Washington Hosts #2 Utah

Feb. 12, 2008

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Meet #6: No. 2 Utah at Washington
Saturday, February 16, 2008
4 p.m.
Seattle, Wash. (Bank of America Arena)
GoHuskies.com (Live Scoring & Video)

The Meet
Washington returns home to Bank of America Arena this weekend as the Huskies host #2 Utah at 4 p.m. on Saturday. 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.

The Opponent
Utah is ranked second behind Georgia in the current national rankings, although the Utes beat Georgia, 196.300-196.000, on Jan. 11. A Ute has won 22 of the 25 event and all-around titles awarded so far this season, including all five beam, floor and all-around competitions and the Utes have had just three falls in 120 total routines this season. Junior Kristina Baskett, the 2006 NCAA bar champion, is from Normandy Park where she competed club at Puget Sound Gymnastics.

Coach's Comments
'Obviously having the No. 2 team in the country here this weekend is very exciting,' noted head coach Joanne Bowers. 'We moved up to 31st in the nation with our scores from Chicago ­- it was nice to go on the road and hit more routines. We hit 21 of 24, but we had to count a fall on floor and that hurt us because if we hadn't had to count that, we probably would have beat Illinois. Still, hitting 21 routines on the road was an improvement for us and now we're coming back home and just hoping to keep it up. Bars and beam are our most consistent events, but we need people to step up and do what they know they can do on floor. If we can improve on floor, it will really help our total score. At this point in the season, we're focusing on landings and finishing touches. We're hitting our routines, so now we need to work on our execution.'

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. Houghting is currently tied for No. 34 in the country on vault with a 9.835 event average.

Injury Report
Sophomore Cassidy Lance (Draper, Utah) 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.

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 (the Huskies have already faced then-No. 15 Denver and then-No. 24 Illinois, the Huskies are still set to face: No. 2 Utah and No. 6 LSU). The Pac-10 remains a tough conference from top to bottom, with five squads ranked in the top-20 (No. 7 UCLA, No. 9 Stanford, No. 11 Oregon State, No. 17 Arizona State and No. 20 Arizona).

Last Time Out
Washington gymnastics finished behind No. 9 UCLA, No. 11 Stanford and No. 24 Illinois tonight at the IGI Chicago Style Invitational. The Huskies finished the night with a 194.250, matching their highest score of the season, but fell behind the Bruins' 196.875, the Cardinal's 196.700 and the Illini's 194.775. Haley led the team as she notched a career-best 38.975 in the all-around. The Huskies set new season-high team scores on vault and beam and tied their season-best on bars, although the Huskies failed to place in any of the individual events.

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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