Washington GymDawgs Post Highest Pac-10 Finish In Six Years
March 21, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - The Washington gymnastics team finished fourth at the 2009 Pac-10 Championship, the highest Husky finish since 2003. Overall, the GymDawgs scored a 194.375.
"This was our goal for the season," said head coach Joanne Bowers. "Fourth place in this conference is very respectable. We won't be happy until we're vying for the title, but this is a great start for us."
The Huskies started the competition on uneven bars, recording a 48.450. Freshman Amanda Cline put up a 9.625 in the first rotation, followed by classmates Ruby Engreitz with a 9.700 and Hatsune Akaogi with a 9.625. The GymDawgs were bolstered by sophomores Samantha Walior and Kristen Linton, who each scored a 9.750. After the first rotation, Washington was in third place, trailing Stanford and Oregon State, but ahead of Arizona State. UCLA, California and Arizona each had a bye in the first rotation.
In the second rotation, the Huskies headed over to the beam, where they put up a team score of 48.350. Washington's freshmen came up big, with Akaogi and Cline recording the team's highest scores in the event. Senior Kelly Gilbert scored a 9.675 to kick things off for the GymDawgs. Akaogi followed with a 9.750 and Cline put up a career-best 9.775. Linton and Walior each scored a 9.575 to close out the apparatus for Washington. After two rotations, the Huskies had a running total of 96.800. The Huskies had a bye in the third rotation.
After a third rotation bye, Washington returned to competition on the floor. Sophomore Karen Cain started the GymDawgs off with a 9.675. Cline put up a career-best 9.625 in her first floor routine of the year. Linton scored a 9.750 and classmate Haley Bogart recorded a 9.725. Walior paced the Huskies with a team-best 9.850, tying her season-high score and tying for sixth. The GymDawgs tallied a 48.625 on the floor, giving them a running total of 145.425.
Washington had a bye in the fifth rotation, setting them up for the vault in the sixth rotation. Engreitz hit her vault with a 9.625. Akaogi followed with a career-high-tying 9.800 and Bogart scored a 9.825, just short of tying her career-high of 9.850. Cline hit her vault with a 9.800. Senior Ashley Houghting, competing with two sprained ankles, anchored the GymDawgs with a 9.900, her highest score in four meets. Her score held up through the Huskies' seventh-rotation bye and was good enough to tie her for fourth in the event.
Cline was the top Dawg in the all-around with a 38.825, tying for eighth. Akaogi totaled a 38.775, tying for 10th.
"When Ashley went down earlier this season, we weren't sure we were going to achieve this goal," said Bowers. "Her being able to vault tonight really helped us out. But everyone else stepped up for us and competed their butts off. This team showed huge heart. We were prepared for this meet. I am super excited for the future of this program with all the young ones we have who competed in their first Pac-10 Championship tonight and really competed well."
Washington now has two weeks off to rest and prepare for the NCAA West Regional being held in Seattle on April 4. For ticket information, log on to GoHuskies.com.