Washington Hosts Pac-10 Gym Championships March 24
March 20, 2001
Around The Conference
This Week: The 16th-ranked Washington women's gymnastics team (12-7-1) will play host to the Pac-10 Championships on Saturday, March 24 at 6 p.m. PT in Bank of America Arena. The Pac-10 title will be at stake for Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA and Washington. The Huskies are hosting the event for the first time since 1994 when Oregon State won the championship.
Tickets: Tickets for the 2001 Pac-10 Women's Gymnastics Championships can be purchased at the Husky ticket office during the week or at the ticket windows of Bank of America Arena on Saturday starting at 5 p.m. Reserved tickets are $9. General admission adult tickets are $6. Children (12 and under) and college students with a valid id are $4.
Television: The 2001 Pac-10 Women's Gymnastics Championships will be televised on a delayed basis by Fox Sports Net. Jim Watson and Kathy Johnson-Clarke will handle the broadcast duties. The event will be replayed on Fox Sports Net Northwest Friday, March 30 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 31 at 12:30 p.m.
Practice Schedule: There will be two practice sessions held Friday afternoon at Bank of America Arena. The first session will take place from 2 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. and will include UCLA and Oregon State. The second session runs from 4 p.m. to 5:40 p.m. and will include Washington, Arizona, California and Stanford. Arizona State will not participate in either Friday practice session.
Rotation Order: Here is the order of competition for Saturday's championship:
Bye Vault Bye Bars Beam Bye Floor Rotation I ASU UA UCLA STAN CAL UW OSULast Year's Championship: UCLA won its second straight Pac-10 title last season at Arizona State with a team score of 197.700. Oregon State placed second at 196.575 and Washington was third at 195.900. UCLA's Mohini Bhardwaj won the all-around competition with a score of 39.700, just edging out teammate Lena Degteva, who placed second with a score of 39.675. Led by Bhardwaj and Degteva, the Bruins won three of the four event titles outright and had a gymnast tie for the fourth. Bhardwaj won the vault with a score of 9.950 and finished in a four-way tie for first on floor exercise (9.925). Degteva finished first on bars (9.975) and beam (9.925). UCLA's Heidi Moneymaker and Arizona State's Elizabeth McNabb and Lea Carver tied for top honors on floor exercise.
Championship History: UCLA has dominated the Pac-10 Championships. The Bruins have captured the past two titles and have won the event nine of the 14 years it has been contested. Only Oregon State (1996, 1994, 1992, 1991) and Stanford (1998) have managed to defeat UCLA for the team championship. The Bruins have also dominated in terms of individual championships, with 37 total, including 10 titles in the all-around competition. Oregon State has had 23 individual champions. Stanford is the only Pac-10 team that has not won an individual title.
Huskies at the Pac-10s: Washington's best showing at the Pac-10 Championships have been third-place finishes in 2000, 1997 and 1987. The Huskies have won eight individual titles at the Pac-10s. Husky Hall of Fame member Yumi Mordre owns five of those eight titles. Mordre, the NCAA vault and balance beam champion in 1987, won Pac-10 championships in the all-around, vault and floor exercise in 1987. She finished first on balance beam in 1988 and 1989. Klara Kudilkova was a repeat Pac-10 champion on floor exercise in 1996 and 1997. Tiffany Simpson, a six-time All-American at Washington, won her only Pac-10 crown in 1997 on vault.
National Rankings: All seven Pac-10 teams are currently ranked in the top-25 GymInfo poll. Here is a breakdown of the Pac-10 school by team and event:
Returning Champions: This year's Pac-10 Women's Gymnastics Championships includes three gymnasts who have combined to win six previous conference titles. UCLA's Mohini Bhardwaj won the Pac-10 all-around and vault titles last year. The Bruins' Lena Degteva was the conference vault champ in 1998 and captured the uneven bars and balance beam titles last year. Oregon State's Lara Degenhart captured the floor exercise title in 1999.
Levesque on the Pac-10s: "With the exception of the NCAA Championships, this is the best meet in the country," says Husky coach Bob Levesque. "There is no secret that we will all be chasing UCLA. They have a fabulous team and they deserve the number-one ranking they have carried all season. This is still a competition and everyone will have to go out and compete and see what happens. We have a lot of freshmen in our lineup, so this will be good exposure to a 'big-meet atmosphere' like we will see in a few weeks at regionals. I'm very excited to host the event. I think Bank of America Arena is a terrific place to watch a gymnastics meet, so the fans should be in for a great event."
Huskies Vault up Rankings: Thanks to solid back-to-back road scores at Boise State and Oregon State, Washington climbed up five spots in this week's GymInfo collegiate rankings. The Huskies current Regional Qualifying Score (RQS), which is an average of the team's top three home and road scores during the season, is 195.770, which ranks them 16th nationally and fourth in the west region. The Huskies saw a considerable jump in their RQS after scoring 195.770 at Boise State on March 10 and 195.775 last week at Oregon State. Those two performances allowed the Huskies to drop road scores of 193.075 and 192.950 from the RQS. Since Saturday's Pac-10 Championship meet is held in Seattle, Washington would have to count it as a home RQS score. To bump a lower score, Washington would have to score above 195.925 at the Pac-10s. Washington's average score in its last four meets has been 196.281.
The Wild, Wild West: Here's a look at the race for NCAA regional bids among the west region's top schools:
The Polls: Washington enjoys its best overall week in the GymInfo ranks this week. The Huskies are ranked 16th with an RQS of 195.770. The Huskies are ranked 13th on floor (49.260), 17th on beam (48.865) and jumped seven spots to 10th (49.035) in the vault rankings. Husky junior Stacy Wong is ranked 25th in the all-around (39.240) and 14th on bars ( 9.910).
Last Time Out: Washington senior Lanna Apisukh became the second Husky gymnast to ever record a perfect score of 10 on vault when she did so last Saturday at Oregon State's Shanico Inn-Vitational. Apisukh's score helped Washington to set a school record in the event with a score of 49.450. Despite the strong scoring on vault, the Huskies had to count falls on bars and beam and came in second behind Oregon State at the four-way meet. The Beavers won their final home meet of the year with a score of 197.625, while Washington turned in a score of 195.775. Cal State Fullerton was third with a score of 194.175 and Seattle Pacific was fourth at 192.575. In addition to winning the vault competition, Apisukh finished second in the all-around with a score of 39.550, a career high. Washington junior Stacy Wong tied Oregon State's Marissa Bruch for top honors on beam with a career high score of 9.950.
Apisukh Vaults into Exclusive 10-Club: If you were to ask Husky senior Lanna Apisukh if she could guess what would be her highest scoring event this season, she probably would not pick the vault. Ironically, that is the event that landed her in the Husky record book last Saturday at Oregon State when she nailed a perfect 10.000 performance. Entering the meet, Apisukh had a career high score of 9.900 on vault and her previous best score this season was a 9.875 the previous week at Boise State. Apisukh becomes just the second Husky to earn a 10 on vault and only the fifth UW gymnast to ever record a perfect score. She joins classmate Mandi Klug, who scored a 10 on floor this year against Utah and Western Michigan. They become the first Husky duo to record 10s in the same season. Klara Kudilkova is the only other Washington gymnast to score a 10 on vault. She recorded her perfect score during the 1996 Pac-10 Championships, that were also held in Corvallis.
Klug Joins Elite Company: When Husky senior Mandi Klug scored a 10.000 on floor exercise against Utah and Western Michigan on March 4, she became just the fourth Husky gymnast to ever record a perfect routine. Stacy Connolly was the first UW competitor to post a 10.000 when she did it during the 1993 season on uneven bars. Klara Kudilkova did it next with a perfect score on vault in 1996 at the Pac-10 Championships at Oregon State. Tiffany Simpson recorded three 10 scores on floor exercise during her career. Like Klug, her last came during her final home meet as a senior.
Wong's First All-Around Win is Memorable: Washington's dual meet with Oregon State was just the sixth time junior Stacy Wong has competed in the all-around. She had the meet of her life, posting career high scores of 9.950 on vault, 9.900 on beam and 9.900 on floor and a 9.950 on bars to set Washington's school record in the all-around with a mark of 39.700. Jamie Stauffer had set the old record of 39.675 in 1997. The meet marked only the third time that Wong had topped the 39-point mark in her career. Wong is nationally ranked in the bars, but it was her superb vault score that helped her set the school record. Wong's vault score of 9.950 was .100 better than her previous best vault, a 9.850 she turned in at Arizona State earlier this season. In addition to winning the all-around competition at the meet, Wong also took home first-place honors on vault, bars and beam. She currently leads the Huskies with 13 event victories this year. She has won the bars competition five times this season.
Wong ... The Sequel: While she didn't top her career-record performance in the all-around she set against Oregon State, Stacy Wong won her second straight all-around competition against Utah and Western Michigan. Wong's score of 39.650 was just .050 from tying her school-record total from the previous week. Wong reset her career high on vault with a mark of 9.975, tied for the second best in school history, and she equaled her career best on beam (9.900) and floor (9.900). Surprisingly, it was her bars' score (9.875), her strongest event, that probably kept her for resetting the school record in the all-around. Wong's vault score against Utah also allowed her to win that event.
Pritchard Busts Loose: Washington freshman Emily Pritchard is having one of the best first seasons in the Husky program's history. Against Utah and Western Michigan, Pritchard set her career high in the all-around with a score of 39.350. She set or tied career marks in vault (9.950), bars (9.900) and beam (9.850) during that meet. At Boise State, she rewrote her personal best on bars with a score of 9.925, despite almost missing the meet due to illness. Here is where Pritchard stacks up against the other top freshmen all-arounders who have competed at Washington in recent years:
The Freshman Factor: Washington's seven-member freshman class have been significant contributors towards the Huskies success this season. All seven have competed in meets this year and four have posted scores of 9.900 or better in competition. Emily Pritchard, who has topped the 39.000 mark in the all-around four times this season, heads up the class. She has posted scores of 9.900 or better on vault (9.950), and bars (9.925). Molly Seaman, who competes on vault, beam and floor, has turned in a pair of 9.900 performances on floor and a 9.900 on beam. Kim Claussen, a bars specialist, has one 9.900 on the event. Tanya Powers scored a 9.900 on vault at Oregon State. Pritchard is the only member of the class to record an event victory this year. She took top honors on beam in the first home dual meet of the season.
Up Next: Washington awaits word on where the Huskies will compete at the April 7 NCAA Regionals. The event will mark Washington's 20 consecutive season of appearing in a postseason NCAA regional meet.
Injury Story: The Huskies do not expect to have senior Jessica Schedler in the lineup for the Pac-10 Championships. She strained a knee during warmups for the vault competition last week at Oregon State. Schedler hopes to return to action April 7 during NCAA regional competition. Washington will be without junior Allison Bruce during the 2001 season. Bruce suffered a preseason Achilles tendon injury that will force her to miss the entire season.