GymDawgs Take Sixth at Pac-10's
March 29, 2008
SEATTLE - The Washington women's gymnastics team battled back from a rocky start on balance beam, turning in some of their best performances on floor and uneven bars to place sixth at the Pac-10 Championships which the Huskies hosted at Bank of America Arena.
10th-ranked Stanford won the team title with a 197.000, followed by No. 7 Oregon State with 196.550 and No. 8 UCLA which scored 196.200. Arizona was fourth with a score of 195.725, Cal took fifth with 193.400, and the Huskies were sixth with 193.375. UW upset 19th-ranked Arizona State, which finished seventh with a score of 191.925 after competing only five on each event due to an injury to Tia Orlando.
Junior Ashley Houghting, who won the Pac-10 vault title one year ago, nearly added the floor championship to her mantle as well, as she thrilled the crowd with a 9.925, placing second behind Federal Way, Wash. native Tasha Smith of Oregon State who earned a 9.950.
Houghting also placed on vault, along with freshman teammate Haley Bogart. The two were part of a whopping nine-way tie for third place with marks of 9.850.
Senior Nikki Waiss put a stamp on her Husky career in her final home meet, as she tied for third on bars with a season-high 9.900. It was Waiss' first top-three finish at Pac-10's. Fellow senior Raimey Iselin also was stellar on bars, scoring 9.875 for the third-straight outing to tie for eighth. Washington closed out their night with a 49.100 on bars, which tied Oregon State for the third-best team bars score.
Starting on beam, the Huskies were forced to count three falls, ending with a 46.775 that was their lowest since the first meet of the season.
'We started four freshmen out of six on beam who have all done a fantastic job for us this season, but I think the excitement of the meet got to their nerves,' said head coach Joanne Bowers. 'We just dug ourselves a huge hole. But I am so proud of the way the entire team kept their chins up, and stayed focused mentally, and we ended with one of our best performances on bars. We were seeded sixth and finished sixth, but we gave Cal a run for their money after spotting them a point and a half on beam.'
Washington also posted one of its best showings on floor, led by Houghting and freshman Samantha Walior's 9.825. Bogart also posted a 9.800, which ties her second best career score. Bogart put up UW's top all-around score, racking up 38.375 points.
'We will take a lot of positives out of this. It was great experience for our freshmen who are learning how to compete in bigger meets,' Bowers said.
In addition to taking the team title, Stanford senior Tabitha Yim won the all-around and was named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year. Stanford's Carly Janiga and Oregon Sate's Jami Lanz shared the beam title with 9.950 scores, and UCLA's Tasha Schwikert and Stanford's Liz Tricase tied for the bars title with 9.950's. OSU's Smith won the Pac-10 vault crown in addition to her floor title.
Currently ranked 30th, the Huskies will now look ahead towards NCAA Regionals, where they hope to be assigned to the West Regional at Oregon State.
'We should go to Corvallis,' said Bowers. 'The NCAA committee is trying to keep the 19-36 seeds in their region as much as possible, so we're hoping that means we will go to Oregon State.'
Regional selections will be announced on Monday, March 31 at 2 p.m. ET.
Final Team Standings
1. Stanford Cardinal 197.000
2. Oregon State Beavers 196.550
3. UCLA Bruins 196.200
4. Arizona Wildcats 195.725
5. California Golden Bears 193.400
6. Washington Huskies 193.375
7. Arizona State Sun Devils 191.925
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