February 12, 2004
Hello Husky Fans:
We traveled to Boise State last Thursday in preparation for our competition Friday evening in Bronco Pavilion. Friday morning Frank and I went golfing at Warm Springs Golf Course. Well it was anything but warm. The temperature dropped to about 19 degrees the evening before, so it took until almost 11 a.m. for the greens to clear of frost so we could tee off. I have never seen so much goose poop in my life on the fairways. Anyway we had a great time all bundled up in the frigid air.
We left for the competition around 4 p.m. We are now about a third of the way through our season, and we are starting to have some athletes with small chronic aches and pains that if we do not watch them closely could become a major concern. For the sport of collegiate gymnastics it is more important to be healthy and hitting at the end of the season than any other time.
My coaching staff and I got together at the beginning of the season and discussed when would be the best time, or which competition would be most convenient to rest certain gymnasts that were beginning to show signs of their bodies starting to get chronic pains. It was for that reason that we adjusted our normal line-ups to not only rest certain individuals, but this also gave the athletes that were just on the cusp of being in the line-ups each week to get some valuable experience.
We adjusted our line-ups accordingly, and felt that we would be fine. Unfortunately the day before we left we were informed that Junior Tacia LaBatte had come down with the flu and could not make the trip. Now I was in a quandary as to whether to compete the athletes we wanted to rest our just go for it. I opted for the latter.
We started on the bars, and bars not being a pounding event, we went with a fairly strong line up. Freshman Chelsea Bakken started the Huskies off with a 9.775. Kelly McDonald and Emily Pritchard both scored well with a 9.900, and 9.950 respectively. Our team score for the event was a 49.225. Being a dual meet we then went to vault. We have struggled this season on vault and I elected to go with only five gymnasts. This meant that every score would count. The women did a commendable job, unfortunately we only scored a 48.600. At this point we were .075 behind Boise State.
We then went to the floor exercise. On this event we would be starting with BJ Das who had worked very hard to get back to competitive shape after a debilitating elbow injury when she was in club gymnastics. On BJ's first tumbling run she was doing a pike double back when she ruptured her Achilles tendon, and was unable to finish her routine. This now meant that every score on floor would count. The next athlete fell on her pike double back so this now meant that we would have to count a fall. I was standing with the team and I heard them tell each other to be strong and to focus. Carly Dockendorf anchored the team with probably the best routine she has ever done, and received a 9.925. We ended up floor with an uncharacteristic 48.300.
We were now going to beam where BJ was originally in the line up. Freshman Tori Quandt stepped in and replaced BJ in the line up. Kelly McDonald, and Molly Seaman both scored an impressive 9.925, but we had two falls on the beam and ended up with a 48.750. After the dust had settled Boise State had won with a 195.450 to UW's 194.875.
I want to tell you that I was proud of this team, and the way they handled adversity. There was no "quit" in this team. We came into the competition very lean in the line-ups, but they were in it to the very end. While I was at the competition I was thinking "if I just put everyone in the line-ups we easily could win". I am so glad that I didn't. Hind sight is always 20/20.
This weekend we have a very strong ASU coming into town, and I think that there will be a big crowd. I hope to see you there.