WAC GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONSHIP COMES TO HORNETS NEST ON SATURDAY
Behind back-to-back 194-plus outings, the Sacramento State gymnastics team enters the 2009 WAC Championships at its peak. The Hornets will serve as the host for the WAC meet on Saturday, March 21, at 6 p.m.
A limited number of tickets remain for the WAC Championships and it is encouraged that fans pre-order their tickets by calling (916) 278-2222. Those unable to attend can follow the action via live scoring on hornetsports.com or by listening on the internet to former Hornet gymnast Ashlei Baker and Michael Smith on KSSU.com.
Sacramento State finished first in a pair of four-team meets to close out the regular season. The team comes into the WAC Championship with a 10-8 overall record after downing Cal, UC Davis and Seattle Pacific on March 13. In the meet, Marina Borisova, Amber Basgall and Alycia Chan each won event titles to help the team to a season high 194.700. Borisova finished first on bars, tied for first on floor and won the all-around with a season best 39.200. Basgall claimed the top spot on vault and Chan tied Borisova on floor.
A Look at the Opposition
Boise State (15-5) is the highest ranked team in the field as the defending conference champions are 23rd in this week’s rankings. The Broncos feature Hannah Redmon who is the reigning WAC champion on vault, floor and in the all-around.
Southern Utah boasts a 9-5 overall record and is ranked 28th nationally. The Thunderbirds placed third last season and were led by Kellie Dangerfield who finished first on beam.
San Jose State posted a 14-1 mark during the year with its only loss coming to Boise State. The Spartans are 34th in the rankings and are paced by freshman all-arounder Thomasina Wallace.
Cal State Fullerton enters with a 6-10 overall record. The Titans defeated Sacramento State on Feb. 22. CSF is led by all-around Alaina Baker.
Utah State is 1-14 heading into this weekend. The Aggies’ Nicole Simoneau ranks second in the WAC on bars with an RQS of 9.865.
Its Been a While
Not only is Sacramento State hosting the WAC Championship for the first time in school history, the team is hosting a gymnastics championship for the first time since 2003. That year, Sacramento State won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation as part of its seven titles in an eight year span.
Sacramento State won the WAC title in 2006 and 2007 before finishing fourth last year. The team was picked sixth in a preseason poll of the league’s coaches while defending champion Boise State earned the top spot.
Almost Back to Normal
It is no coincidence that Sacramento State’s two best scores of the season have come in the past two weeks. Not only is the team hitting is nearly patented late season charge, it is the first time this season that the squad has been relatively close to 100 percent. The two primary additions to the lineup have been Basgall and Chan. Both gymnasts missed the first half of the year and took a couple of weeks to return to top form. Despite their return, the Hornets lost Borisova to illness in the three-team meet against Boise State and Utah State on Feb. 27. Prior to that same meet, freshman Cayla Boyce injured her ankle which knocked her out of the lineup.
Everyone was back this past week and helped lead the team to a season high. Sacramento State also tied its season high on bars with a 48.725 and set a season best on beam at 48.825.
Racking Up the WAC Honors
Along with the pair of team titles, several members of the Sacramento State team have earned all-WAC honors over the past three seasons. The top three finishers (plus ties) earn first team all-conference honors while the next three are named second team all-WAC.
Borisova is the most decorated as she was the WAC floor champion as both a freshman (2006) and sophomore (2007). She also earned first team honors in the all-around in 2006 and on beam, floor and the all-around in 2007. As a sophomore, she also added second team accolades on vault.
Last season, Chan was named second team on both vault and floor to make her the lone returner to be honored a year ago.
Junior Eryn Stubblefield and sophomore Lissa Zamolo each have a first team honor on their resume after tying for third on beam with a 9.850 in 2007.