and because there is a club meet that coincides with our event, this is a great opportunity for us to see them, but also for them to see our team compete. Also, quad meets really help prepare you for the big meets later in the season. With all the craziness going on around you, it teaches you to focus. Finally, I think this will be a really good opportunity for us after our two good home meets. We hit 20 of 24 routines and then 21 of 24 routines and now need to take this on the road and see if we can keep this up. We still want to improve the quality of our routines, but we also need to be able to hit that many on the road.'

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. 2 Utah, No. 7 LSU and No. 24 Illinois). The Pac-10 remains a tough conference from top to bottom, with five squads ranked in the top-20 (No. 8 Oregon State, No. 9 UCLA, No. 11 Stanford, No. 16 Arizona State and No. 20 Arizona).

Last Time Out
Although the Huskies notched their highest score of the season on Friday night, it was not enough to upset the eighth-ranked UCLA Bruins, who picked up their seventh win of the year at Bank of America Arena, 195.975-194.425. Houghting snagged second place on two events while Linton allied the top all-around score for the Huskies. The meet also saw the return of junior Kristen Omori (Kirkland, Wash.), who missed the last two meets after an ankle sprain in the season opener at Denver.

Immediate Impact
The Husky freshmen have not wasted any time in their transition to collegiate gymnastics. The four rookies have combined for 11 top-3 finishes in the last two meets, including a pair of event titles for both Haley Bogart (Woodside, Calif.) and Kristen Linton (Edmonds, Wash.). Against California, Karen Cain (Kyle, Texas) took third in the all-around and Samantha Walior (Prior Lake, Minn.) picked up a bronze in the floor exercise.

Vault Victories
Junior Ashley Houghting (Welland, Ont.) has won 18 vault titles in her career, including two this season, which puts her in first place in the Husky record-books. Last year, she surpassed Klara Kudilkova, who competed for Washington from 1995-98, who ranks second with 12 vault wins.

Injury Report
Sophomore Cassidy Lance was forced to retire from the Huskies after the second meet of the season. Lance tore the same ACL for the fourth time and will no longer be able to compete. She will stay on with the program, serving as a student coach.

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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