GymDawgs Impressive In Intrasquad Tune-Up

Dec. 11, 2009

SEATTLE - The Washington women's gymnastics team wrapped up its fall training Friday night with an intrasquad meet at Bank of America Arena, a fun-spirited event which also featured the UW men's club team.

The GymDawgs were split into two teams, the Purple Team and Gold Team, with Purple emerging victorious, 180.050-178.975. The men did not participate in teams, instead competing individually on each event.

The meet saw the debut of five Husky freshmen, each of whom competed strong on their events. Head coach Joanne Bowers, in her fourth season with the Huskies, was pleased with their performance along with the rest of the squad.

'What we wanted to do tonight was give our freshmen a chance to get acclimated to being down in the arena in front of people and see how we run a college meet so the unknown factors wouldn't scare them to death January 8,' Bowers said. 'We never know what our freshmen are going to do on this night and, truthfully, our five freshmen hit their routines and did a lot of good things and our upper classmen were congratulating our freshmen at the end of the meet.'

One of those freshmen, Paige Bixler, had the high score of the night for the Gold team, a 9.800 on beam. Lauren Rogers was another freshmen on the Gold team who competed well, coming up with her team's high score (9.625) on floor, while Phoebe Tham rounded out the Gold team rookies, leading the way for the team on bars with a 9.675.

Kylie Sharp and Kailey Hansen rounded out the impressive group of freshmen who made their debut, with both putting up solid scores on three events each for Purple.

Sophomore Hatsune Akaogi led the Purple team and was the top individual performer of the night, leading the all-around with a 38.475. She earned her highest score on the uneven bars where she earned a 9.750. Leading the Gold squad was fellow sophomore Ruby Engreitz, who totaled 38.175 with a high score of 9.750 on beam.

The high score of the night overall was reached by two gymnasts, with Bixler and junior Samantha Walior each earning a 9.800, both of which came on the beam.

Walior, in fact, led the team on each of the final three events with a 9.775 on bars, a 9.800 on beam and a 9.775 on floor.

For the Gold team, Haley Bogart led the way on vault with a 9.775.

'I feel like it was a success because of what we wanted to try to do tonight but we know where we still haven't arrived and there are still some things we're going to shore up,' Bowers said. 'If we had peaked now, I'd be worried about Pac-10s, Regionals and Nationals so where we're at right now is a good place leading into Christmas and into our first meet. I was very pleased with the attitudes tonight and the aggressiveness in going after routines and trying to work certain issues we've been working on in practice. There were a lot of really good things that happened tonight.'

The 25th-ranked Huskies kick off the regular season at home on Friday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. against No. 15 Nebraska.

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