Washington Hits the Road at #18 Arizona

Feb. 27, 2008

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Meet #8: Washington at No. 18 Arizona
Friday, February 29, 2008
Time... 7:30 p.m. (MT)
Tucson, Ariz. (McKale Center)

The Meet
After two weekend at home, Washington will take to the road, as the Huskies visit 18th-ranked Arizona on Friday, Feb. 29 at 7:30 p.m. (MT). With the Huskies only having completed three away meets, UW will be looking to improve their Regional Qualifying Score with this weekend's competition.

The Opponent
Arizona is ranked #18 in the nation. Last week, the Wildcats lost to No. 9 UCLA, 196.575-196.050. Although it was their first home loss of the season, Arizona posted their highest team score of the year. Senior Karin Wurm is leading the way for the Wildcats, as she ranks No. 11 in the nation bars and No. 21 on floor.

Coach's Comments
'Our next two meets are on the road, which makes them important for our RQS,' said head coach Joanne Bowers. 'But in order to get those scores, we need to worry about ourselves and not our scores. We cannot control what number we get, but we can control how hard we work and much we focus on the little things. In Chicago, our goal was just to hit our routines on the road. But now, we expect to hit all of our routines -- our goal this week is to clean up our routines. We also got some great news last week, as Katie Boyko was cleared by the doctors after having shoulder surgery in the fall. She is so passionate about wanting to help our team and it is so exciting to have her back. We want to make sure she's ready, but it's a possibility to see her vaulting this weekend.'

Immediate Impact
The Husky freshmen have not wasted any time in their transition to collegiate gymnastics. The four rookies have combined for 16 top-3 finishes this season, including three event titles for Haley Bogart (Woodside, Calif.) and two by Kristen Linton (Edmonds, Wash.). Against California, Karen Cain (Kyle, Texas) took third in the all-around and last week against ASU, Walior took second on bars and third on beam.

Vault Victories
Junior Ashley Houghting (Welland, Ont.) has won 19 vault titles in her career, including three this season, which puts her in first place in the Husky record-books. Last year, she surpassed Klara Kudilkova, who competed for Washington from 1995-98, who ranks second with 12 vault wins. Houghting is currently ranked No. 23 in the country on vault with a 9.845 event regional qualifying score.

Ranking the Huskies
Four different Huskies are ranked in the country's top 100 in vault, bars, beam and floor. Rankings are based on Regional Qualifying Scores.

No. 23 Ashley Houghting (9.845)
No. 65 Haley Bogart (9.785)

Uneven Bars
No. 55 Kristen Linton (9.780)
No. 77 Samantha Walior (9.740)

Balance Beam
No. 86 Samantha Walior (9.715)
No. 93 Kristen Linton (9.705)

Floor Exercise
No. 92 Samantha Walior (9.740)

Injury Report
Sophomore Cassidy Lance (Draper, Utah) was forced to retire from gymnastics after the second meet of the season. In the Jan. 18 meet versus Oregon State, Lance tore the same ACL for the fourth time and will no longer be able to compete. She will stay on with the program, serving as a student coach. On Feb. 16, junior Kristen Omori (Kirkland, Wash.) tore her ACL on her beam dismount. She will miss the remainder of the season. Additionally, during practice leading up to the Arizona State meet, freshman Danielle Henderson dislocated her should and will be sidelined for the rest of the year. She had missed the earlier part of the season as she recuperated from a shoulder injury suffered last summer.

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 top-25 (the Huskies have already faced No. 2 Utah, then-No. 15 Denver and then-No. 24 Illinois and UW is still set to face No. 8 LSU). The Pac-10 remains a tough conference from top to bottom, with three squads ranked in the top-10 (No. 7 Stanford, No. 9 UCLA and No. 10 Oregon State) and another two in the top-20 (No. 17 Arizona State and No. 18 Arizona).

Last Time Out
The 26th-ranked Huskies fell just shy of their first upset of the season, as 15th-ranked Arizona State topped UW, 194.475-194.100, at Bank of America Arena. Although Washington dropped the dual, the Huskies capped the night with seven individuals scoring top-3 finishes, including a win on vault by Houghting. She scored a season-high 9.925 to win the crown, which was her sixth title of the season and her third on vault. Houghting also took second place on floor, scoring a 9.85 to match her season-high, while Walior captured second place on bars with a 9.775. Linton snagged second on beam with a 9.8, while teammates Walior and Kelly Gilbert (Phoenix, Ariz.) tied for third with a 9.75.

Mark Your Calendars!
Washington will host the 2008 Pac-10 Championships on March 29 at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies, along with the six other teams in the conference, will compete for Pac-10 titles while making a final push to qualify for the NCAA Regionals.

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