This Week in Pac-10 Women's Gymnastics
Feb. 20, 2008
THIS WEEK IN THE PAC-10:
Now in the seventh week of the 2008 gymnastics campaign, Regional Qualifying Averages kicked into place in the national rankings. Qualification for regional competition is based on a team's and an all-around competitor's six best regular-season-meet scores, of which three must be away. To obtain the regional qualifying score (RQS), the high score is eliminated and the remaining five scores are averaged. The transition from Total Season Average to RQS proved an asset to the Pac-10, as all five teams in the Top-25 moved up.
No. 9 UCLA and No. 8 OREGON STATE remain undefeated in Conference action, a streak that could last until the two programs face off on March 2. Both programs showcased gymnasts last week who saw a judge's score of perfect 10. Due to judges' averages, however, both athletes missed the historic mark by 0.025. UCLA's Anna Li hit her routine and stuck the landing on bars, whereas Oregon State's Tasha Smith tumbled toward perfection on floor.
The end of the Conference dual meet schedule is quickly approaching. CALIFORNIA wraps up Pac-10 competition this week against No. 7 STANFORD on the road. The Bears look to attack against their Bay Area foe and end their Conference schedule on a high note. The all-around competition between No. 17T ARIZONA and UCLA is highly anticipated: Karin Wurm has won three consecutive all-arounds for the Wildcats, while Li has five victories under her belt. No. 15 ARIZONA STATE (bars) and WASHINGTON (vault) each hit season high scores on events last week, suggesting a heated face off is in store. On Sunday, UCLA attempts to become this season's first Pac-10 program to beat No. 2 Utah.
COMPETITION SCHEDULE, FEB. 19 - 25:
*All times are Pacific
Friday, February 22
ARIZONA vs. UCLA, 6:30 p.m.
ARIZONA STATE at WASHINGTON, 7 p.m.
OREGON STATE vs. Brigham Young, 7 p.m.
Sunday, February 24
CALIFORNIA at STANFORD, 2 p.m.
UCLA vs. Utah, 2 p.m.
ARIZONA - The Wildcats won the Dual in the Desert at ARIZONA STATE for the first time since 1987, earning their fifth victory of the season. After winning all or part of every event title and hitting season bests on bars (49.025), beam (49.125), and floor (49.0), the `Cats amassed a season-high 195.925. Karin Wurm dominated with four victories, three personal best scores, and a second place finish. Briana Bergeson (bars) and Alexis Greene (beam) set career highs of 9.875. Next opponent: UCLA on Fri., Feb. 22.
ARIZONA STATE - Nicole Harris (39.175), Tiana Jean (39.15), and Francesca Mercurio (38.95, career best) swept second through fourth place in the all-around but were upset by in-state rival ARIZONA. The three Sun Devils led their team to a season-high 49.25 on bars with Harris's event win and another personal best by Mercurio (9.825). Beaté Jones vaulted a 9.775 (T-1st) and hit her bar routine for a career-high 9.8. Ashlee Hinkle added a 9.850 on beam. Next opponent: WASHINGTON on Fri., Feb. 22.
CALIFORNIA - The Golden Bears held close to UCLA on floor (48.0- 47.475) before falling to the Bruins. The Bears' top event of the night was bars (47.9), on which Siobhan Luce tallied a 9.8 and Jessica Kelley merited a 9.775. The highest individual Cal score of the meet came from Bridgette Glass, twice nominated as Pac-10 Event Specialist of the Week, who secured a second-place 9.850 on beam. The mark is the highest by a Golden Bear this season on the apparatus. Next opponent: STANFORD on Sun., Feb., 24.
OREGON STATE - Season-high team scores on vault and balance beam led the Beavers to upset STANFORD and extend their undefeated Conference record to 5-0. The Beavers reached a season-best 49.325 - seventh best in the nation - on vault after Megan Devencenzi opened with a season-high 9.825 and Tasha Smith and Mandi Rodriguez closed with matching 9.9s. Jen Kesler, new to the line-up, hit three career highs: 9.875 on bars (T-1st) and beam, and 9.8 on floor. Next opponent: BYU on Fri., Feb. 22.
STANFORD - The Cardinal defeated Seattle Pacific but dropped a heartbreaker to OREGON STATE, falling by three-tenths of a point. Tabitha Yim guided the Cardinal for the second consecutive week, tallying 39.375 in the all-around. She met the night's high vault score (9.9) and hit floor and bars (9.875s). Liz Tricase recorded 9.925 on vault, Stanford's top meet score. Blair Ryland (9.825) and Nicole Ourada (9.85) gave the Cardinal a lift on vault. Next opponent: CALIFORNIA on Sun., Feb. 24.
UCLA - The Bruins recorded a season-high 49.4 on uneven bars (fourth-highest nationwide) and a 49.2 on vault to down CALIFORNIA. Anna Li delivered a career-high 9.975 on bars, just missing the first perfect 10 of her career. Personal bests came from Allison Taylor (9.8 bars) , Natalie Padilla (9.85 vault), and Brittani McCullough (9.9 vault). Li led a 1-2-3 Bruin sweep in the all-around, followed by Jordan Schwikert (season-high 39.25). Next opponent: ARIZONA on Fri., Feb. 22, and Utah on Sun., Feb. 24.
WASHINGTON - Haley Bogart set or tied career highs in all four events in the Huskies' loss to No. 2 Utah. Bogart was the lone Husky to capture an individual title, defeating NCAA champion Ashley Postell on beam with a 9.85. Samantha Walior set top career marks in her three events and led the Huskies on bars with a 9.825. The Dawgs notched a season-high 48.925 on vault. Karen Cain posted a career-best 9.75 on the apparatus. Next opponent: ARIZONA STATE on Fri., Feb. 22.