This Week in Pac-10 Gymnastics

Feb. 26, 2009

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THIS WEEK IN THE PAC-10:

The 2009 Pac-10 women’s gymnastics competition schedule wraps up this weekend. Two weeks of non-conference contests will then close the regular season before all seven Conference squads launch their postseasons at the Pac-10 Championships on March 21. STANFORD (12-0) remains the lone undefeated program in the Pac-10. The No. 3 Cardinal have put together three consecutive meets with team scores of 197 points and above. They will try to extend the streak to four, a feat Stanford last accomplished in 2004, when they take on U.C. Davis on Friday for the third time in a month. The Conference’s top four teams - Stanford, No. 4 UCLA, No. 8 OREGON STATE, and No. 16 ARIZONA - currently rank higher than the Preseason Coaches’ Poll gave credit. WASHINGTON, the fifth ranked team in the Pac-10, now occupies No. 24, the position that ARIZONA STATE was expected to hold before the season commenced.

This week, the Bruins travel to Oregon State for a top 10 contest. The Bruins have won seven of the last eight meetings but lost the last meeting in Corvallis in 2007. The Beavers are coached by former UCLA All-American Tanya (Service) Chaplin and associate head coach Michael Chaplin, who was also a UCLA All-American and a member of UCLA's 1987 NCAA Championship team. In the southwest, Arizona State hosts Washington on Friday. Although the Sun Devils are out of the top 25 this week, they are currently 23rd on beam. The Huskies are ranked 18th on vault and 25th on beam. Both squads boast a single nationally rated gymnast in Nicole Harris (Arizona State, 17th on beam) and Ashley Houghting (Washington, third on vault).

CALIFORNIA plays host to Arizona on Sunday afternoon. The Wildcats have garnered their three highest meet scores in their last three meets, including a season-best 195.75 at Arizona State last week. The Golden Bears have yet to win a meet, though, and looks to honor its seniors with a big performance in their last home meet.

 

PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIP TICKETS ON SALE:
Tickets are now on sale for the Pacific-10 Conference Women's Gymnastics Championships, which will be held at Stanford's Maples Pavilion on March 21 at 4 p.m. Prices are $8 for adults, $5 for students, youths, and seniors, and $3 each for groups of 10 or more that have pre-ordered. For additional information, call 800-STANFORD or visit gostanford.com.

 

COMPETITION SCHEDULE, FEB. 24 - MAR. 1:

*All times are Pacific

Friday, February 27

WASHINGTON at ARIZONA STATE, 6:30 p.m.

San Jose State/STANFORD at UC Davis, 7 p.m.

UCLA at OREGON STATE, 7 p.m. (free live webcast via Beaver Nation Online)

Sunday, March 1

ARIZONA at CALIFORNIA, 2 p.m.

 

PAC-10 NOTES:
ARIZONA - By defeating in-state rival Arizona State and amassing a season-high 195.750, the GymCats improved three standings in the national rankings. Arizona recorded its highest event score of the meet on vault (49.075), led by freshman Deanna Graham's event-best 9.875. Briana Bergeson notched her third 9.9 of the season on beam. With a tied score heading into the final event, Arizona recorded a 48.925 on floor to seal the win. Both Bree Workman and Bergeson hit 9.825s to win the exercise.

ARIZONA STATE - The Sun Devils earned a season-high 195.250 in their loss to Arizona. The Gym Devils’ two all-arounders, Nicole Harris (39.250) and Beaté Jones (39.125), placed first and second, respectively. Kaitlynn Bormann took first on bars (9.825); freshman Kahoku Palafox set a new career-high with a 9.7. After some switches in the vault lineup, Callie Price set a new personal standard with a 9.775, as did Kelly Reilly with a 9.725. The Gym Devils performed their way to a season-high 49.25 on floor, led by Harris and Jones’s first-place 9.825s.

CALIFORNIA - The Bears return to the Troester rankings after competing against Stanford, their sixth match-up of the season and the minimum needed to calculate the team's RQS. California’s 190.625 raised its season average and secured a ninth-place ranking in the West Region. The Bears posted a season-high 49.050 on floor, their highest team mark of the season on any apparatus. Four gymnasts set or matched new career-highs on the exercise: Stephanie Cheng and Avery Gee scored matching 9.850s, while Alexandra Leggitt and Joanna Bennett scored 9.775, Sophia Hocini posted a season-best all-around mark of 38.950.

OREGON STATE – The Beavers had to count a fall and two out of bounds deductions in a two-tenth (195.800) loss to Washington and Illinois. The bars team opened the night with a season-high score of 49.300. The vault team settled for a near season-high 49.150. Laura-Ann Chong scored a career-best 9.9 on beam; her three-meet average on the event is now 9.867. She added a season-high 9.85 on bars. Mandi Rodriguez matched her career-high in the all-around (1st, 39.500) and on beam (9.85), tied her season-high on vault (1st, 9.925) and set a season-high on bars (9.85). Leslie Mak hit a 9.9 on bars and 9.825 on floor.

STANFORD - Stanford earned a season-best 197.175 and moved up to No. 3 in the nation despite resting its top all-arounders and captain. The Cardinal got 21 season-best performances on the way to earning its 17th consecutive victory over California. Two freshmen made their collegiate debuts: Alyssa Brown won the vault with a 9.925, the highest mark by any Stanford performer in that event all season, and Nicole Pechanec scored another Stanford season-best of 9.925 on floor.  She won that event, and in her first collegiate beam contest won to the tune of 9.9.

UCLA –  UCLA suffered its first loss since the season opener, finishing second to  Nebraska by just one-tenth of a point at the Masters Classic in Lincoln. The Bruins had to count a fall on the balance beam and scored 196.125. UCLA went up by .75 after three rotations thanks to a monster score of 49.575 on vault in rotation two and a 49.2 on bars in rotation three, but the Bruins could only muster 48.375 on beam in the final rotation. Ariana Berlin tied for first on bars with a season-high 9.9, and Aisha Gerber and Marci Bernholtz tied for first on beam with scores of 9.85.

WASHINGTON -  The Huskies had arguably one of their best outings in three+ years, scoring a season-high 196.00 to defeat Oregon State for the first time in six years and snap a 12-meet losing streak to the Beavers. The Huskies also defeated then-No. 14 Illinois and Eastern Michigan. Washington managed a season-best score on the beam (49.225) and several Huskies put up career- and season-high marks in all events. 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.

~ Pac-10 ~

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