Linton, Walior Chosen To Compete At NCAA Championships

April 12, 2010

SEATTLE - Washington juniors Kristen Linton and Samantha Walior were selected Monday by the NCAA to compete in the National Collegiate Gymnastics Championships, April 22-24, in Gainesville, Fla. Both will compete on floor exercise.

The two juniors are the first Huskies to compete at Nationals since current junior Hale Bogart in 2008. It also marks the first time more than one Husky individual has competed at the NCAA Championships since three GymDawgs qualified in 2003.

Linton and Walior tied for the title on floor at the NCAA Regionals in Salt Lake City on Saturday, each scoring a 9.900. They became Washington's first regional champions since Carly Dockendorf in 2004. The score marked a new career high for Linton and tied Walior's best-ever score on floor.

The two have been the most consistent performers all season for the Huskies, who finished fifth last weekend at Regionals. Walior leads the Huskies with eight event wins in 2010 while Linton is second with six victories. They have each posted the high scores of the season for UW on both bars and floor, each scoring a 9.900 on both events.

The Huskies did not have a competitor advance to nationals in 2005 or 2006 but have now sent individuals in three of head coach Joanne Bowers' four seasons at Washington.

The championships, hosted by the University of Florida, will be held at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center Center, April 22-24.

The women's gymnastics championships consist of 12 teams and 12 all-around competitors (who are not on a qualifying team) and individual event specialists. The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors from each regional received automatic berths to the national championships.

In addition, the event winners at the regional championships advance to the national championships (in their specific event) if they were not part of a qualifying team or the all-around qualifiers.

As a team, the Huskies had a successful 2010 season despite having no seniors on their roster. They faced seven of the 12 teams that advanced to Nationals during the season, compiling a 5-9 overall record.

Team semifinal and all-around competition will be conducted in two sessions Thursday, April 22 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. The top three teams from each semifinal will advance to the Super Six competition Friday, April 23 at 6 p.m. The top four individuals from each session in each event (plus ties) from the preliminary team and all-around competition will compete in the individual-event competition Saturday, April 24 at 6 p.m.

For more information and tickets to the women's gymnastics championships, log on to www.NCAA.com.

TEAM COMPETITION:
UCLA*
Florida
Alabama
Oklahoma*
Utah*
Stanford*
Arkansas*
Oregon State*
LSU
Missouri
Michigan
Nebraska*

*2010 Husky opponent

ALL-AROUND INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS:
Brandi Personett, Penn State
Kelley Hennigan, Denver
Taylor Seaman, North Carolina State
Rebecca Simbhudas, Iowa
Elise Wheeler, Southern Utah
Sarah Schmidt, Illinois
Brianna Artemev, Denver
Sharaya Musser, Penn State
Nicole Curler, Michigan State
Michelle Browning, Iowa State
Alexis Russell, Minnesota
Mary Atkinson, Arizona State

INDIVIDUAL EVENT QUALIFIERS:

Floor:
Courtney McCool, Georgia
Rachel Inniss, Auburn
Hannah Redmon, Boise State
Kristen Linton, Washington
Samantha Walior, Washington

Beam:
Courtney McCool, Georgia

Vault:
Whitney Rose, Kentucky
Allison Buckley, Illinois
Hannah Redmon, Boise State

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