This Week in Pac-10 Women's Gymnastics

Feb. 27, 2008

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Twenty-six Pac-10 gymnastics routines were awarded scores of 9.9 or higher last weekend, including one that hit the pinnacle of achievement in the sport, a perfect 10.0. Three Conference gymnasts - Anna Li (4) and Brittani McCullough (19) of UCLA and OREGON STATE's Jami Lanz (21) - have landed in the nation's Individual Top 25. Eight others are placed in the elite standings for event specialty. There is no doubt that Pac-10 performances are garnering attention from foes across the nation.

The timing could not be more ideal, as Conference teams hit the road this week to face six non-conference rivals. Confidence should be high, since four Pac-10 teams aggregated season-high team totals last week, and still others received brilliant performances from teammates new to the lineup. UCLA's uneven bar squad is second best in the nation.

The much-anticipated dual meet between No. 10 Oregon State and No. 9 UCLA, the two remaining teams undefeated in Conference action, takes place on Sunday. CALIFORNIA travels to Missouri to challenge three Top 25 teams in the quad-style Cat Classic. STANFORD travels to ARIZONA STATE and WASHINGTON heads to ARIZONA to wrap up the 2008 campaign's Conference schedule.

*All times are Pacific

Friday, February 29
CALIFORNIA, Michigan, Ohio State at Missouri Cat Classic, 4:30 p.m.
ARIZONA STATE vs. STANFORD, San Jose State, Wisconsin-Oshkosh at UNO's Flip for the Cure, 6 p.m.
OREGON STATE at Cal State Fullerton, 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 2

ARIZONA - For the fourth consecutive week the `Cats amassed a season-high team score (196.050), but it was not enough to upset UCLA. On a night dedicated to breast cancer awareness, Karin Wurm scored no lower than 9.85 on each event, garnering an all-around career-high of 39.5 and her fourth AA title in as many appearances. Danielle Hicks was nearly flawless in a 9.875 beam victory. Sarah Specht (9.875 floor, 9.825 bars) and Colleen Russell (9.8 vault) met personal bests. Next opponent: WASHINGTON on Fri., Feb. 29.

ARIZONA STATE - The Sun Devils won three events and their second road meet of the season against WASHINGTON. The dynamic trio of Tiana Jean, Nicole Harris, and Francesca Mercurio swept the all-around. Tia Orlando salvaged the team's unfortunate beam showing by hitting the event's top mark, a career-high 9.875. Harris matched her personal best and set the Sun Devils' highest floor score of the season when she was awarded a 9.9. Next opponent: STANFORD, San Jose State, Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Fri., Feb. 22.

CALIFORNIA - The Golden Bears surpassed the 193-point threshold for the first time this season in their Conference closer against STANFORD. Siobhan Luce (vault), Avery Gee (floor), and Bridgette Glass and Keiko Nakamura (beam) scored 9.825s, the team's highest mark of the day. Five career bests were hit by Bears: Sophia Hocini on bars (9.725) and beam (9.75), Nassim Mirreghabie on bars (9.725) and vault (9.65), and Stephanie Cheng on vault (9.625). Next opponent: Michigan, Missouri, Ohio State on Fri., Feb., 29.

OREGON STATE - In defeating BYU, the Beavers hit their highest team score (197.15) since 2004 thanks to season-best marks on vault, beam, and floor. In addition to Tasha Smith's perfect floor routine, Jami Lanz (beam) and Mandi Rodriguez (vault and floor) eclipsed the 9.9-mark on their respective apparatuses for the fourth time this season. Jen Kesler set personal bests on floor (9. 825) and bars (9.925, 1st) . Whitney Watson hit a career-high 9.825 on bars. Next opponent: Cal State Fullerton on Fri., Feb. 29 and UCLA on Sun. Mar. 2.

STANFORD - The Cardinal's 197.375 result against CALIFORNIA is the highest mark by a Conference team this season. Through the first two rotations of vault and bars, the Cardinal hit 11 of 12 routines with marks of 9.8 or higher. By the end of the meet, eight performances were awarded scores of 9.9 or higher. Three of these came from Tabitha Yim, whose final all-around score tallied 39.625, the fifth-best individual performance in the nation. Next opponent: ARIZONA STATE, San Jose State, Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Fri., Feb. 22.

UCLA - The Bruins competed 12 of 15 team members and vaulted a season-high 49.425 in their first win at ARIZONA since 2000. Unfortunately, the Bruins' undefeated streak was snapped two days later by unbeaten No. 2 Utah. Tasha Schwikert led the Bruins in both meets: of seven individual performances on the weekend, five merited marks of 9.9 or higher. Natalie Padilla hit a hot streak against Arizona, posting career-high totals of 9.9 on vault and 9.85 on floor. Next opponent: OREGON STATE on Sun., Mar.2.

WASHINGTON - The Huskies fell shy of their first upset of the season against ARIZONA STATE. The Huskies capped the night with seven top 3 performances, including a win on vault by Ashley Houghting with a season-high 9.925. The crown is her sixth of the season. Houghting also led a series of second place finishes: herself on floor (season-high 9.85), Samantha Walior on bars (9.775), and Kristen Linton on beam (9.8). Walior and Kelly Gilbert tied for third on beam with 9.75s. Next opponent: ARIZONA on Fri., Feb. 29.

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