This Week in Pac-10 Gymnastics

March 11, 2009


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Pac-10 Championship Central

One week remains in regular season action for six of the Conference’s teams. No. 3 STANFORD concluded a strong regular season last week at No. 4 Alabama; the Cardinal now look toward defending their Pacific-10 Conference championship on March 21 on their home turf. As evidenced by the national rankings, Conference gymnasts are hitting prime postseason form. Five individuals including No. 5 Mandi Rodriguez (OSU), No. 8 Carly Janiga (STAN), No. 14 Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs (UCLA), No. 16T Jami Lanz (OSU), and No. 24 Nicole Harris (ASU) grace the top 20 for the individual all-around.

No. 9 OREGON STATE launches the weekend’s contests with a trip to Columbia, Mo., to face No. 13 Missouri. The Beavers and Tigers faced each other last season in a quadrangular meet won by Oregon State courtesy of a season-high 197.200. In a similar sequence of events, the Beavers are coming off a Conference-leading 197.500 set last weekend against WASHINGTON and Seattle Pacific. Having faced each other three total times, the Beavers have come out on top every time. ARIZONA STATE will play host to Ball State, CSU-Fullerton and No. 12 Nebraska in the annual UNO's Classic. Four seniors will be honored in their final home meet. CALIFORNIA will face a pair of familiar opponents this week in Sacramento. The Bears opened the 2009 season with a contest aginst UC Davis and Sacramento State and will now close the season by facing them. Sacramento State currently ranks seventh in the West Region, UC Davis is ninth, and California is tenth.

No. 19 ARIZONA heads to Maryland for its own quad meet, featuring Maryland, No. 15 Penn State and Yale on Saturday. The meet marks the fifth time the Wildcats face a ranked opponent in 2009. The Nittney Lions, buoyed by four strong all-arounders, last week beat West Virginia with their second-best team score on the year, 196.225.

On Sunday, March 15, Nebraska heads to Los Angeles to face No. 7 UCLA. The Bruins hold a 20-7 all-time mark over the Huskers, but Nebraska narrowly edged UCLA in the Masters Classic in Lincoln, Neb., on Feb. 22. Senior Tricia Woo, a three-time All-American, leads Nebraska: the Milpitas, Calif., native claimed the 2008 beam and floor crowns at the NCAA Southeast Regional after capturing the 2008 Big 12 beam title. On the same afternoon, WASHINGTON hosts Denver. The Pioneers are coming off a Monday-night meet in which they scored a season-high 196.650 to down BYU. Denver posted wins in all four events, with all four scores over 49 and took the all-around title. Washington and Denver have met 10 times, with each team winning five meets.

*All times are Pacific

Friday, March 13
OREGON STATE at Missouri, 5:30 p.m.
Ball State/Cal State Fullerton/Nebraska at ARIZONA STATE (UNO’s Classic), 7 p.m.
CALIFORNIA/UC Davis/Seattle Pacific at Sacramento State, 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 14
ARIZONA at Maryland, 1 p.m.

Sunday, March 15
Nebraska at UCLA, 2 p.m.
Denver at WASHINGTON, 2 p.m.

ARIZONA - Winning its fifth meet in a row, Arizona topped Denver 195.350 – 195.025 in its final home meet of the season. On vault, Deanna Graham scored 9.9 for the third time this season and Bree Workman followed close behind with a 9.875. The team vault total of 48.975 was matched on bars, on which Alexis Green and Sarah Tomczyk both posted 9.85s. Briana Bergeson paced the Wildcats on beam courtesy of a 9.825. Though the ‘Cats struggled on floor, Workman contributed her second 9.875 of the night.

ARIZONA STATE - The Sun Devils dropped a road match to Utah, 197.350-194.350. Beaté Jones tied for third in the all-around with a 39.2. With falls from their two top bar-workers, Jones and Kahoku Palafox led the way for the Devils with 9.8s, a career best for Palafox. Recovering quickly, the team put together their best vault rotation of the season: Jones tied her career mark of 9.9, Mary Atkinson set a personal-best 9.875, Nicole Harris matched Atkinson for a season best, and Callie Price tied her career high of 9.775. The Sun Devil vault tally hit 49.250.

CALIFORNIA – During the first of two meets on a road trip to Michigan, the Bears earned their lowest team total since Jan. 16. However, Cal earned its highest score of the season and lone team event victory of the meet on bars, totaling 47.550. Two Bears earned meet-best individual marks: Avery Gee on floor (9.775) and Sophia Hocini on beam (9.700). Hocini also garnered a pair of runner-up finishes - 9.700 on bars and 9.725 on vault – on her way to matching the top all-around score (38.825). Two days later, the Bears wrapped up their only multiple-meet weekend of the season. They posted a 190.725 and earned a 48.425 on floor. Erica Varon scored career highs on beam (9.825), bars, and in the all-around, while Bridgette Glass earned a season-best 9.850 on bars for her fourth event win of the season.

OREGON STATE – Oregon State gymnasts enjoyed a record-setting perform-ance on Senior night: the Beavers’s 197.500 dominated Washington and Seattle Pacific. The score is the third-highest team mark in school history. In addition, the Beavers’ bars lineup scored 49.575 to set the school record and 14 season and career-bests marked the evening. OSU gymnasts also “hit” all 24 of their routines for the first time in 2009. Along the way, Oregon State swept its first three events with all six gymnasts scoring better than the rest of the competition.

STANFORD – Stanford fell to host Alabama 197.150-196.775 in a battle of top-five teams that went down to the final rotation before 9,235 fans. Stanford earned its highest event score of the night on beam (49.275), but the Crimson Tide countered with an exceptional 49.45 on floor exercise. Stanford exceeded 49 points as a team in every event. Carly Janiga earned the Cardinal’s only victory, capturing the balance beam (9.9) to culminate her 39.45-point performance in the all-around (2nd). Danielle Ikoma (9.85 vault) and Kelly Fee (9.825 beam) tied season bests.

UCLA – The balance beam was UCLA's nemesis, as Bruins had to count two falls on the event in a dual meet loss to No. 1 Georgia (197.725-196.125). Senior Ariana Berlin, who was questionable after injuring her knee in practice earlier in the week, competed in the all-around and scored a career-high 39.5 to place second. Vanessa Zamarripa led the Bruins on her three events courtesy of 9.925s on vault and floor and a 9.9 on bars. Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs nailed her vault (9.9) and added a career-best 9.925 on floor. UCLA’s floor lineup combined for a season-high 49.375.

WASHINGTON - The Huskies again prevailed over Division II cross-town rival Seattle Pacific, but could not overturn Oregon State a second time with a team score of 192.925. Samantha Walior placed third on floor (9.850) and freshman Hatsune Akaogi pieced together a 38.550 to take third in the all-around. On her way to the all-around podium finish, Akaogi set career marks on uneven bars (9.825) and floor (9.775). Amanda Cline (9.825) and Karen Cain (9.775) also posted personal bests on bars. As a team, Washington scored a season-high 48.900 on the uneven bars.


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