Friday, October 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

34th-ranked Aggie gymnasts hope to turn heads in Arkansas

By
From page B1 | April 03, 2014 |

0403ucdgymW

UCD's Katy Nogaki celebrates a strong vault in a meet earlier this season. The Aggies head to Arkansas on Saturday to compete in an NCAA Regional for the first time since 1998. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

Over the years, UC Davis has produced some outstanding female gymnasts.

Katie Yamamura (2013), Tiffany Chan and Amber Weddell (both 2004) and Erica Ruelas (2000) are graduates who come to mind.

But from a team standpoint?

No previous Aggie squad holds a candle to what coach John Lavallee’s 2014 women have accomplished together.

And now, 34th-ranked UCD heads to Arkansas for the NCAA Regionals on Saturday. It marks the first time the locals will enter the postseason as a top-36 college.

“This team’s ability to perform week in and week out is truly amazing,” Lavallee told The Enterprise. “We won’t go into this competition worrying about outcomes. Our secret to success has been taking care of (our) business. We’re worried about doing Aggie gymnastics … showing the rest of the country how far we’ve come and what we’re capable of doing.”

UCD rearranged the record book this winter.

Posting seven of the program’s 10 all-time meet marks, the Aggies’ 196.425 against Seattle Pacific on Feb. 28 shattered the old UCD record of 195.875 (set a month before).

Vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise team standards all fell as Katy Nogaki (9.900) tied the top individual vault effort and Dani Judal’s 9.900 did the same for the balance beam. Brilliant senior performer Anna Shumaker has posted five of the best all-around marks in school history

In Arkansas, Aggie women will find their most stern test of the season.

“We drew probably the toughest regional of all,” Lavallee said as he looked over the six regions’ entries.

Utah, ranked fifth, No. 8 UCLA, host and 17th-ranked Arkansas, Arizona State (No. 24) and No. 30 Utah State await in Fayetteville.

The Aggies’ regional qualifying score (195.260) suggests they have some tall cotton to chop this weekend as Utah (197.575), the Bruins (197.005), the Razorbacks (196.355), the Sun Devils (195.855) and Utah State (195.570) all have higher RQS.

But UCD finished ahead of Utah State in a Jan. 26 quad meet.

And Lavallee knows his squad is focused.

The Aggies have but one counted miss in any routine since January.

The highest-scoring two teams from each of the regionals go on to the finals in Birmingham, Ala., April 18-20. The top two placed performers from non-qualifying schools also advance.

“We have a host of folks who could make lightning strike,” said the eighth-year UCD head coach. “But again, the only thing we’re worried about is doing Aggie gymnastics, and doing the best that we can for that particular day.”

Shumaker, the co-captain who earned Mountain Pacific Sports Federation all-conference nods in each event and the all-around, is banged up. An upper-leg injury limited her to one event when the Aggies were beaten by Sacramento State two weeks ago in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation finals at The Pavilion.

Nonetheless, with sophomore Stephanie Stamates posting the league’s top floor exercise score of 9.870 and Lisa Wiktorski (9.84) tops among MPSF uneven bars competitors, UCD is loaded with capable athletes.

Five beam entrants, including Judal (9.835), provide another area for Aggie points.

Lavallee says the depth of Shumaker’s involvement in the regionals is still a topic of discussion, but adds that UCD’s second-place league finish spoke volumes about this group’s team sense.

“We’re very happy with what we did at the MPSF championship,” Lavallee explained. “We hit 23 of 24 routines. We had to make a lot of adjustments for Anna’s injury. In particular, we had two freshmen step up and score huge for us.”

Yonni Michovska, a Napa native, took home valuable points with a career-best 9.775 in the vault.

“Probably the great story of the meet for us was Rachel Kreager, who 12 months to the day had ACL reconstruction,” the coach noted. “She had to go in the beam lineup.

“We said ‘OK, let’s not change our lineup with the first five. We’ll put Rachel at the end. The first five will hit and there won’t be any pressure on Rachel.’

“Well, we had a miss.”

In her first appearance in the official lineup — ever — Kreager hit a 9.8 and her points were just enough to keep third-place (and No. 31-ranked) San Jose State behind UCD (194.875-194.550).

“That’s a pretty good first time,” Lavallee concluded, his broad smile validating that these Aggies can surprise anytime, anywhere.

Notes: Tamara Ross, a 1971 San Diego State grad, has been Lavallee’s right hand since coming over from Sacramento State four seasons ago. The assistant works in all events, but has been especially effective with balance beam — as evidenced by Kreager’s performance and the team-record scores. … Former Aggie bars and floor maven Carolyn Kampf (2007) is finishing her fifth year as an assistant and Taryn West (2013) is a volunteer assistant. … UCD last went to nationals in 1998, but was not a top-36 qualifier. … No. 1 and defending national champ Florida will be at a regional in its home state. In addition to Utah State, three other 2014 UCD opponents are in regionals: No. 19 California and San Jose State are at Minneapolis while No. 10 Stanford is in Baton Rogue. … Alamo sophomore Stamates drew Lavallee’s praise for “a tremendous floor-ex” in the MPSF finals. … No. 45 Sacramento State (194.360) and No. 51 Air Force (194.025) were MPSF squads just outside a regional invitation.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-320-4456.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    A-Z: Downtown Davis is the place to celebrate

    By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: C1

     
    Courageous Thompson tapped for cycling shrine

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    UC researchers: How low-water can our landscapes go?

    By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Testimony begins in Winters murder trial

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Hong Kong protesters to vote on staying in streets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Cloud business lifts Microsoft’s quarterly results

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Yoga and chanting workshop planned

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Downtown menu: coffee, boba tea, dessert

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: C3

     
    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Scientists work to save endangered desert mammal

    By Kat Kerlin | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Host families needed for students and teachers from Mexico

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Halloween Dance set Friday for teens

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Day of the Dead folk art class set

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Flea Market planned Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Enjoy A Taste of Capay at historic ranch

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Red-hot tunes set at Blues Harvest

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Learn how to fill a cornucopia with flowers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Video highlights Props. 1 and 2

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    ‘Homeopathy at Home’ program planned

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Celebrate origami at Davis library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Garden sale and open house features water-wise demos

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C4

    Meet Poppenga at dog park Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Bay Bridge art project needs $4 million to keep shining

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Weir honored, a year early

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    For a good cause

    By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A6

    Americans, internationals make connections

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Explorit: Poison-proof your home with free lecture

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6

    Sutter auxiliary seeks volunteers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    School board hopefuls discuss homework policy

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

    Walkers welcome to join Sierra Club outings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Project Linus seeks donations

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    The magic is long gone

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    What’s next with Ebola?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    More theories on the abstention

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Rights beget responsibilities

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Water returns to its source

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    A solution to the drought

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Experience nature’s treasures

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Subs have other concerns

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    DHS footballers take on Pleasant Grove

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Bye No. 2 comes at perfect time for nicked-up UCD

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Shhh. Are Aggie women BWC’s best-kept secret?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Bump, set, playoffs: Blue Devil girls clinch spot in postseason

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggies expect a bonny meeting in Sacramento

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    UCD roundup: Preseason awards roll in for Aggie hoopster Hawkins

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sharks suffer from road woes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    DMTC plans ‘My Fair Lady’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    Czech Philharmonic Orchestra to perform

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Calling all artists for upcoming show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    ‘St. Vincent:’ Quite a character

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Rumpledethumps to play at Village Homes Performers’ Circle

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

     
    Car Care: Five things to ask yourself when shopping for a new vehicle

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

    .

    Obituaries

    Lewis Melvin Dudman

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Ann Foley Scheuring

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, October 24, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B3