Huskies Continue Tough 2007 Schedule vs. No. 4 Stanford

Jan. 23, 2007

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The Meet: For the third time in four weeks, Washington (1-2) matches up against a top-five ranked opponent on Friday, dueling No. 4 Stanford at Bank of America Arena at 7 p.m. PST. Fans who can not attend the meet in person can follow along at -- both live scoring and live video will be provided free of charge. Former Husky gymnast Carly Dockendorf will be providing commentary on the live video stream.

The 5th Event: Want to meet the GymDawgs? This season, Husky fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite UW gymnasts after every home competition. Called The 5th Event, this fun, interactive post-meet function in the Founder's Club at Bank of America Arena is a must for any GymDawgs fan, providing the opportunity to coverse with and receive autographs from each UW gymnast, while enjoying free refreshments and promotional giveaways. Don't miss out on the fun!

The Week That Was: Freshman Cassidy Lance, performing before a large crowd of friends and family in her hometown, scored a career-high 9.900 on vault, and Washington recorded its highest team score in nearly two years, but No. 3 Utah held on for a 196.725-193.850 win in Salt Lake City. Washington recorded season-high marks on vault and beam, and trailed by just over one point entering the final rotation. The Huskies' team score of 193.850 was its highest since the 2005 season, and nearly a point higher than its winning score the week prior vs. Utah State. Sophomore Ashley Houghting added a 9.875 on vault and a 9.825 on floor, while sophomore Kelly Gilbert led the Huskies' beam effort with 9.775.

Huskies Quick Notes: Washington returns 10 of 11 letterwinners from a young 2006 squad, which missed qualifying for the NCAA Regional Championships for the first time in its 35-year history ... Only three Washington gymnasts won events in all of 2006, a feat accomplished by four different gymnasts Jan. 12 against Utah State ... Four of UW's five winners vs. USU earned their first-ever victories in a specific event, including Ashley Houghting (floor), Raimey Iselin (bars), Kristen Omori (beam) and Chelsea Bakken (all-around); Iselin's victory was the first of her career in any event ... Sophomore Ashley Houghting, winner of eight events in 2006, has her season off to a fast start with wins in the vault and floor against Utah State, including career-highs 9.925s on each ... Houghting's nine career victories on vault are already tied for the fourth-most ever by a UW gymnast; Kelly MacDonald holds the record with 12 vault wins ... Sophomore Kristen Omori scored 9.850s or higher on both vault and floor in 2006, and opened her 2007 campaign with a win on beam against Utah State ... Senior Chelsea Bakken scored a career-best 39.025 to win the all-around against Utah State, and is UW's top-returning all-arounder ... Washington's team score of 193.850 at Utah was its highest in nearly two years ... With the win vs. USU, Washington improved its all-time non-conference home record to 80-15-1, including a 21-5 record since the re-opening of Bank of America Arena in 2001.

Cardinal At A Glance: Fourth-ranked Stanford (2-1) enters Friday's meet in Seattle riding high fter back-to-back wins against No. 5 UCLA and No. 11 ASU. The Cardinal, who are averaging 196.233 points per meet this season, topped 197 against the Sun Devils, sweeping all four rotations for a 197.125-193.075 win. The defending Pac-10 champions boast a number of national honors candidates, including seven-time All-American Tabitha Yim, and Pac-10 bars champion Liz Tricase.

UW-Stanford Series: Washington holds a slight edge in the long-running series between the two Pac-10 rivals, winning 36 of the 66 meetings all-time, including a thrilling 192.825-192.425 win in Seattle two years ago. The Cardinal, however, were victorious in both meetings between the two last year, defeating Washington 196.375-189.850 in Stanford, and 197.100-192.750 at the Pac-10 Championships.

Did You Know?
Sophomore Ashley Houghting scored a 9.925 on floor vs. Utah State and a 9.825 on floor at Utah. Prior to those two competitions, Houghting had never scored above a 9.725 on floor.

Injury Update: Two weeks into the season, Washington is already feeling the bite of the injury bug. The news was toughest for junior Raimey Iselin, who learned last week that she will miss the remainder of the 2007 season with a torn meniscus in her knee. One of the Huskies' top bar workers, Iselin also missed most of 2006 due to stress fractures in her back. Each of Washington's other 14 gymnasts should be able to compete if needed this weekend, with junior Natalie Gillan making a full return after an earlyseason ankle injury limited her to just bars work in UW's two previous meets. The only other injury of note this season was to sophomore Kristen Omori, who was limited to beam only at UW's first two meets. Omori returned on all three events at Utah last weekend, however, and is expected to be at full strength again this week.

To Be The Best, Beat The Best: Washington received no favors from the schedule-makers in 2007. Five of the Huskies' 12 listed regular-season opponents are ranked in this week's GymInfo Top-25, including No. 3 Utah, No. 4 Stanford, No. 6 UCLA, No. 13 Oregon State, No. 16 Arizona, while No. 27 Arizona State, No. 28 Minnesota and No. 32 California are lurking just outside the top-25. A difficult schedule is nothing the Huskies aren't used to, however -- in 2006, 18 of UW's 28 opponents boasted top-20 rankings at the time of their meeting, including all but one of the Huskies' six Pac-10 foes.

Hough'd She Do That?: Sophomore Ashley Houghting had an outstanding freshman season in 2006, her eight individual vault titles the fourth-most ever by a Husky freshman. Houghting has started off her 2006 campaign on a similar note, winning both the vault and floor against Utah State on Jan. 12, while posting a vault score of 9.925 that has been bettered by just five other gymnasts nationally this year. While Houghting's floor win -- a career-best 9.925 -- was her first-ever in that event, the vault victory was her ninth all-time, leaving her just three shy of Kelly McDonald for UW's all-time vault victories record.In fact, Houghting has been defeated on the apparatus just five times in her collegiate career, out of 14 total competitions. Houghting, who has added an all-around component to her repetoire this season, finished the 2006 season ranked 11th nationally on vault with a RQS of 9.895.

That's Omori: Sophomore Kristen Omori made quite a splash in her first season as a Husky. Although she won just one individual title (floor vs. Cal on Feb. 17), she emerged as one of the Huskies most consistent performers. Omori competed on vault, beam and floor in all 12 meets, the only Husky to do so. Her scores were stellar during that span, too, as the Kirkland, Wash., native scored a 9.7 or higher in 32 of those 36 routines. She has yet to score below a 9.725 on vault and has only scored below a 9.725 on floor once, in her first collegiate meet. Omori finished the 2006 season ranked 12th in the Pac-10 on vault, 20th on beam, and 17th on floor.

Guess Who's Bak?: Senior Chelsea Bakken had perhaps the best meet of her collegiate careerJan. 12 vs. Utah State, scoring at least a 9.725 on every event and winning the all-around with a career-best 39.025. Bakken's win, the first of her UW career in the all-around, was a terrific start to what has the makings of an outstanding season for the Mesa, Ariz., native. Bakken led all Huskies in 2006 with an all-around RQS of of 38.495 (14th Pac-10, 72nd nation), and had won three times previously, including twice on vault, and once on floor.

The Future's So Bright: First-year head coach Joanne Bowers has already signed four outstanding preps to letters of intent for the 2007-08 academic year. Samantha (Sam) Wailor (Prior Lake, Minn./Thompson's Academy) is a six-time national qualifier and four-time Region 4 all-around champion, while Danielle Henderson (Visalia, Calif./Central Calif. Gymnastics Institute) is a Region 1 floor champion and a two-time Junior Olympics natiuonal qualifier. They'll be joined by two-time Junior Olympics national qualifier Haley Bogart (Woodside, Calif./Airborne Gymnastics) and Region 3 all-around runner-up Karen Cain (Kyle, Tex./Olympic Hill Gymnastics), who both boast impressive resumes as well.'They're exactly the kind of student-athletes any University would be proud to call their own,' Bowers says.

Meet the Coaches: Washington is fortunate to have an outstanding trio of first-year coaches in 2007, including head coach Joanne Bowers and assistant coaches Shanna Duggan and David McCreary. Bowers has amassed impressive credentials as an assistant coach at Michigan from 2002-06, coaching 13 All-Americans and four Big Ten champions, while helping guide the Wolverines to five-straight NCAA appearances. Duggan also brings a winning attitude to Washington after a stellar collegiate career during which she earned second-team All-Big Ten honors, and was an Academic All-American, while McCreary has placed several gymnasts on the U.S. National Team during a distinguished 20-year coaching career at the club level.

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