This Week in Pac-10 Women's Gymnastics

March 4, 2008

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THIS WEEK IN THE PAC-10:
The 2008 Women's Gymnastics Conference schedule is a wrap. UCLA snapped OREGON STATE`s nine-meet winning streak and in so doing became the year's regular-season champion. The Bruins maintained a perfect 6-0 Pac-10 record. With only a month remaining until the Pac-10 Championships and the start of postseason competition, every team is focusing on consistency and on nailing some big routines.

No class of gymnasts has more on the line than this year's seniors. The seniors from UCLA and STANFORD face their final collegiate dual competition at home this weekend. There won't be much time for celebration, however, as both programs attempt to overthrow No. 6 Alabama and climb closer to the national Top 5. Regardless, the three red-hot senior Bruins - Jordan and Tasha Schwikert and Natalie Padilla - and six-deep senior Cardinals will undoubtedly put on shows to remember.

No Conference team, in fact, is taking it easy this week. Five programs square off against Top 25 ranked teams. For WASHINGTON, the trip to No. 5 LSU marks the 10th ranked opponent that the Huskies have challenged this season. ARIZONA attempts to notch a season-high team total for the sixth consecutive week in a row. Oregon State represents the Pac-10's last chance of besting No. 2 Utah.

COMPETITION SCHEDULE, MAR. 4 - 10:
*All times are Pacific

Friday, March 7
ARIZONA at Kentucky, 4 p.m.
WASHINGTON at Louisiana State, 5 p.m.
ARIZONA STATE vs. Boise State, Penn State, 6 p.m.
OREGON STATE at Utah, 6 p.m.
CALIFORNIA, UC Davis, Seattle Pacific at Sacramento State, 7 p.m.
STANFORD vs. Alabama, Nebraska, 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 9 Daylight Saving Begins
UCLA vs. Alabama, Arkansas, Cal State Fullerton, 2 p.m.

PAC-10 NOTES:
ARIZONA - The Wildcats scored a season-high 196.3 against WASHINGTON that catapulted them into the Pac-10's fourth-place position. A season-high 49.175 team vault was the result of four of the six Wildcats hitting 9.85 and tying with one another for second place. Karin Wurm was victorious on bars and second on floor with 9.9s on both. Briana Bergeson (9.85, first) and Miranda Russell (9.825, second) tallied season highs on beam. Sarah Specht dominated floor with a PR 9.925. Next opponent: Kentucky on Fri., Mar. 7.

ARIZONA STATE - Clad in bright pink leotards, the Sun Devils placed third in UNO's Flip for the Cure. The all-around competition was dominated by freshmen: Tiana Jean finished second with a 39.025, Beaté Jones posted a career-high 38.95, and Francesca Mercurio totaled a 38.55. Jones hit additional PRs on vault (9.85) and beam (9.65). Ashley Hinkle (vault) joined Jones and Jean (bars) in setting the highest individual Sun Devil score of the night, 9.85. Next opponent: Boise State and Penn State on Fri., Mar. 7.

CALIFORNIA - The Bears fell to three nationally ranked programs - No. 9 Michigan, No. 16 Missouri, and No. 20 Ohio State - at Missouri's Cat Classic. Tallying a 48.100 on the mat, floor proved to be the best event of the day for the Bears. Cal's highest individual score came from Siobhan Luce when she vaulted a 9.800. Sophia Hocini performed particularly well on beam (9.775) but also tallied 38.5 in the all-around, first among Cal gymnasts. Next opponent: UC Davis, Seattle Pacific, and Sacramento State on Fri., Mar. 7.

OREGON STATE - Jami Lanz finished second in the all-around (39.375) and Tasha Smith won individual titles on vault and floor exercise (9.925s), but the Beavers fell to UCLA, suffering their first loss since Week 1. Whitney Watson tied her career-best 9.825 and Jen Kesler anchored with a 9.9 to lead the Beavers to their second-highest bar score of the season. Yuki Lamb had two 9.8s on the night - vault and beam. Claire Pierce and Lanz scored season highs on beam and floor, respectively. Next opponent: Utah on Fri., Mar. 7.

STANFORD - The Cardinal continued their strong run with a score of 195.800 to win UNO's Flip For the Cure. Stanford was led by Nicole Ourada , who hit 38.875 in the all-around, and Tabitha Yim scored a 9.900 on bars and 9.750 on beam. Allyse Ishino turned heads with three scores over 9.825 on all events besides floor exercise. Liz Tricase also scored a 9.925 on bars to give Stanford a spark. Lauren Elmore (floor) and Carly Janiga (bars) contributed a 9.875 apiece. Next opponent: Alabama and Nebraska on Fri., Mar. 7.

UCLA - UCLA became undefeated regular-season Conference champion with a victory over OREGON STATE that closed the 2008 Pac-10 dual campaign. Tasha Schwikert (season-high 39.625) won the all-around and tied sister Jordan for first on bars (9.925). Kristina Comforte , back from injury, returned big routines to the line-up with 9.9s on vault and bars. Brittani McCullough hit floor (9.875) and all-around (39.375, second) season highs and a career-best 9.9 beam. Next opponent: Alabama, Arkansas, CSU Fullerton on Sun., Mar. 9.

WASHINGTON - Though the Huskies could not upset No.18 ARIZONA, they tallied their second-highest total and best mark on the road this year, 194.525. Washington also scored a season-high 49.200 on floor, demolishing their previous best of 48.525. Ashley Houghting won vault (9.9) and floor (season-high 9.95) and finished second on beam. Raimey Iselan matched her top 2008 bar mark of 9.8 and Samantha Walior notched a career-best 9.9 on floor, both good for third. Next opponent: Louisiana State on Fri., Mar. 7.

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