Husky Gymnasts Look for First Win

Jan. 22, 2002

Seattle -

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The Meet: The Washington women's gymnastics team looks for its first victory of the season this week when the Huskies compete in two meets in three days. In the first meet, Washington travels to Boise State on Friday, Jan. 25. The competition will be held at the Boise State Pavilion. The Broncos enter the meet with a 1-3 record and a season high score of 189.400. The Huskies return to Seattle for the 2002 home opener when UW plays host to California on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. California is 2-0 this season and ranked 20th in this week's GymInfo College Rankings. The Golden Bears will compete at Seattle Pacific on Friday evening prior to Sunday's meet at UW.

Last Week: Washington opened its 2002 season with a 193.925-191.075 dual-meet loss at Stanford. Husky sophomore Emily Pritchard won the all-around competition with a score of 38.925. It was her first all-arond victory in her career. Pritchard's scoring including a second-place finish on vault (9.825) and a third-place score on bars (9.700). After missing the 2001 season due to an Achilles tendon injury, senior Allison Bruce finished second on on beam with a score of 9.775. Three Washington freshmen and one transfer competed for the first time for the Huskies. Carly Dockendorf topped that group with a fifth-place finish on vault with a score of 9.700.

About the 2002 Huskies: Washington returns nine letterwinners from last season's team that finished with a 17-13-1 mark and competed at the NCAA South Central Regional. The Huskies' postseason appearance marked the 20th consecutive season they have competed at an NCAA Regional. Washington finished the season ranked 15th. Gone from last year's squad are lettermen Lanna Apisukh, Sidney Field, Mandi Klug and Jessica Schedler. The Husky roster also features six new faces, including five freshmen and one transfer.

Wong Out Again: Washington junior Stacy Wong will miss the entire 2002 season after suffering a knee injury during training on Jan. 11. Wong, UW's top performer, missed most of the 1999 season due to injuries and had to sit out the 2000 season due to an ACL injury in her right knee. She became UW's school-record holder in the all-around in 2001, scoring 39.725 at the Pac-10 Championships. She won the Pac-10 title on bars with a score of 9.975. She was second on beam at the 2001 NCAA South Central Regional. Wong won a total of 14 event titles last season to lead Washington. She earned all-Pac-10 honors on all-around, vault and bars.

More Injuries: Washington will also be without sophomore Daniela Medlin for the 2002 season. A series of foot surgeries will cause her to seek a medical redshirt for the year. Medlin competed on bars for Washington in 2001, recording a career-high score of 9.900 at the Pac-10 Championships. The Huskies have lost the services of sophomore Tacia LaBatte, who suffered a broken right foot on Jan. 21 during practice.

Head Coach Bob Levesque: Washington head coach Bob Levesque is in his 12th season coaching the Huskies in 2002. Levesque owns a career record of 127-101-1. He came to Washington in 1991 after a career as a highly-successful club coach. He has taken the Huskies to the NCAA Championships three times (1994, 1997, 1998) and guided the team to one NCAA Regional championship (1998). Levesque was honored as the Pac-10 coach of the year in both 1997 and 1998. As a club-level coach, he tutored six future Olympians. He also coached Tanya Chaplin, the current head coach at Oregon State. Levesque is a 1972 graduate of Fresno State.

Sophomore Sensation: Washington's Emily Pritchard hopes to go from freshman phenom to sophomore sensation in 2002. Last year she arguably had the best season ever by a Husky gymnast. An all-arounder, Pritchard competed in every meet for the Huskies, won the NCAA South Central Regional bars title (9.900) and finished second in the all-around at that meet. Pritchard's top performance came during the Pac-10 Championships when he recorded career highs on bars (9.925), beam (9.850) and floor (9.825) for a season-best score of 39.500. Pritchard competed as an individual at the NCAA Championships. Her top finish was a 33rd-place showing on vault (9.775).

Stepping Up: With the loss of Stacy Wong due to a knee injury, two sophomore are expected to see more time as all-arounders this year. Making the move will be Molly Seaman and Tanya Powers. Last year Seaman competed in every Husky meet on vault, beam and floor. She totaled career-high scores of 9.900 on beam and floor and 9.825 on vault. After missing the first four meets of the season, Powers became a regular on vault, bars and beam for Washington. Seaman scored 38.200 in the all-around during the season-opener at Stanford. Tanya Powers had a 36.675 in the all-around.

First Timers: Washington had several gymnasts compete for the first time at Stanford. Freshman Lauren Brooks recorded a 9.525 on vault. Sophomore Tacia LaBatte scored 9.600 on vault and 9.725 on beam. Freshman Carly Dockendorf posted a score of 9.700 on vault and 8.950 on floor. Freshman Kim Lewis scored 9.525 on floor.

The Boss is Back: After missing the 2001 season due to an Achilles tendon injury, Allison Bruce returns to the Washington lineup this season as the team's lone senior. Bruce has competed on all four events during her UW career, but never once as an all-arounder. In 2000, as a sophomore, Bruce was a regular on vault, beam and floor. Bruce placed second on beam in UW's opener at Stanford with a score of 9.775.

Young Pups: This year's Husky team will be one of the youngest since Husky coach Bob Levesque took over the program in 1991. The active roster features just one senior (Allison Bruce), seven sophomores and five freshmen.

Local Ties: There is a distinctive northwest flavor to this year's Husky squad. A total of eight of Washington's 15 gymnasts hail from the state of Washington. Another, freshman Carly Dockendorf, is from British Columbia.

Home Opener: Washington will have to wait until the third competition of the season before it will compete at home. The Huskies face California on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. at Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion in their first home meet. The remainder of UW's home schedule will include three Friday night competitions in the Arena.

The Schedule: Washington once again faces a very challenging schedule in 2002. The Huskies will meet six of the teams ranked in the preseason top-10 of the GymInfo National Rankings coaches poll. All but one of Washington's events this year are dual meets. The Huskies' schedule features just four home dates this season.

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