No. 22 GymDawgs Wrap Up Regular Season With Win Over SPU
March 19, 2010
SEATTLE - The No. 22 Washington gymnastics squad capped off their regular season Friday night with a strong performance against cross-town rival Seattle Pacific, registering season-highs on two events en route to a 195.300-190.575 win over the Falcons at Brougham Pavilion.
Huskies won all four individual events and freshman Lauren Rogers won her first career all-around title. Another freshman, Paige Bixler, also had a big night, winning her first-ever event title with an incredible 9.925 on beam, the highest score for a UW gymnast on the event since 2007 and a record for a UW freshman.
The Huskies had season highs as a team on bars (49.075) and floor (49.100) en route to the runaway victory a week before the conference championships.
'This can be a tough meet because it comes at end of finals week after a couple really important meets and they're going into Pac-10s next week so I know it's tough to get fired up for a meet like this. We asked them to come out and compete with enthusiasm and focus and they did that for most of the night, starting so strong on bars with a 49,' Washington head coach Joanne Bowers said. 'We then get all the way to the end on beam and had two falls in the middle of the lineup so we had to count one. That elusive 196.00 was something we could have gotten tonight without the falls so that was maybe where a little disappointment comes in but I was excited to see the girls do as well as they did and it will get them ready for Pac-10s.'
The Huskies come out with a bang, as Bowers said, scoring a season high on bars and sweeping the top six spots individually. The junior Walior won the event for the second time this year with a 9.900, tying her career high and the Huskies' high score of the year. Linton was right behind her in second with a 9.850 while Rogers, Akaogi and Amanda Cline all tied for third with a 9.775. Ruby Engreitz rounded out the clean sweep with a 9.750.
It was then on to vault where the Huskies scored a 48.675 to increase their lead. The sophomore Akaogi won the event for the first time this year with a career-high 9.850 while Rogers finished second with 9.825. Junior Haley Bogart also had a strong performance for the GymDawgs, finishing third with a 9.775.
UW continued to hit their routines on floor, where they scored a season high for any event this year with a 49.100. The Huskies were led by Linton and Walior, who tied for the win with matching scores of 9.875. It was a career-high tying score for Linton and it was the highest score for the Huskies on floor all year. Bogart was third with a 9.800 and Akaogi and Rogers both scored 9.775 to round out a season high for UW.
The Huskies finished the night on beam, where Bixler had a near flawless routine to win her first career event. Walior finished second with a 9.825 and Bogart was third with a 9.775.
'We have come such a long way with this young group,' Bowers said. 'They are gaining confidence each week and good things are coming for this team. All six did a really nice job on bars and Sam anchored us with the 9.9. The first few vaults weren't very good, to be honest, but the last three did really nice vaults. We had five of six routines on floor that were really nice and then it was so exciting to have Paige as a freshman, who has just gotten better and better, score 9.925. Lauren has also been battling a bruised heel so to finally get her back in the all-around and to see her win, that's just really good for her. I think she's going to end up being a great college gymnast for us. It's nice to see her get back on her way. There was just a lot of good stuff tonight.'
The Huskies will now head down to Tucson, Ariz., for the Pac-10 Championships on Saturday, March 26 at 3 p.m. PT. Last year, the Huskies finished fourth, their highest finish in six years.