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Beam rotation dooms Washington in Pac-12 Championships

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Beam rotation dooms Washington in Pac-12 Championships

Senior Geneva Thompson attempts her beam routine during Washington's meet against UCLA at Alaska Airlines Arena on Feb. 14, 2021. A poor performance on Balance Beam hurt Washington at the Pac-12 Championships on Saturday, March 20. 

Ten days after its best performance of the season, the Washington gymnastics team wasn’t able to sustain the same level of success in West Valley City, Utah, scoring just 194.400 points in the Pac-12 Championships.

Ultimately, it was a single event, balance beam, that knocked Washington out, ending a run of consecutive meets scoring greater than 196.000, a disappointing end to a season that was full of gradual improvements.

To open the meet, Washington began with the floor routine, which had been its best event this season.

While they didn’t get off to an extraordinary start, a score of 49.000 was well above the Huskies’ season average of 48.856 points per meet. Junior Amara Cunningham led the team with a 9.900.

The UW continued a promising opening to the meet with its second-best vault performance of the season, scoring 49.075. Fifth-year senior Allie Smith finished with the highest score on the team at 9.900, in what possibly was her final collegiate meet.

Moving to uneven bars, the Huskies continued to hold steady, with freshman Skylar Killough-Wilhelm scoring a career-high with a score of 9.875. The team finished with a score of 48.850, just one-tenth of a point off of its season-high.

With four teams competing in session one — Arizona, Oregon State, Stanford, and Washington — the UW held the highest team score after three rotations, but suffered mightily on balance beam to close the meet and finished in last place.

A team score of 47.475 was the lowest in the event of the season for the Huskies, as two gymnasts, Morgan Bowles and Cathy Eksteen, were unable to eclipse 9.000. The only event with a lower score this season was on bars Feb. 28, when it scored 47.125.

As a result of the performance, it is unlikely that the Huskies will advance to the regional championships. The last time the UW failed to qualify for regionals was 2006.

Reach Assistant Sports Editor Anthony Edwards at sports@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @edwardsanthonyb

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