Washington Gymnastics Set For Desert Trip
Feb. 24, 2009
Setting the Scene: Washington Faces Pac-10 Foe Arizona State
The Huskies (10-4) are still No. 24 in the nation, but are coming off a huge weekend, with wins over then-No. 9 Oregon State and then-No. 15 Illinois last Saturday at home in Hec Ed. Arizona State will be the fifth-straight Pac-10 opponent for the GymDawgs.
Live Scoring/Video On The Web
Live scoring during the meet will be available on GoHuskies.com.
Last Time Out
Washington had arguably one of its best outings in three-plus years, scoring a season-high 196.00 (best score in over four years) and defeating Oregon State for the first time in six years, snapping a 12-meet losing streak to the Beavers. The Huskies also defeated then-No. 14 Illinois and unranked Eastern Michigan. Washington managed a season-best score on the beam with a 49.225 and several Huskies put up career- and season-high marks in all events. Senior Ashley Houghting picked up the lone individual title of the meet with a 9.900 to win her sixth floor title of the season. As a team, Washington won the floor and the beam.
Huskies in the Rankings
Ashley Houghting continues to creep up the rankings, now coming in at third in the country on vault with a season average of 9.910. Freshman Amanda Cline is close to cracking the top-50 on vault, currently sitting at No. 57 (9.810), while sophomore Haley Bogart is No. 87 (9.785). On bars, Hatsune Akaogi is the top Dawg at No. 81 (9.765) and is followed by Kristen Linton at No. 88 (9.765). Bogart leads the Huskies on balance beam with a national ranking of No. 68 (9.755) and Samantha Walior comes in at No. 70 (9.750). Linton paces Washington on floor, earning a ranking of No. 96 (9.760). In the all-around, Akaogi is the top Husky, coming in at No. 56 in the nation (38.555).
As a team, Washington is ranked No. 18 on the vault and No. 25 on the beam.
Scouting the Sun Devils
Arizona State has struggled this year, posting a 1-5 record so far, with its only win coming over California back on Feb. 13. Last week, the Sun Devils competed hard against Arizona, but fell by just half a point, scoring a season-high 195.250 in the process. The Sun Devils are currently ranked No. 30 in the nation, owing to their RQS of 193.980. As a team, ASU is No. 23 in the nation on beam. Senior Nicole Harris paces the Devils on beam with a national ranking of No. 17 on beam. Harris is also the Devils' top all-arounder, coming in at No. 27 in the country with a season average of 39.075.
About the Series
Washington and Arizona State have met 52 times with the Sun Devils holding the all-time series advantage, 13-39. The Huskies have lost the last three meetings.
Vaulting to Glory
Senior Ashley Houghting has won the vault in four of the Huskies' seven 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 six titles on the floor this season, after finishing second on the floor at last year's Pac-10 Championship.
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. 56 in the nation on the strength of her AA performances this season, culminating in a season-high score of 39.025 against Oregon State, Illinois and Eastern Michigan on Feb. 21.
Sophomore Haley Bogart competed in her first all-around of the season against Oregon State, Illinois and Eastern Michigan, nothcing a career-best 39.125 to place third overall. Bogart has also been a go-to performer for the Huskies, competing on the vault, floor and beam for Washington. Last week, the native Californian posted a career-best-tying score on vault and a career-best-tying score on beam to help lift the Huskies over the Beavers for the first time in six years.
Sophomore Karen Cain has improved every meet this season, setting or tying a career-best mark in each of the last three meets. Three straight meets, Cain has put up a career-best-tying 9.725 on vault. In two of the last three meets, the Texan has scored a career-best 9.750 on the floor, helping Washignton to big wins over Oregon State, Illinois and Arizona.
Freshman Ruby Engreitz is in the vault rotation now, posting a career-best score on last weekend with a 9.775. Engreitz had competed all season on bars, but stepped in to the vault lineup for the first time against then-No. 9 Oregon State and then-No. 14 Illinois.
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.
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.
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.
Washington will serve as the host site of the 2009 NCAA West Regional on Saturday, April 4.
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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