No. 25 Huskies Head Southeast To Take On No. 3 Utah
Jan. 21, 2009
Setting the Scene
The No. 25 Huskies (3-1) head southeast to Utah, trading the blustery, foggy conditions in Seattle for cold, rainy conditions in Salt Lake City. Washington will face No. 3 Utah Friday night at 7pm in the Huntsman Center.
Last Time Out
Washington took wins over Sacramento State and SPU in the second meet of the season, falling only to then-No. 7 Stanford last Friday night. The Huskies earned a score of 194.250, just two points behind the Cardinal. Senior Ashley Houghting won two event titles, finishing first on vault (9.925) and floor (9.875). Sophomore Samantha Walior won a share of the beam title with a career-high 9.875. Freshmen Hatsune Akaogi and Amanda Cline made their presence known with Akaogi taking third in the all-around (38.720) and Cline taking third on the vault (9.850).
Huskies in the Rankings
The Huskies are currently ranked No. 25 in the nation after two strong showings on consecutive weekends. Ashley Houghting is tied for No 14 in the country on vault, with an average of 9.862 and a high score of 9.925. She's also tied for fourth in the nation on floor with an average score of 9.887 and a high score of 9.900. Two Dawgs also find themselves within the top-50 of their various events. Sophomore Kristen Linton is tied for No. 44 on bars and classmate Samantha Walior is tied for No. 46 on beam.
Scouting the Utes
Third-ranked Utah enters the weekend with a 1-1 record, defeating UCLA on Jan. 9, but falling to defending national champion Georgia on Jan. 19. The Utes boast top-ranked vaulter Nina Kim, who owns the nation's best average score of 9.95 (results did not include last week's meet against Georgia; rankings were tabulated prior to the Georgia meet). Kristina Baskett is ranked second on bars (9.925) and Gael Mackie (9.90) is ranked fourth. Kim is tied for sixth on beam (9.875) and Annie DiLuzio is sixth on floor (9.875).
About the Series
Washington and Utah have met 39 times with Utah dominating the all-time series record, 0-38-1. The Huskies tied the Utes back in 2001 in Seattle, but have never defeated Utah. The Utes have won the last nine straight meetings.
This weekend's meet at Utah marks the second straight Power of Pink weekend for the Dawgs. Washington hosted its Power of Pink meet last weekend, warming up in t-shirts emblazoned with the phrase,'Real Dawgs Wear Purple And Pink.'
The Huskies boast three seniors on the 2009 squad, but have no juniors. Washington's 12-member squad is primarily comprised of four sophomores and five freshmen, giving the Huskies a youthful appearance. Among the Dawgs' seven returnees are 2008 NCAA all-around qualifier Haley Bogart (So.) and 2008 first-team All-Pac-10 (floor) selection Ashley Houghting (Sr.). Between them, Bogart and Houghting have racked up 41 individual event titles.
Henderson Added as Student Coach
Sophomore Danielle Henderson suffered a shoulder injury in the fall of 2007, sidelining her until mid-season 2008. Henderson then sustained a season-ending injury during a practice in February of 2008. While she continues to rehab, she has been medically disqualified from competing during the 2009 season.
Huskies in the Classroom
The Washington gymnastics team posted the highest team GPA in the department in the fall quarter, averaging a team GPA of 3.48, setting a new team GPA record. Cumulatively, the Huskies boast a 3.39 grade point average. Last season, five members of the Husky team were honored as Pac-10 All-Academic selections. Since Bowers took over as coach in 2007, 11 Huskies have been named to the Pac-10 All-Academic team. This is the second straight season the gymnastics team has posted the highest fall GPA in the Washington athletics department.
Inside the Roster
The Huskies hail from six states and two countries, with four gymnasts coming from the state of Washington. Of the four native Washingtonians, two are from Kirkland (Engreitz and Omori), one is from Edmonds (Linton) and one is from Lynnwood (Epps). Three Huskies came north from California, with Akaogi (Cupertino), Eller (Newcastle) and Bogart (Woodside) each heading for the great Pacific Northwest. Gilbert (Phoenix, Arizona) and Cain (Hays, Texas) represent the southwest in Seattle, while Walior (Prior Lake, Minnesota) adds some Great Lakes flair. Cline hails from the Centennial State (Aurora, Colorado). Houghting (Welland, Ont.) is the only Husky from outside the U.S., coming south from Canada.
The Huskies' average height is 5'-2', with Cline (5'-6') coming in as the tallest. Bogart and Gilbert tie for shortest on the team, standing at an even five-feet.
Washington again has one of the toughest schedules in the country, with seven 2009 opponents earning places on the preseason coaches poll and an eighth team receiving votes. In just their second meet of the season, the Huskies faced fifth-ranked Stanford on Jan 16. The road gets no easier, with Washington traveling to No. 2 Utah on Jan. 23 and votes-getter California on Feb. 1. February and March will see the Huskies take on seven ranked opponents, since the Huskies will face Oregon State twice.
Washington will serve as the host site of the 2009 NCAA West Regional on Saturday, April 4.