Washington Gymnastics Opens the 2008 Season at No. 15 Denver

Jan. 8, 2008

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Meet #1: Washington at #15 Denver
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Time...6 p.m. Mountain Time
Site...Denver, Colo. (Hamilton Gymnasium)

The Meet
The Huskies will open the 2008 season on Saturday at 15th-ranked Denver at 6 p.m. (MT). Washington has not competed against the Pioneers since 2004, when the Huskies traveled to Denver for the NCAA Regionals. Of note: nine-time Olympic medalist Nadia Comaneci and her husband, two-time gold medalist Bart Conner, will be in attendance as the University of Denver's Guests of Honor.

The Opponent
The Pioneers kicked off the 2008 season in Mexico last week, where they finished second at the Cancún Classic behind No. 10 LSU. Denver finished the season-opening meet with a 193.200 to top Minnesota and Texas Woman's University. Returning All-American Jessica López led the Pioneers with a 39.325 all-around score and 9.95 on floor exercise to win the event.

Coach's Comments
'I am so excited to see how good we can be!' said head coach Joanne Bowers. 'The first meets of the season really help you practice competing. It shows you where are and what you need to work on. We have a tough schedule, but I like it that way. Competing against the best teams each weekend will make us better and help us reach our goals. At the beginning of the season, every team in the country is trying to add new skills and get used to competing again, so we're hoping we can surprise a few people!'

Strong Schedule
The Huskies schedule is one of the toughest in the nation ­­­-- on the road and at home. Not only will Washington face off against the teams of the Pac-10, the GymDawgs will also take on four non-conference foes who are ranked in the preseason top-25 (No. 3 Utah, No. 10 LSU, No. 15 Denver and No. 23 Illinois). The Pac-10 remains a tough conference from top to bottom, and the Huskies are set to face No. 4 UCLA and No. 18 Arizona State at home, No. 11 Oregon State and No. 12 Arizona on the road, and No. 5 Stanford (and No. 4 UCLA again) at a neutral site.

Last Time Out
Husky fans were able to catch a sneak peak at the GymDawgs, as Washington held its annual intrasquad meet at Bank of America Arena on Dec. 9. Although there were a limited number of gymnasts on each event, the Huskies were able to show off in their preview meet. Senior Raimey Iselin (Puyallup, Wash./Puget Sound School of Gymnastics) made a triumphant return to the floor, winning a share of the title in her first appearance since her sophomore season. Iselin tied for first on floor along with junior Ashley Houghting (Welland, Ont./Sport Seneca), who won vault and picked up a third-place finish on beam. Junior Kristen Omori (Kirkland, Wash./Northwest Aerials) placed first on beam and took third place on vault and floor. Freshman Samantha Walior (Prior Lake, Minn./TAGS) competed on three events, taking first place on bars and second on beam. Fellow rookie Haley Bogart (Woodside, Calif./Airborne Gymnastics) also competed on three events, and in second place on vault.

Mark Your Calendars!
The Huskies will open the 2008 home season on Friday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. against California. The Golden Bears open their season on Friday against UC Davis and Towson before hosting the 18th-ranked Arizona Sun Devils just five days before traveling to Seattle to square off against the Huskies. Last year, the Huskies won two out of three meetings against the Bears, as they topped Cal in the dual meet and at the Pac-10 Championships before falling just short against them at the NCAA West Regional.

Did You Know?
Tyrone Willingham's daughter Cassidy was a four-year member of the University of Denver gymnastics team (2003-06).

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