March 1, 2004
Hello Husky Fans:
Well here it is Monday morning and I am still reeling from Friday's competition. I am sitting here at my desk , it's 8:30 am, and I haven't had any coffee since last Thursday. How about that Emily? She is always bugging me about how much coffee I drink, although I am on my second liter of Diet Coke! I should get residuals from Starbuck's and Coca Cola. Well on to the meet.
Our competition was taped by Fox Sports, so they asked to interview Val Kondos, and me before the competition. Just as I was half way through my answer for the first question they asked me the horn went off, and they announced that we were starting on our first timed warm-up event. I ripped off the mike and said "I have to go", and ran out on to the pavilion floor. Warm-ups were fairly normal, and the women went into the locker room to change into their competitive leo.
Being the home team we started on vault and UCLA started on bars. As I wrote earlier Fox Sports was filming the competition, so we were alternating events. It seemed like the meet was really dragging because of the TV people needing to get from one event to the other, but it is great to have it televised. It will be on Fox Sports Tuesday March 2nd at 7 p.m., and Wednesday March 3rd at noon. Our vault was fairly normal, but I was surprised to see the first three gymnasts for UCLA on bars fall. We still desperately need to get a full squad of 10.00 value vaults, but that doesn't look likely at this point, so we will rely on our other events to pick up the slack. We scored a 48.725 to UCLA's 48.475.
Next we went to bars and UCLA to vault. UCLA had an awesome display on vault capped by Jeanette Antolin's perfect 10.00 which gave them an impressive 49.575. We totally cranked on bars with four of our gymnasts scoring 9.900 or higher, with the event anchored by Emily Pritchard's 9.975. Emily is still ranked No. 1 in the U.S. on the uneven bars, and our team is ranked sixth. We scored a school record team score of 49.650.
On to the balance beam. My favorite event. You know I have been watching my athletes do beam for over 32 years, and now I understand why the little hair I have is gray. Balance beam is the only event where we have never scored a perfect 10.00. The women did a great job and Molly Seaman just barely missed a perfect score with a 9.975. We scored a team score of 49.425 to UCLA's floor score of 49.475. If anyone told me that we were going to be leading the No. 1 ranked team in the country, and the defending NCAA champions going into our final event, I would not have believed it, but here we were exactly living out that scenario.
UCLA was not holding anything back, and they really hit beam for a 49.475 team score, but your Huskies were not holding back either, and we rose to the occasion. Everyone did the job on floor, in fact our lowest counting score on floor was a 9.850, for a team score of 49.425. After everything was done we had defeated the number one ranked team in the US 197.225 to 197.100. It was very close, but you never know what will happen. It's like that movie "Any given Sunday", you can never count anyone out.
After the meet Val came up to me and said Bob, that was my 'A' team". I looked at her and said, "Val that was MY 'A' team". I was extremely proud of how our team competed.
Friday we will host the 10-time National Champions Utah, along with the University of Iowa, and the University of Illinois-Chicago. It looks as though this could be a real shoot out. Be here and be LOUD.
More next week,