Washington Gymnasts Set To Face No. 2 UCLA Sunday

Feb. 11, 2009

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Setting the Scene: GymDawgs Travel To No. 2 UCLA
The Huskies (6-2) jumped four places to No. 26 after downing Pac-10 foe then-No. 21 Arizona last Saturday night in a meet that saw Washington score a season-high 195.150. UCLA is coming off an odd week after a viral outbreak forced the Bruins to cancel their meet against Stanford on Feb. 8. The GymDawgs will also face No. 21 Boise State and Cal State Fullerton in Los Angeles Sunday, Feb. 15 at 2pm.

Live Scoring/Video On The Web
Live scoring during the meet will be available on GoHuskies.com. A free video webcast of the meet will be linked on the UCLA homepage, UCLAbruins.com.

Last Time Out
Washington set out with two goals in mind: to defeat Arizona and to record a team score of 195. The Huskies did both with a season-high score of 195.150 to best then-No. 21 Arizona by a half a point. Six Huskies recorded season- or career-best scores during the meet, with sophomore Samantha Walior earning a career-high 9.900 on beam to win the event. Senior Ashley Houghting won the vault and floor and sophomore Kristen Linton squeaked out a win on bars with a 9.825. The win was the third straight for Washington and the first time the Huskies have defeated Arizona during the regular season in three years.

Huskies in the Rankings
Ashley Houghting is now ranked No. 5 in the country on vault, coming in with an average score of 9.895 for the season. Freshman Amanda Cline ranks 98th in the nation on vault with a vault average of 9.780. Haley Bogart rounds out the Huskies in the top-150, coming in at No. 125 on the apparatus (9.760). Kristen Linton is the top Dawg on the bars, ranking No. 66 in the country. On beam, the Huskies count three among the top-150, with Bogart leading the Dawgs tied at No. 50 (9.780). Sophomore Samantha Walior is currently No. 62 (9.765) and freshman Hatsune Akaogi comes in tied at No. 122 (9.725). On floor, Houghting is tied for No. 119 in the country (9.745).

Scouting the Bruins
UCLA opens the weekend ranked No. 2 in the nation with wins over Arizona, Cal State Fullerton, California and Arizona State. The Bruins' only loss this season came at the hands of then-No. 2 (now No. 1) Utah, 196.175-196.075. As a team, UCLA ranks second in the country on vault and beam and fifth on bars and floor. The Bruins suffered a health setback recently with several members of the team coming down with norovirus, forcing the cancellation of last week's meet against Stanford. All members of the team are now asymptomatic and training began again last week.

About the Series
Washington and UCLA have met 70 times with the Bruins holding the all-time series advantage, 65-5. The Huskies have lost the last 10 straight meetings.

Vaulting to Glory
Senior Ashley Houghting has won the vault in four of the Huskies' five 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 four titles on the floor this season, after finishing second on the floor at last year's Pac-10 Championship.

Hats Stuff
Freshman Hatsune Akaogi posted a season-high score on vault against Arizona, one week after taking third on the vault and earning her first all-around title against Cal and Illinois State. Akaogi, a native of Cupertino, Calif., finds herself ranked No. 85 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,br>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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