This Week in Pac-10 Women's Gymnastics
April 2, 2008
NCAA REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
SAT., APRIL 12 - 6 p.m. local time
Six teams, five all-around competitors (who are not on a qualifying team) and one individual event specialist per event were named to each of the six regions. The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors (who are not on an advancing team) from each regional will receive an automatic berth to the national championships in Athens, Ga., April 24-26, hosted by the University of Georgia. In addition, the event winners at the regional championships will advance to the national championships (in that event only) if they are not part of a qualifying team or the all-around qualifiers.
WEST REGION - in Corvallis, Ore.: Michigan, OREGON STATE, Michigan State, WASHINGTON, San Jose State, Sacramento State. All-Around Competitors: CALIFORNIA's Sophia Hocini, Siobhan Luce, Jessica Kelley. Individual Event Specialist: CALIFORNIA's Bridgette Glass, Balance Beam.
NORTH CENTRAL REGION - in Minneapolis, Minn.: Utah, Arkansas, ARIZONA, Iowa, Southern Utah, Minnesota.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION - in Norman, Okla.: Alabama, Oklahoma, Boise State, ARIZONA STATE, Illinois, Southeast Missouri State.
CENTRAL REGION - in Baton Rouge, La.: STANFORD, Louisiana State University, Missouri, Kentucky, Kent State, Ohio State.
NORTHEAST REGION - in University Park, Pa.: Georgia, Auburn, Denver, Penn State, Brigham Young, Iowa State.
SOUTHEAST REGION - in Gainesville, Fla., at 7 p.m. EST: Florida, UCLA, Nebraska, North Carolina State, West Virginia, North Carolina.
ARIZONA - The Wildcats placed fourth at the Pac-10 Championship and finished the meet with 24 hit routines. Their final 195.725 tally moved the Wildcats up to 14th in the national rankings. Karin Wurm collected two third-place podium finishes, one on vault (9.850) and the other on bars (9.9). She also was fifth-best in the Conference in the all-around with a 39.275. Rounding out top 10 event finishers for the `Cats were Briana Bergeson and Danielle Hicks on beam (9.85, eighth) and Sarah Specht on floor (9.825, tenth).
ARIZONA STATE - The Sun Devils placed seventh at the Pac-10 Championship with their lowest score since 2005 (191.925). After Tia Orlando suffered an Achilles injury, the Sun Devils were only able to put five gymnasts into their floor and vault rotations. Ashlee Hinkle led ASU on her three specialty events, hitting 9.85 on both vault (third) and beam (eighth). Tiana Jean and Beaté Jones added depth and consistency with a 9.8 to each of their names on bars and vault, respectively, and 9.725s on floor.
CALIFORNIA - The Golden Bears placed fifth at the Pac-10s, defeating WASHINGTON and ARIZONA STATE. Cal's victory over the Sun Devils was its first win over a top 25 team this season. The Bears earned their highest score of the meet, 9.775, three times. Bridgette Glass and Stefanie Cheng each tallied the mark on beam; Glass also hit the score on bars. Though Cal will not go as a team to NCAA Regionals, four gymnasts - Glass, Sophia Hocini, Siobhan Luce, and Jessica Kelley - will compete in the West Regional.
OREGON STATE - Tasha Smith and Jami Lanz combined to win three individual titles and the Beavers finished second at the Pac-10 Championships. Oregon State has now beaten every team in the Pac-10 this season. Yuki Lamb nailed one of the finest vaults of her career (9.85) to set up Smith's winning 9.9. The beam team, anchored by Lanz's fourth near-perfect routine of the season (9.95), tallied its second-highest score of the season. Smith stole the show on floor, dancing and tumbling to a score of 9.95 and the event win.
STANFORD - The Cardinal fell just short of a Conference championship in 2007, but made sure not to repeat history by scoring a 197.000 for the second straight week to bring home this year's Pac-10 title. This is the third conference title for Stanford in the last five seasons. The victory came as a result of winning three of the five events. On beam, Carly Janiga tied for first place with a 9.95; Liz Tricase did the same on bars, defending her uneven bar title. Tabitha Yim won the all-around title (39.55) for the second time in her career.
UCLA - The Bruins finished third at Pac-10's, paced by a season-high all-around effort by Ariana Berlin (39.4, third place). Berlin's all-around was composed of four individual events that scored no lower than 9.8. Three Bruins met or exceeded the 9.9 mark on bars, including Berlin, Anna Li, and Tasha Schwikert (9.95, T-first). Li linked up with Kristina Comforte to produce a pair of 9.9s on beam. Jordan Schwikert provided the final Bruin 9.9 on a strong floor routine. The Bruins recorded two falls on the night.
WASHINGTON - The Huskies upset ARIZONA STATE in the Pac-10 Championship to claim sixth place with 193.375. Ashley Houghting nabbed second place on floor with a thrilling 9.925. She added a third-place podium finish to her credentials on vault, as did Haley Bogart, as part of a nine-way tie of 9.850s. Senior Nikki Waiss earned her first top 3 Pac-10 finish with a season-high 9.9 on bars that was good enough for bronze. For the third-straight outing, Raimey Iselin hit a 9.875 on bars, giving her eighth.
PAC-10 NAMES INDIVIDUAL ALL-CONFERENCE AWARDS
GYMMNAST OF THE YEAR: Tabitha Yim, Stanford
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Brittani McCullough, UCLA
COACH OF THE YEAR: Tanya Chaplin, Oregon State
TABITHA YIM becomes the Cardinal's first-ever Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year. The honor adds to the long list of accolades compiled by Yim in her collegiate career, including a win in the all-around competition at this year's Pac-10 Championship. The top finish was the fourth individual Pac-10 title earned by Yim in her career. She rounded out the Conference meet with a second-place showing on vault and third place finishes on both bars and beam. Currently tied for fourth in the all-around national rankings, Yim also sits as the 14th-best vault and uneven bars specialist in the country. At last year's NCAA Championships she won four All-America honors: all-around, bars, beam and floor, despite missing the early portion of the season due to injury. Yim now counts 11 All-America honors to her name and looks to grow that number this season: Stanford is the top seed in this year's NCAA Central Region.
BRITTANI MCCULLOUGH was having a standout rookie campaign (she redshirted in 2007 due to an injury sustained in a car accident prior to the start of the season) when she ruptured her left Achilles tendon during her floor routine on Mar. 9. Prior to her injury, she had competed all-around in seven meets, averaging 39.1 and placing in the top 3 in the all-around in six of those seven meets. McCullough scored a season-best 39.375 in the all-around twice, vs. OREGON STATE and ARIZONA STATE in the season opener and again vs. Oregon State on Mar. 2. The Corona, Calif., native recorded three vault victories in her 2008 campaign and scored a season-best 9.9 on the apparatus on five occasions. In addition, McCullough won the balance beam against Oregon State on Mar. 2 with a career-high 9.9. Twice she tied for first on floor exercise. At the height of her season, McCullough ranked third in the Conference, by RQS, on vault and all-around.
TANYA CHAPLIN, in her 11th year at the helm of the Oregon State gymnastics program, has continued to keep the Beavers among the top gymnastics programs in the nation. To date in the 2008 campaign, the Beavers rank No. 8 in the nation and, as a team, are fifth-best in the county on beam. Two gymnasts have seen the peak of their careers this year under Chaplin: Tasha Smith realized a 'Perfect 10' on floor on Feb. 22, and Jami Lanz currently ties as the top beam specialist in the country, based on RQS. Five members of Chaplin's 2008 squad were named to the Pac-10 All-Conference teams. In addition, with four gymnasts earning first and second team nods, and eight Beavers in all, Oregon State had the most All-Academic selections in the Conference for the second consecutive year. In 2007, Chaplin led OSU to its fifth trip to the NCAA Championships under her rein. While under her direction, 10 OSU gymnasts have earned 13 All-America honors and eight gymnasts have combined for 12 Pac-10 titles. In addition, OSU gymnasts have earned 52 scholastic All-America honors.