Titan Gymnasts Head to Utah to Compete at 2006 WAC Gymnastics Championships

March 22, 2006

FULLERTON, CA -

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UP NEXT...
Riding the momentum of a pair of season-high scores, the Cal State Fullerton gymnastics team heads north to Logan, Utah, for the 2006 Western Athletic Conference Gymnastics Championships hosted by Utah State University on Saturday (March 25) at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum at 2 p.m. (MST). The Titans are one of six teams competing for the conference crown alongside the host Aggies, San Jose State, Sacramento State, Southern Utah, and Boise State.

WAC GYMNASTICS HISTORY...
The 2006 WAC Gymnastics Championship will be the first for the conference since 1993... The University of Utah claimed the last three consecutive conference titles from 1991-93, including the 1992 NCAA Championship... Only two coaches, Boise State's Sam Sandmire and Southern Utah's Scott Bauman, were active the last time the WAC awarded a conference title.

LIVE FROM LOGAN...
Fans unable to make the trip to Utah this weekend can catch all the action live over the Internet for free as the Western Athletic Conference will webcast the 2006 WAC Gymnastics Championships from Logan, Utah. Log on to http://www.wac.tv to catch all the action. Fans must have a high-speed Internet connection (DSL or cable modem is best) along with the most recent version of Microsoft Windows Media Player to view the competition.

IN THE POLLS...
Southern Utah enters the weekend as the highest-ranked conference school, standing at No. 25 in the nation with a regional qualifying score of 194.325. No. 28 Boise State (193.995) and No. 30 Sacramento State (193.880) also join the Thunderbirds in the top 30. San Jose State is ranked No. 33 (193.305), Utah State is ranked No. 37 (192.970), and Cal State Fullerton comes in at No. 49 (191.950).

SERIES RECORDS...
Cal State Fullerton is 6-7 all-time against Boise State, 13-6 against Sacramento State, 35-5 against San Jose State, 5-3 against Southern Utah, and 4-5 against Utah State.

UNCLE "MO" ON THE TITANS' SIDE...
Cal State Fullerton enters this weekend's conference championships on somewhat of a roll after posting its best two scores of the season on the road at Arizona and Southern Utah. The Titans posted a then-previous high of 193.000 to finish third in a quad meet in Tucson, Ariz., and then narrowly bettered that mark with a 193.025 against the Thunderbirds last weekend. In a season of gradual improvement, the 193-plus score at Southern Utah is just over four points better than the 188.875 scored by the Titans in their season-opener on Jan. 8.

FINDING BALANCE...
In zen-like fashion, the Titans went out and posted a season-high 48.850 on the balance beam last weekend against Southern Utah - only the third time Fullerton has eclipsed 48 points on the apparatus this season (vs. California and at Arizona) and is the highest score by a Titans' beam squad in just over two years since scoring a 48.975 in a three-way meet at Sacramento State on March 12, 2004. The 48.850 was the second-highest beam score in the conference this season, trailing only Utah State's 49.000 on Feb. 10 against Washington and Texas.

SPEAKING OF THE BEAM...
Junior Nicole Lim had a career night in helping the Titans to that high beam score, setting a new career mark with a 9.875 to tie for first with teammate Brittany Evans for individual honors. It is the second straight win on the apparatus for Lim, who scored a 9.825 at Arizona on March 11 to win the event in Tucson. In addition, Lim has a pair of second-place finishes and two more top five finishes on the apparatus this season.

A SPECIAL SPECIALIST...
Sophomore Amanda Van Horn competed in all 11 meets for the Titans on vault as a rookie and has taken her performances to another level in her second season at Fullerton. Van Horn has scored 9.70 or better in seven of the Titans' 10 meets this season, including a career-best 9.825 in a quad meet at UCLA on Feb. 19. If the season were to end today, Van Horn's season average of 9.715 would rank 10th on the school's single-season list on the apparatus, just mere points (.005 to be exact) behind Heather Fritzsche's 1995 average of 9.72 for eighth place.

FAB FRESHMEN...
Freshman Jessica Tait has been a big contributor to the Titans' beam lineup this season, posting scores of 9.60 or better in all but three of the Titans' meets this season - including a career-best 9.75 on the apparatus against Southern Utah last weekend.

On vault, Oregon native Alana Mouery has also been a consistent performer, reaching 9.60 or better four times, including a career-best 9.725 in her first career meet.

ALL-AROUND CONSISTIENCY...
Need a score no matter the event? The Titans have turned to a trio of athletes this season in juniors Brittany Evans and Erica Ficarrotta along with senior Brittany Hoffman. Hoffman, an NCAA Regional qualifier last season, has posted a team-high seven all-around scores of 38 points or higher - including each of her last two meets. Ficarrotta has reached 38 points six times this season, including a team-best 38.800 against California on Feb. 26. Evans has reached the 38-point mark three times this season, but two of those have come in her last two meets, including a season-best 38.325 at Arizona (March 11).

ABOUT THE COACH...
Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Richard Gishi is in his first season at the helm of the Titans' women's gymnastics program after spending the previous six years, and 10 seasons overall, as an assistant coach.

It is the first head coaching position for Gishi, who was hired as the third head coach in the history of the program on April 15, 2005, after Julie Bowse moved to the administrative side of things as Cal State Fullerton's Assistant Athletics Director in charge of compliance.

A local product from Westminster, Calif., Gishi graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 1998 with a degree in kinesiology and health promotion and earned his teaching credential in 2002.

He competed at UCLA from 1978 to 1980 and coached at the club level at Jetes from 1973-78 and SCATS in Huntington Beach, where he worked with the elite group in 1984 before becoming a full-time coach in 1986.

SCORE CHANGE BENEFITS TITANS...
A win is a win... even if it is late in coming. Cal State Fullerton was belatedly declared the winner of its season-opening quad meet against North Carolina State, San Jose State, and Utah State after the NCAA allowed the Titans to figure in a score that was mistakenly left out of the final tabulations. Fullerton had to count an 8.50 on floor exercise instead of Brittany Evans' 9.40 in the final rotation of the night, which plummetted the Titans into third place with a 187.975. However, after consulting with the meet officials and comparing the results of the originial scoresheet, the Titans were allowed to figure in Evans' final score and push the team total to 188.875 - topping North Carolina State by three-tenths of a point.