Gymnastics Season Preview: Vault
Jan. 2, 2012
SEATTLE - The Huskies will count on the strength of returners as well as the excitement of newcomers to be very competitive on vault this season.
Though it has not been an event with great depth for the team in the past couple of years, they "have more 10.0 start values than ever," said head coach Joanne Bowers. "This should be a very good event for us."
Senior Amanda Cline (Aurora, Colo.) returns as the top vaulter from last season, posting a career-high 9.925 on the event three different times during the 2011 season. She led the team on vault several times throughout the year, including a team-leading 9.850 at the NCAA Regionals.
"We have Amanda Cline returning as our top vaulter from last year," said Bowers. "She continues to do well and we expect big things from her this year."
Several other strong returners will be sure to add to the strength of the Huskies' vault lineup this season including sophomore Aliza Vaccher (Eugene, Ore.) and juniors Megan Whitney (Mesa, Ariz.) and Lauren Rogers (Plains, Pa.). Last season, Vaccher reached NCAA Nationals in all-around, where she tied for 27th on vault with a 9.800. At NCAA Regionals, she set her career high 9.850 on vault, as well as other career records.
Last season, her first as a Husky, Whitney competed on vault in all 12 meets, posting a team second-best 9.750 in her first UW meet and posting a career high 9.875 versus ASU. Rogers also competed on vault in all 12 meets during the 2011 season, vaulting a 9.850 four different times.
"Both Megan and Lauren have improved their consistency in practice and are showing a lot of promise. Aliza has been out most of the fall due to a screw being put in her ankle, but is coming back strong and should be good to go," Bowers said.
Though vault has not been their strongest event in the past, senior Ruby Engreitz and junior Kylie Sharp "have worked extremely hard to improve their vaults in the off-season and should be a huge help for us this season." Engreitz (Kirkland, Wash.) did set a career high on vault versus ASU last season with a 9.900 and hopes to capitalize on that energy, mixed with the work she'd done in the offseason, to be a strong force for the team on vault. Sharp (Herriman, Utah) set her career high 9.725 on vault during her freshman year and hopes to become a stronger force on the event for the team.
Senior Hatsune Akaogi (Cupertino, Calif.) returns to competition after suffering a torn Achilles last season and Bowers said she is "progressing nicely. We are hopeful she will be able to get into the vault lineup during the season." During her sophomore season, her last full season before injury, she set a career high 9.850 on vault and scored 9.800 during several meets.
Newcomer, freshman Madison Podlucky (Redmond, Wash.), has also begun contributing on vault for the team. "[She] is very powerful and can go big on this event," Bowers said.