Vaccher Takes Floor Title At Prestigious Meet
Jan. 26, 2013
FORT WORTH, Texas -The Washington gymnastics team continues to improve in each meet on the season as the GymDawgs posted a new season-high 194.875 at the Metroplex Challenge at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday night.
No. 2 Oklahoma won the meet with a 197.275. No. 7 LSU came in second with a 197.100 followed by No. 9 Georgia (196.775) and No. 16 Oregon State (196.825).
"It was a championship level meet from the moment we walked in," said head coach Joanne Bowers. "Everything was on a podium and we had some of the top teams in the country that are used to going to nationals, so it felt just like we were at nationals. It was such a great environment for our team and we have to be able to compete under this type of pressure."
Junior Aliza Vaccher(Eugene, Ore.) won her first individual event of the season with a new career-high of 9.925 on the floor. It was the second Husky win on the event on the year. Vaccher's previous career-high was a 9.825 in the season-opener this year.
After starting the meet with a bye, the Huskies headed to bars where they posted a new season-high team score of 49.025.
Senior Phoebe Tham (North Vancouver, B.C.) was spectacular on bars with a new career-best by over a point with a 9.875 to lead the team. Freshmen Sheridan Metcalf (Mesa, Ariz.) and Allison Northey(Sammamish, Wash.) each posted a career-best of 9.825 to help boost the score.
"We were in the locker room for the bye so we had no idea what happened in the first rotation," said Bowers. "I was so proud on how we started on bars. Everyone attacked their routines, we stayed within ourselves, worked the details, built off momentum of each other and it never stopped.
"Phoebe attacked her routine," Bowers added. "She has been working so hard in practice and she scored like she meant business. Her being a senior and her aggressiveness right now is helping with that group and it is wonderful to see."
With a season-best 9.800, sophomore McKenzie Fechter (Mequon, Wis.) had the team-high. Northey and senior Paige Bixler(Rowlett, Texas) tied for the second-best score on beam with 9.775's. Bixler was competing near her hometown and in a gym she grew up in.
"We were so mentally tough on beam we were so proud of the team," said Bowers. "It is always a good event for us but LSU was on floor and they had a lot of fans and loud music but our team held it together in such a tough environment."
On floor, senior Lauren Rogers(Plains, Pa.) was second on the team behind Vaccher with a season-best 9.85, just 0.25 off of her career-best mark. Rogers tied a career-high with a 39.175 in the all-around.
"We had some bumps on floor and some uncharacteristic deductions from some of the team," Bowers added. "Aliza anchored and won which was great and Lauren and McKenzie had good routines as well.
"We were on a big high and we hit this bump and during a big meet like this I wanted to see how we would respond finishing going to vault and we did a great job picking it back up and finishing."
The Huskies ended on vault where they posted their second-best team event score on the night of 48.800. Rogers had the team-high with a 9.850. Vaccher was a close second with a 9.800.
Washington returns home to host nationally ranked Arizona on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. along with the UW men's club team hosting Air Force.