Eight Washington Gymnasts Earn NACGC Academic All-America Accolades

Sept. 10, 2008

SEATTLE - Eight members of the 2008 Washington gymnastics team were named Academic All-America by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches (NACGC). As a team, the Huskies carried the 12th-highest GPA in the country with a 3.49.

Freshman Karen Cain boasted the team's highest term GPA with a 3.89 mark, earning her first NACGC honors. Cain, a Kyle, Texas native, graduated third in her high school class and made the Dean's List in both her quarters at the UW. Last season, she also earned the team's Most Improved award as well as the Top Dawg of the Year award. Junior Kelly Gilbert was right behind her with a 3.87 GPA. Gilbert was the Huskies' top finisher on beam last season at the NCAA West Regional, scoring a 9.775. The Phoenix, Ariz. Native earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors for her efforts last season.

Freshman Samantha Walior earned her Academic All-America honors after compiling a 3.75 GPA. The Prior Lake, Minn. native garnered All-Pac-10 honors in floor after earning a national ranking of No. 47 for sticking her routines all season and finishing in the top-three nine times in 2008. Twice last season, Walior scored 9.9 in the floor exercises.

Junior Katie Boyko posted a GPA of 3.70, earning her first Academic All-America accolades. Boyko was recovering from shoulder surgery last season and did not compete for the Huskies, but as a sophomore, she competed in the vault and scored 9.5 or better in six meets.

Nikki Waiss, one of three seniors from last year's squad, earned her first Academic All-America nod with her 3.65 GPA. The Mill Creek, Wash. Native also earned honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic honors and second-team All-Pac-10 accolades on bars. Waiss finished her Husky career with a third-place finish on bars at the NCAA West Regional.

Junior Emily Epsten put up a 3.63 GPA to also garner second-team All-Pac-10 honors last season. Epsten, a San Diego, Calif. native competed in vault in all 13 meets last year, tying her career mark of 9.8 at then-fifth-ranked LSU.

Jennifer Chang, a senior last season, earned a GPA of 3.54, which helped her to also earn a Pac-10 Post-Graduate Scholarship. Chang, who hails from Tacoma, Wash., competed in two meets for the Huskies last season and earned the team's 101 Club Scholar Athlete Award.

Freshman Haley Bogart, the Huskies' lone qualifier for NCAA Nationals, posted a 3.50 GPA, becoming the last Washington gymnast to qualify for Academic All-America accolades. Bogart, a Woodside, Calif. native, ended her rookie season ranked No. 91 in the country in the all-around and 68th in the nation on vault. Bogart earned second team All-Pac-10 honors on beam and scored a career-high 9.775 on bars at Nationals.

Gymnasts must earn a GPA of 3.5 or higher to be eligible for NACGC Academic All-America honors.

The Washington gymnastics squad kicks off its season with an intrasquad meet on Nov. 24 at 7pm at the Bank of America Arena. The Huskies' first meet of the season will be on Jan. 9, 2009 as the Dawgs host Alaska at 7pm.

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