GymDawgs Lose Heartbreaker to No. 28 Minnesota

March 10, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Ashley Houghting won vault and all-around, but a clutch performance by Minnesota's Carmelita Carabajal on floor denied Washington its second road win of the season Saturday in Minneapolis.

Washington (3-7) grabbed an early lead from the Golden Gophers after an outstanding second rotation, scoring a season-high 49.125 on vault and earning three scores over 9.85. Houghting earned her 14th-career vault win with a career-best equaling 9.925, while Kristen Omori and Cassidy Lance earned matching 9.850s.

The Huskies extended their lead to six tenths after scoring a 48.850 on floor - including a 9.875 from Houghting - and appeared in position to clinch their second road win of the season entering the last performances of the final rotation. Minnesota's Carabajal, however, unleashed a 9.900 floor routine for the Golden Gophers final score of the night, lifting the hosts over the visiting Huskies by just three tenths, 194.375-194.075.

'We always talk in this sport about how difficult it is to win on the road; you really have to perform at a level higher than what you might at home to get the same kind of result,' said first-year head coach Joanne Bowers. 'I thought the girls tonight did everything in their control to win the meet. They competed well, and their enthusiasm and confidence were terrific. Unfortunately, it just wasn't enough to get a win in a tough road environment.'

Houghting's win on vault, combined with her 9.875 on floor and a 9.775 on beam, carried the Huskies' sophomore to her second all-around victory of the year. Houghting's all-around score of 39.125 was her third over 39 points this year, and was a tenth better than Carabajal's 39.025.

'Ashley had the meet of her life,' Bowers said. 'Every time we needed a big score she was there to provide it for us.'

Despite the narrow defeat, Washington can take several positives from the meet. The Huskies' team score was their third-highest on the road this year, which will increase their regional qualifying score and potentially boost their national ranking entering next weekend's competition. In addition, four UW gymnasts recorded scores of 9.8 or higher, including Houghting on vault (9.925) and floor (9.875), Omori (9.85) and Lance (9.85) on vault, and junior Nikki Waiss (9.825) on bars.

Bowers said that the Huskies' continued improvement on beam will be a key factor as they close out their regular season in preparation for the Pac-10 Championships in three weeks' time.

'We opened the door for them on beam tonight, and that was just enough for them to take the win,' Bowers said. 'I thought that our other three rotations were all pretty good. If we can get beam up to the level of some of other routines, we'll be a much stronger team come Pac-10s and Regionals.'

Washington will continue its six-week road swing next Friday at Oregon State, where the Huskies will battle the 10th-ranked Beavers at the annual Salbasgeon Suites Invitational. For complete results from Saturday's meet, or for more information on Washington gymnastics, visit

Quick Hits: With her wins Saturday, Ashley Houghting has now won 12 events this season and 20 in a career spanning less than two full seasons ... Houghting needs just seven more wins to break into UW's all-time top-10 for career victories; Suzie Sun holds the school record at 61, an average of more than 15 wins per season ... limited to just bars in each of the Huskies' last three meets, senior Chelsea Bakken returned on beam as well against the Golden Gophers ... Nikki Waiss' 9.825 on bars marked her fifth-straight bars score over 9.825.

Team Scores Vault Bars Beam Floor TotalMinnesota 48.525 48.725 48.150 48.975 194.375Washington 49.125 48.475 47.675 48.850 194.075

Vault 1. Ashley Houghting, WASH 9.925 2. Alexis Russell, MINN 9.900 3. Kristen Omori, WASH 9.850 Cassidy Lance, WASH 9.850 5. Carmelina Carabajal, MINN 9.800 6. Natalie Gillan, WASH 9.750 Nikki Waiss, WASH 9.750 8. Ashley Stanton, MINN 9.625 Kelly Ganchan, MINN 9.62510. Katie Boyko, WASH 9.575 Jade Beattie, MINN 9.57512. Ashley Mutchler, MINN 9.525

Uneven Bars 1. Angela Walker, MINN 9.850 2. Nikki Waiss, WASH 9.825 3. Chelsea Bakken, WASH 9.775 Andy Cornelius, MINN 9.775 5. Jade Beattie, MINN 9.725 Rehana Russell, MINN 9.725 7. Tori Quandt, WASH 9.675 8. Alexis Russell, MINN 9.650 9. Darcee Schiller, WASH 9.625 Carmelina Carabajal, MINN 9.62511. Ashley Houghting, WASH 9.57512. Natalie Gillan, WASH 9.400

Balance Beam 1. Ashley Stanton, MINN 9.825 2. Kelly Gilbert, WASH 9.775 3. Ashley Houghting, WASH 9.750 Amanda Miles, MINN 9.750 5. Carmelina Carabajal, MINN 9.700 6. Ashley Mutchler, MINN 9.650 7. Tori Quandt, WASH 9.575 8. Kristen Omori, WASH 9.400 9. Angela Walker, MINN 9.22510. Natalie Gillan, WASH 9.17511. Kelly Ganchan, MINN 9.12512. Chelsea Bakken, WASH 9.100

Floor Exercise 1. Carmelina Carabajal, MINN 9.900 2. Ashley Houghting, WASH 9.875 3. Andy Cornelius, MINN 9.825 4. Kristen Omori, WASH 9.775 Natalie Gillan, WASH 9.775 Angela Walker, MINN 9.775 7. Alexis Russell, MINN 9.750 8. Amanda Miles, MINN 9.725 Kelly Gilbert, WASH 9.72510. Tori Quandt, WASH 9.70011. Celia Short, WASH 9.60012. Ashley Stanton, MINN 9.275

All-Around 1. Ashley Houghting, WASH 39.125 2. Carmelina Carabajal, MINN 39.025 3. Natalie Gillan, WASH 38.100

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