GymDawgs, GymCats Face Off Saturday

Feb. 3, 2009

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Setting the Scene: GymDawgs and GymCats Meet In Seattle
The No. 30 Huskies (5-2) return to the friendly confines of Bank of America Arena to host No. 21 Arizona on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 7pm. Saturday night is also UW Faculty/Staff Night. Each Husky gymnast will be introduced with a favorite faculty member of their choosing to honor the educators who helped the 2009 gymnastics team earn the department's highest GPA award this past fall.

Last Time Out
Washington earned two wins on Super Sunday, outpacing Illinois State and Pac-10 rival California by over three points. The Huskies put up a season-high 194.400 points and claimed individual titles in every event but beam. Kristen Linton won the bars for the Huskies, while Ashley Houghting won both the floor and the vault. Washington swept the top four spots on vault, with Amanda Cline taking second, Hatsune Akaogi finishing third and Haley Bogart finishing fourth. Akaogi also won her first all-around title of the season, compiling a 38.700.

Huskies in the Rankings
Houghting jumped six spots to become No. 6 in the country on the vault (9.894) after her outstanding performances the last two weekends. Haley Bogart and Amanda Cline sit just outside the top-100 tied at No. 108 on vault (9.769). On bars, Kristen Linton is the top Husky, coming in at No. 82 with an average score of 9.756. On the beam, Bogart is tied for No. 55 (9.781), Samantha Walior is tied for No. 88 (9.731) and Hatsune Akaogi is tied for No. 118 (9.694). On floor, Houghting is the sole Husky in the top-150, coming in tied at No. 137 in the nation (9.719). In the all-around, Akaogi is No. 82 in the country (38.925) and sophomore Karen Cain comes in at No. 127 (38.017).

Scouting the Wildcats
Arizona enters the weekend boasting a national ranking of No. 21. The Wildcats nearly upset then-No. 4 Stanford last weekend, falling by the slimmest of margins to the Cardinal (195.575-195.175) at home. Arizona tallied season-high marks on beam, vault and floor, but faltered on the bars. Sarah Tomczyk is currently tied for 24th in the nation on floor, while Bree Workman is tied for No. 20 in the country on vault. Colleen Fisher is the Wildcats' top all-arounder, ranking 56th in the country with an average score of 39.050.

About the Series
Washington and Arizona have met 49 times, with the Huskies winning just 19 of those meetings. The teams also count one tie. Washington will look to stop its three meet skid against the Wildcats this Saturday.

Vaulting to Glory
Senior Ashley Houghting has won the vault in three of the Huskies' four meets this season. The Welland, Ont. native was the 2007 Pac-10 vault co-champion and finished tied for third in 2008. Houghting has also won three titles on the floor this season, after finishing second on the floor at last year's Pac-10 Championship.

Hats Stuff
Freshman Hatsune Akaogi has improved each meet, taking third on the vault last week and earning her first all-around title against Cal and Illinois State. Akaogi, a native of Cupertino, Calif., finds herself ranked No. 82 in the nation on the strength of her AA performances this season, culminating in a season-high score of 38.925 at Utah on Jan. 23.

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.

Young Pups
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.

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.

Looking Ahead
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 got no easier, with Washington traveling to No. 2 Utah on Jan. 23. February and March will see the Huskies take on seven ranked opponents, since the Huskies will face Oregon State twice. In addition to seeing the Beavers twice, Washington also takes on UCLA, Arizona State and Denver.

Seattle Hospitality
Washington will serve as the host site of the 2009 NCAA West Regional on Saturday, April 4.

Thinking Pink
The Huskies' meet at Utah on Jan. 23 marked the second straight pink weekend for the Dawgs in support of breast cancer awareness and research. Washington hosted its Power of Pink meet on Jan. 16, warming up in t-shirts emblazoned with the phrase,'Real Dawgs Wear Purple And Pink.'

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