Washington Set to Compete at NCAA West Regional
April 9, 2008
Meet #13: at 2008 NCAA West Regional
Field... #5 Michigan, #8 Oregon St., #17 Michigan St., #31 Washington, #32 San Jose St., #35 Sacramento St.
Date... Saturday, April 12, 2008
Time... 6 p.m.
Internet... OSUBeavers.com (Live Results)
Site... Corvallis, Ore. (Gill Coliseum)
The Huskies will travel to Corvallis, Ore., for the 2008 NCAA West Regional at Gill Coliseum on Saturday, April 12 at 6 p.m. Six teams will compete for the spots at the NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga., April 24-26. The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors (who are not on an advancing team) will earn a bid to the 2008 Championships. In addition, individual event winners will advance to the national championships (in that event only) if they are not part of a qualifying team or the all-around qualifiers.
Washington will see four new opponents at the NCAA West Regional, as Oregon State is the only repeat foe. The field includes two Big 10 teams (Michigan and Michigan State), two Pac-10 squads (OSU and UW) and two WAC teams (San Jose State and Sac State).
Washington head coach Joanne Bowers is very familiar with Michigan, where she served as an assistant coach for five seasons. While in Ann Arbor, Bowers coached UW assistant Shanna Duggan, who graduated from Michigan in 2005 before spending one year at her alma mater as a volunteer assistant.
Two of Washington's seniors have made the most of their final season, as Raimey Iselin (Lake Tapps, Wash.) and Nikki Waiss (Mill Creek, Wash.) both picked up back-to-back wins on bars in the two meets against Seattle Pacific. Iselin and Waiss both scored a 9.875 on the event on each night, as they earned their second and third career victories. Then at the Pac-10 Championships, Iselin scored her third-consecutive 9.875 while Waiss posted a season-high 9.9 to tie for third place on bars.
The Husky freshmen did not waste any time in their transition to collegiate gymnastics. The four rookies combined for 33 top-3 finishes this season, including 12 against Seattle Pacific on March 14. Haley Bogart (Woodside, Calif.) and Kristen Linton (Edmonds, Wash.) have both collected four individual titles apiece. Karen Cain (Kyle, Texas) has taken third in the all-around three times this season. Walior captured back-to-back titles in the last two meets, picking up her first event title on floor against SPU and then taking first on bars at SPU.
Junior Ashley Houghting (Welland, Ont.) has won 21 vault titles in her career, including five 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 ranked No. 26 in the country on vault with a 9.885 event regional qualifying score.
Ranking the Huskies
Six different Huskies are ranked in the country's top 100 in vault, bars, floor and the all-around. Rankings are based on Regional Qualifying Scores.
No. 26 Ashley Houghting (9.885)
No. 68 Haley Bogart (9.840)
No. 55 Nikki Waiss (9.835)
No. 56 Raimey Iselin (9.835)
No. 57 Kristen Linton (9.835)
No. 25 Ashley Houghting (9.885)
No. 47 Samantha Walior (9.860)
No. 91 Haley Bogart (38.635)
Sophomore Cassidy Lance (Draper, Utah) was forced to retire from gymnastics after the second meet of the season. In the Jan. 18 meet versus Oregon State, 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. On Feb. 16, junior Kristen Omori (Kirkland, Wash.) tore her ACL on her beam dismount. She will miss the remainder of the season. Additionally, during practice leading up to the Arizona State meet, freshman Danielle Henderson (Visalia, Calif.) dislocated her shoulder and will be sidelined for the rest of the year. She had missed the earlier part of the season as she recuperated from a shoulder injury suffered last summer.
The Huskies' regular season schedule was one of the toughest in the nation -- on the road and at home. Not only did Washington face off against the teams of the Pac-10, the GymDawgs also took on four non-conference foes who were ranked in the top-25 (the Huskies faced then-No. 2 Utah, No. 5 LSU, then-No. 15 Denver and then-No. 24 Illinois). The Pac-10 remained a tough conference from top to bottom, with three squads ranked in the top-10 throughout the season (currently: No. 6 Stanford, No. 8 Oregon State and No. 9 UCLA) and another two in the top-25 (No. 14 Arizona and No. 19 Arizona State).
Last Time Out
Washington battled back from a rocky start on balance beam, and turned in some of their best performances on floor and uneven bars to place sixth at the Pac-10 Championships, which the Huskies hosted at Bank of America Arena on March 29. 'We started four freshmen out of six on beam who have all done a fantastic job for us this season, but I think the excitement of the meet got to their nerves,' said Bowers. 'We just dug ourselves a huge hole. But I am so proud of the way the entire team kept their chins up and stayed focused mentally, and we ended with one of our best performances on bars. We were seeded sixth and finished sixth.'