April 6, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. - The Huskies posted their best regional score since 2000, a 195.925. The score wouldn't prove to be enough in the tough Oklahoma regional, where the GymDawgs placed third. The two highest teams head to nationals, and host Oklahoma and Stanford claimed the top two spots.
The GymDawgs headed into regionals ranked 22 in the nation, fourth-best in their region. Competing against Oklahoma, Stanford, Penn State, Iowa and Southern Utah, the Huskies had been preparing for a tough regional.
Senior Lauren Rogers finished second in the All-Around with a 39.375. She earned a spot to UCLA individually by scoring the highest from a team not headed to nationals. Junior Aliza Vaccher scored a 39.275 and will be an alternate for nationals.
The Huskies started off on floor and earned a solid score of 48.800. Their second even was vault. Washington went with a five-woman lineup because sophomore McKenzie Fechter injured her foot in vault warm-ups the day before. Despite losing three vaulters this season, the Huskies posted one of their top-three scores this season with a 48.950.
Headed into the third rotation, the GymDawgs were out of second place by half a point. With six teams competing at regionals, each team had two byes. The Huskies had a bye on the third rotation and then headed to bars for the fourth.
On the fourth rotation, the GymDawgs posted a 49.200, which was tied for best score this season. Everyone scored a 9.800 or better, and freshman Allison Northey scored a season-high 9.875. Senior Lauren Rogers anchored the event, also posting a 9.875. That score would tie her season and career high.
The final apparatus for the Huskies was beam, on the fifth rotation. Knowing that they would end on a bye and have to watch the remaining rotation from the corral, each gymnast gave it her all. Seniors Lauren Rogers and Paige Bixler scored high for the Dawgs. With Fechter injured, senior Kylie Sharp entered the line-up sixth. Sharp executed her routine remarkably. Sharp was inserted into the line-up the night before and had little physical preparation, but a lot of mental preparation. The senior anchored the beam and the GymDawgs finished strong.
The GymDawgs will say goodbye to five seniors: Rogers, Bixler, Sharp, Phoebe Tham and Meg Whitney. Over four years they have helped the team post some of the highest scores in the history of the program.