Bogart Makes NCAA's, Huskies Fourth At Regionals
April 12, 2008
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Freshman Haley Bogart is on her way to Athenes, Georgia to compete in the NCAA Gymnastics Championships, as she finished fourth in the all-around this evening at the NCAA West Regionals in Gill Coliseum. Bogart's performance highlighted a fourth-place finish for the Washington women, who tallied 194.075 in their second-straight regional appearance.
Washington matched their seeding out of the six teams, but will not advance to the national meet, seeing their season come to an end, save for Bogart, who was unaware she had qualified until the awards ceremony 30 minutes after the meet's conclusion. The freshman from Woodside, Calif. was fourth with a 39.050 in the all-around, behind three gymnasts who automatically qualified for NCAA's with their teams.
Second-seeded Oregon State won the regional in front of their hometown fans, posting 197.100. Top-seeded and fifth-ranked Michigan earned the region's second berth to NCAA's with a 196.375. 17th-ranked Michigan State finished third with 195.125, the Huskies were fourth (194.075), San Jose State took fifth (193.850) and Sacramento State came in sixth (193.575).
'I'm very proud of our team tonight,' said second-year head coach Joanne Bowers. 'We came in here and really competed, showed our Husky pride and the girls did a wonderful job. We were seeded fourth coming in, but there were two teams behind us that were really coming on strong, and very capable of beating us if we did not do our job. I felt like everyone was a true team player tonight.'
The top-two teams at each of the six regionals contested nationwide Saturday, plus the top-two all-around finishers not on one of the top-two teams, and any event winners not on one of the top-two teams, all earned automatic berths to the 2008 NCAA Gymnastics Championships, Apr. 24-26 in Athens, Georgia.
'Knowing Haley Bogart, a freshman, is going to go to the NCAA Championships in the all-around is so exciting because she is one of the hardest working kids you've ever met in your life,' Bowers said. 'She's struggling through ankle pain right now but she won't take herself out because she wants to go. She's improved her bars so much that she put herself in this position by hitting four good events. It's wonderful for our school, it will be great experience for her. She'll be able to come back as a sophomore and share this great experience. I couldn't be more excited.'
Bogart will be the second Husky two travel to nationals in as many years, as 2007 alum Chelsea Bakken made the trip last season in the all-around as well.
Fittingly, Washington ended on bars, where its final two routines were performed by seniors making their final appearances in purple and gold. Senior Raimey Iselin earned a roar from her coaches and teammates with a 9.800 on bars (tied for 9th), followed up by senior Nikki Waiss, who also nailed her dismount to earn a 9.850, good for a third-place tie, and cap the Huskies' night with a 48.725 on bars. The Huskies are also losing senior Jennifer Chang.
'Our two seniors at the end, they're hitting every handstand, they're sticking their dismounts, they did every last thing they could to help their team. Those are the last two routines they do for the University of Washington, and they can walk out of here with their heads held so high and with so much pride,' said Bowers. 'I know we're not first and I know we're not going to nationals, but this season has been a struggle and they kept coming and we're ending on a high note.'
Washington was given the difficult task of beginning on balance beam for the second-straight outing. At the Pac-10 Championships, UW was forced to count three falls, putting themselves behind the eight ball from the start. They fared better this afternoon but still were forced to count one fall. Junior Kelly Gilbert and freshman Haley Bogart tied for the team lead with 9.750, and the Huskies tallied 48.125 overall.
The Huskies came back with a 48.725 on floor, their fourth-best showing of the season, led by junior Ashley Houghting's 9.850 which tied for seventh. Houghting has finished top-10 in floor at Regionals for two straight seasons. Bogart and fellow freshman Sam Walior backed Houghting up with 9.775's.
Marching on to vault, the Huskies had some difficulty save for their final two, Bogart and Houghting, who posted a 9.850 and 9.900 respectively. It was the fifth time this season Bogart charted a 9.850, equaling her career-high, while Houghting's scored tied for second-place on the event, the best Regional finish for a Husky since 2003. Junior Emily Epsten was third on the team, posting a 9.625 in her lone event.
Bogart will now head to the NCAA Championships, which take place April 24-26 in Athens, Georgia.