Washington GymDawgs Ready For Pac-10 Championship Saturday

March 17, 2009

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Setting the Scene: Pac-10 Championship
The 30th-ranked GymDawgs head to sunny Palo Alto, Calif. this Saturday, March 21 for the Pac-10 Gymnastics Championship, hosted by Stanford. Last season, Washington finished sixth with a 193.375. The Huskies will look to improve on last year's outing to solidify their RQS for the upcoming West Regional, hosted by Washington on April 4 in Bank of America Arena.

Live Scoring/Video On The Web
Live video will be available for the meet on GoHuskies.com. There will also be live in-meet updates available from the Maples Pavilion on GoHuskies.com.

Last Time Out
Washington faltered in its final regular-season outing against Denver on Sunday, March 21. The GymDawgs started out strong on vault and bars, scoring a 49.050 on vault and a 48.975 on bars, but had to count a fall on beam and had a somewhat lackluster outing on the floor. Freshman Amanda Cline stepped up for the Huskies, winning her first event title of her career with a 9.875 on vault. Sophomore Samantha Walior took her first bars title of the season with a 9.875. Sophomores Haley Bogart and Walior tied for the title on beam, each earning a 9.850.

Huskies in the Rankings
Ashley Houghting is the highest-ranked Husky in any event, coming in at No. 7 in the country on vault with a RQS of 9.910. Freshman Amanda Cline is currently tied for No. 98 (9.820), wrapping up the Dawgs ranked on vault. On bars, Kristen Linton is tied for No. 60 (9.830). Samantha Walior leads the Huskies on balance beam, tying for 44th in the nation (9.840) and Haley Bogart comes in tied for No. 73 (9.810). Houghting paces Washington on floor, earning a ranking of No. 27 (T) (9.880) and Walior comes in tied for 74th (9.830). In the all-around, Akaogi is the top Husky, coming in at No. 78 in the nation (38.765).

As a team, the Huskies are ranked in all four events, coming in at No. 23 on vault (48.975), No. 30 on bars (48.760), No. 29 on beam (48.600) and No. 32 on floor (48.865).

Huskies At The Pac-10 Championship
Washington has competed at every Pac-10 Championship since 1987 and has never finished higher than third. The Huskies placed sixth last year after scoring a 193.375. In head coach Joanne Bowers' first season in 2007, Washington placed fifth at the Championship with a score of 194.775. The Huskies last placed above fifth in 2003 when the Dawgs took home a fourth-place showing. Washington finished third in 2001 for the second consecutive season, marking just the fourth time in school history that the Huskies cracked the top three in the league.

Seattle Hospitality
Washington will serve as the host site of the 2009 NCAA West Regional on Saturday, April 4.

Vaulting to Glory
Senior Ashley Houghting has won the vault in four of the Huskies' eight meets this season. The Welland, Ont. native was the 2007 Pac-10 vault co-champion and finished tied for third in 2008. Houghting has also won six titles on the floor this season, after finishing second on the floor at last year's Pac-10 Championship. The senior co-captain has been battling injury the last few weeks, but returned to the lineup against Denver on Senior Day to score a 9.825 on her signature event, the vault.

Hats Stuff
Freshman Hatsune Akaogi posted a season-high score on vault against Arizona, one week after taking third on the vault and earning her first all-around title against Cal and Illinois State. Akaogi, a native of Cupertino, Calif., finds herself ranked No. 78 in the nation on the strength of her AA performances this season, culminating in a season-high score of 39.025 against Oregon State, Illinois and Eastern Michigan on Feb. 21. Against Denver, the freshman was the definition of consistent, posting a 9.725 on all four events.

Sophomore Haley Bogart competed in her first all-around of the season against Oregon State, Illinois and Eastern Michigan, notching a career-best 39.125 to place third overall. Bogart has also been a go-to performer for the Huskies, competing on the vault, floor and beam for Washington. Three weeks ago, the native Californian posted a career-best-tying score on vault and a career-best-tying score on beam to help lift the Huskies over the Beavers for the first time in six years. This past weekend, Bogart tied with teammate Samantha Walior to take the title on the beam with a 9.850.

Raising Cain
Sophomore Karen Cain has improved every meet this season, setting or tying a career-best mark in three of the last four meets. In three straight meets this season, Cain put up a career-best-tying 9.725 on vault. In three of the last four meets, the Texan has scored a career-best 9.750 on the floor, helping Washignton to big wins over Oregon State, Illinois and Arizona. Last week, at Oregon State, Cain scored a career-best 9.775 on bars to lead the Dawgs to its second win of the season over SPU.

Engreitz Stuff
Freshman Ruby Engreitz is in the vault rotation now, posting a career-best score against OSU, EMU and Illinois with a 9.775. Engreitz has competed all season on bars, but stepped in to the vault lineup for the first time against then-No. 9 Oregon State and then-No. 14 Illinois. The Kirkland, Wash. native competed in her first all-around two weeks ago, scoring a 37.250. Against Denver, Engreitz scored a career-best 9.800 on the vault, tying for fifth.

Kelly Can
Senior beam specialist Kelly Gilbert has posted a 9.725 or above in five meets this season, making her an invaluable go-to performer for the Huskies.

Cline Steps Up
Freshman Amanda Cline has posted consistently high marks on vault all season, becoming one of the first freshmen to crack the starting lineups. This past weekend against Denver, Cline's hard work paid off. The Colorado native posted a 9.875 to win the vault, earning her first collegiate event title.

Linton In The Lineup
Sophomore Kristen Linton has been what head coach Joanne Bowers calls one of her 'Steady Eddies.' Linton has scored a 9.700 or above on bars in five meets this season and a 9.700 or above on the floor in all but two meets this season. The Edmonds, Wash. native has won three titles on the uneven bars this year and is ranked No. 60 in the country in the event.

Samantha Walior has won three beam titles this season, and added her first unever bars win last weekend against Denver. The sophomore from Prior Lake, Minn. excels on the beam, scoring a 9.700 or above in all but one meet this season and scoring a 9.850 or above the last four straight meets. Walior tied her career-best with a 9.875 on the uneven bars against Denver on 3/15 to win her first bars title of the season and second of her career.

Huskies in the Classroom
The Washington gymnastics team posted the highest team GPA in the department in the fall quarter, averaging a team GPA of 3.48, setting a new team GPA record. Cumulatively, the Huskies boast a 3.39 grade point average. Last season, five members of the Husky team were honored as Pac-10 All-Academic selections. Since Bowers took over as coach in 2007, 11 Huskies have been named to the Pac-10 All-Academic team. This is the second straight season the gymnastics team has posted the highest fall GPA in the Washington athletics department.

Young Pups
The Huskies boast three seniors on the 2009 squad, but have no juniors. Washington's 12-member squad is primarily comprised of four sophomores and five freshmen, giving the Huskies a youthful appearance. Among the Dawgs' seven returnees are 2008 NCAA all-around qualifier Haley Bogart (So.) and 2008 first-team All-Pac-10 (floor) selection Ashley Houghting (Sr.). Between them, Bogart and Houghting have racked up 41 individual event titles.

Henderson Added as Student Coach
Sophomore Danielle Henderson suffered a shoulder injury in the fall of 2007, sidelining her until mid-season 2008. Henderson then sustained a season-ending injury during a practice in February of 2008. While she continues to rehab, she has been medically disqualified from competing during the 2009 season.

Inside the Roster
The Huskies hail from six states and two countries, with four gymnasts coming from the state of Washington. Of the four native Washingtonians, two are from Kirkland (Engreitz and Omori), one is from Edmonds (Linton) and one is from Lynnwood (Epps). Three Huskies came north from California, with Akaogi (Cupertino), Eller (Newcastle) and Bogart (Woodside) each heading for the great Pacific Northwest. Gilbert (Phoenix, Arizona) and Cain (Hays, Texas) represent the southwest in Seattle, while Walior (Prior Lake, Minnesota) adds some Great Lakes flair. Cline hails from the Centennial State (Aurora, Colorado). Houghting (Welland, Ont.) is the only Husky from outside the U.S., coming south from Canada.

The Huskies' average height is 5'-2', with Cline (5'-6') coming in as the tallest. Bogart and Gilbert tie for shortest on the team, standing at an even five-feet.

Thinking Pink
The Huskies' meet at Utah on Jan. 23 marked the second straight pink weekend for the Dawgs in support of breast cancer awareness and research. Washington hosted its Power of Pink meet on Jan. 16, warming up in t-shirts emblazoned with the phrase,'Real Dawgs Wear Purple... And Pink.'

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