Feb. 25, 2003
Hello Husky Fans:
This morning I drove to work and watched a fantastic sunrise over the Cascades. It's strange how much more wonderful life seems when you feel good about going to work.
The California Meet
The scene at the Oakland Airport was a mess. I have travelled in and out of Oakland many times, but I have never seen it this busy and congested. We finally got to our hotel and settled in 11:30. So it only took us about 10 hours to get from the University to our hotel in Oakland. What a trip.
Friday we headed for the competition around 4 p.m. There was a mix-up in the rotations, and after considerable discussion our warm-up and competition rotation was changed to have UW start on the bars.
On the bars Tacia LaBatte started us out with a strong 9.850. In the middle of our line-up we stumbled slightly with a fall, and a foot drag and we ended up bars with a 48.825. Then on to the always fun event balance beam.
Courtney Canavan started us out with a strong routine to score a 9.800. Unfortunately again in the middle of our line-ups we had three consecutive gymnasts fall. This was very disheartening and we ended up with a 48.075 team score. We had sort of dug a hole that was going to be hard to get out of. From beam we went to the floor.
The Huskies did a fairly good job with the floor being very hard for punching and landing. Led by Carly Dockendorf's 9.900 the Huskies scored a 49.000 on floor. Our last event was vault, where we normally do very well, but for some reason we had a hard time sticking our landings, and we gave away precious tenths from our scores. When the competition was over Cal had won the competition with a all-time high score of 196.475 to your Husky's 194.850.
This did not set well with the athletes or the coaching staff. Needless to say it was a somber ride back to the hotel. We finally got to bed around Midnight. Saturday morning came very early as we were leaving the hotel at 5 am to go to the airport to catch a flight to Omaha, Nebraska. We dropped the team off in front of the check-in counter, and Frank and I took the vans to Budget to drop them off. There was no one around at the drop off area. It was all dark and locked up. So we left the vans there with the keys and walked to the terminal.
The Nebraska Meet
Sunday morning we had a team meeting at breakfast at 9 am. I told the team that mathematically they were due to hit at an away competition. I said that they were too good of a team to not do well on the road. We discussed that we were starting on the beam. This is something that we had not done so far this season. I would rather start on beam than end on beam.
The teams in the competition were Nebraska, UW, LSU, and Kent State. Your Huskies answered the challenge and did not have a fall scoring a respectable 49.025 anchored by Stacy Wong's 9.950. We then went to floor. The women were awesome. We had some great performances highlighted by Kelly McDonald's, and Carly Dockendorf's near perfect routines. I felt that they very underscored with a 9.875 & 9.900 respectively. If Carly or Kelly do the same routines at our home competition I can guarantee a 10.00. They were that good! Our team score for floor was a 49.075. On to vault.
On vault we had some outstanding performances. The vault scores seemed sort of tight the whole competition, so I told our ladies that if they were to score well they would have to stick their landings. Well they ROCKED their landings. Tanya Powers and Kelly McDonald led the way for the Huskies with 9.900 and 9.925 respectively that gave us a 49.275 team score. On to our last event bars where we hit every routine. Led by Carly Dockendorf's 9.950, we scored our competition high team score of 49.350.
Nebraska won the competition with a team record 198.025 to UW's 196.725, LSU's 196.025, and Kent State's 192.900. In my humble estimation we should have been a good half a point higher, but it was a moral victory for our gymnasts to have hit at an away competition.
Yesterday the rankings came out and we are currently ranked 12th in the U.S. This Friday we host Oregon State University, Boise State, and Sacramento State. It should be a close and exciting competition. Tell everyone you know to be there. Until then.