This Week in Pac-10 Gymnastics

Feb. 5, 2009

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As the midway mark of the 2009 Conference campaign approaches, teams are enhancing depth and cohesion. Though only three Pac-10 squads set season-best overall scores last weekend, 11 cases of event team highs were recorded. On the national level, several Conference teams now fall into the top 10 for event rankings: No. 2 UCLA and No. 10 STANFORD on vault; No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 UCLA, and No. 10 OREGON STATE on bars; No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Stanford, and No. 9 Oregon State on beam; No. 5 UCLA and No. 10 ARIZONA on floor. Also, the Cardinal now boast two all-arounders in the individual top 10 in No. 5 Carly Janiga and No. 8 Nicole Ourada.

In this week’s action, the Beavers host the fourth annual Pink Out when they compete against ARIZONA STATE on Friday. While the Sun Devils aim for their first win of the season, Oregon State looks to tally a fourth straight week of scoring above 49 points on all four events. Meanwhile, the No. 30 Huskies host Arizona for WASHINGTON’s Faculty/Staff Night. The GymDawgs hold the No. 6 individual vault average in the country (9.894) in Ashley Houghting, but the Wildcats set a season-high mark on that apparatus last weekend. CALIFORNIA has a bye this week.

The Pacific-10 Conference has cancelled the Feb. 8 gymnastics showdown between No 2 UCLA and No. 6 Stanford at Stanford after the UCLA team was exposed to an illness last weekend. The health and safety of the afflicted UCLA student-athletes and those with whom they might come into contact guided the decision. Stanford will compete against a different opponent; details will follow as they become available.

*All times are Pacific

Friday, February 6
No. 23 ARIZONA STATE at No. 10 OREGON STATE (“Pink Out”), 7 p.m. Streamed live online via Beaver Nation Online.

Saturday, February 7
No. 21 ARIZONA at WASHINGTON, 7 p.m.

Sunday, February 8
TBD at STANFORD (Breast Cancer Awareness Day), 2 p.m.

ARIZONA - Arizona scored a season-high 49.225 on its final apparatus of the evening, floor, but fell short to visiting Stanford. Four Wildcats earned scores above 9.85 on the exercise, three of whom tied for the event title. Accumulating a season-best 49.200 on vault, the GymCats were led by freshman Deanna Graham (9.9) and Sarah Tomczyk (career-high 9.875). Behind a season-record 9.900 from Briana Bergeson and a career-high 9.875 from freshman Britnie Jones, the ‘Cats also scored a season-high 48.725 on the beam.

ARIZONA STATE - Beaté Jones placed second in the all-around (39.0) and posted career-bests on floor (9.85) and vault (9.9) in the Sun Devils’ 196.225-193.075 fall to UCLA. Senior Tiana Jean took third in the all-around (38.525), while shining exercises by classmate Nicole Harris on beam (9.9) and bars (9.875) twice garnered the Sun Devils a tie for first place. Mary Atkinson  (9.7, floor) and freshman Amber Hammerschmidt (9.775, beam) each set a career-best.

CALIFORNIA - The Golden Bears posted their highest team score of the season (190.950) at a home tri-meet against Washington (194.400) and Illinois State (191.350). In her first competitive event this season, Brigette Glass scored a 9.825 to place second on bars. She followed with a 9.85 on beam, tying for the top score on the apparatus and pacing the team to a season-best 48.575. Freshman Erica Varon was third in the event with a personal record (9.775). The Bears also posted a 2009-high 48.500 on floor behind a 9.85 individual performance by Avery Gee.

OREGON STATE – The Beavers gripped up to face their toughest competition of the season, No. 2 Utah. Hitting season highs on three events – vault and bars (49.15) and floor (49.25) - Oregon State battled, but came up short 197.050-196.650. Despite the loss, the Beavers received particularly impressive performances from several underclassmen stepping into the spotlight: freshmen Stephanie McGregor on floor (9.825) and Leslie Mak on bars (9.95) and beam (9.9), and sophomore Jereme Bigelow also on floor (9.875). All four scores were career-bests.

STANFORD - The Cardinal mustered every last ounce of energy on Friday night to beat Arizona 195-575-195.175 and keep its undefeated record intact. Carly Janiga led Stanford by scoring a pair of 9.9s on vault and uneven bars before capturing the all-around competition (39.45). She won three events and set or equaled season bests on each. Freshman Alyssa Brown scored her collegiate best on bars (9.875). Blair Ryland’s season-high 9.825 helped Stanford to its best vault score of 2009 (49.35).

UCLA – The Bruins posted a decided victory over No. 16 Arizona State behind the leadership of senior Ariana Berlin. Competing in the all-around for the first time this season, Berlin won the all-around (39.3) and tied her career-high on vault (9.9, T-1st). A second career performance took place on vault when freshman Tauny Frattone recorded a 9.825. UCLA’s final personal best came from Niki Tom, who hit a 9.9 (T-1st) on beam. All six Bruin routines on bars scored 9.775 or better, including a 9.875 by Aisha Gerber that led all competitors.

WASHINGTON - The Huskies earned the team title over Pac-10 rival California and Illinois State, putting up a season-high 194.400. Washington claimed titles on every event but beam, earning several season-best marks. The team posted top season marks on bars (48.825) and floor (48.9), led by a 9.875 first-place showing by Kristen Linton on the former and a 9.925 victory by Ashley Houghting on the latter. Houghting took her second title of the meet on vault, earning a season-high 9.95.

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