Chapter 29

Lee Bjella 2014

U.W MEN

Special thanks to Eric Hughes for his excellent record keeping and for keeping the records safe all these years. Almost all of what is written below is taken directly from Erics notes and UW seasonal reviews written by Eric. updated 3-31-14

UW Men's Gymnastics Web Site

ARTICLES

YEARLY OVERVIEW

50 Years of Washington Men's Gymnastics: by Dr. Eric Hughes

The Jim Holt Era by Dr. Eric Hughes (written in the 1990's)

The 1970's-1980's by Jim Holt

2007 newspaper article

UW Men Competition Results

Head Coaches

Champions

Where are they now? Read More

Meet Coach Mark Russo by Eric Hughes -written in 1999 newsletter

Historical Notes

 

1950's

1960's

1970's

1980's

1990's

2000's

2010's


50 Years of Washington Men's Gymnastics: by Dr. Eric Hughes

Gymnastics had been taught as a PE class prior to 1950 but was not available as an extracurricular activity. In the fall of 1950 a coed gymnastics club was formed by Eric Hughes who had enrolled at the UW to work on his Doctorate Degree and serve as a teaching assistant in the PE Dept. The following fall Hughes started a boy's program through the Extension Dept. (After a few years this program developed considerable talent for Washington Teams and pressured the Athletic Director to include gymnastics as an intercollegiate sport.)

Finally in 1954-55 the club was given a small stipend with the promise it would be given minor sport status if it did well. Although a few individuals competed in various AAU and invitational meets from 1950 to 1954 the club was primarily a recreational group that put on tumbling, trampoline and hand balancing performances for both campus and off-campus functions. There was absolutely no competition available for women in the northwest in these years.

Minor Sport Era:
As promised gymnastics was added as a "minor" sport to the intercollegiate program in the 1955-56 school year. Washington State College (WSC) and University of British Columbia (UBC) were the only other colleges in the Northwest with teams but Washington also competed against the Seattle YMCA, the Vancouver, BC Turners as well as in AAU and invitational tournaments.

Major Sport Status and Fall Funding:

In 1959-60 major sport status was attained and a few scholarships awarded. It wasn't until the following year, however, that an outstanding group of freshmen enrolled and the team began to compete favorably with top teams around the country. Another even better group of freshmen enrolled in 1961 and by the following year Washington was a national power.

Era of Dominance:
From 1963 to 1973 Washington was one of the top two teams in the Conference and was ranked in the top 10 nationally every year except one. The UW was second at the NCAA Championships in 1965 and won the National AAU Championship in both 1968 and 1969. National individual championships were won with regularity in the NCAA, AAU and USGF during this period including six in the all-around. Three foreign tours (coed) were taken: 1966 to Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii; 1968 to Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Singapore and Hawaii; and 1970 to five South American countries. Many foreign national and club teams also visited Seattle to compete against the now famous Huskies. In 1966 Washington was the team champion in both the Australian and New Zealand National Meet.

Budget Cuts and Gradual Decline:
The budget was first reduced in 1972 and several times in years after that. It became difficult to recruit enough good gymnasts to maintain team depth but Washington still managed to place 12th in the nation in 1975 and 10th in 1976. Hughes started to contemplate retirement and 1976 hired Dick Foxal as an assistant with the understanding that he would be recommended for head coach in a few years. The change was made in the 1978-79 school year. Bad timing for Dick. Gymnastics was dropped as a varsity sport after the 1980 season.

Club Era (Again):
What goes around comes around. With funding gone, Dick Foxal decided to leave. Fortunately, Jim Holt, a former WSU gymnast, had been serving as an assistant for Dick and volunteered to stay on and coach a student club team. People who have not coached cannot comprehend the time a commitment like this takes. As well as the 3 to 4 hours a day 6 to 7 days a week spent in the gym, there is approximately an equal amount of time out of the gym in planning and administration details. That a WSU gymnast would step forward and save Washington gymnastics is most appreciated. For a few individuals the love of the sport overshadows any conflicting personal feelings. Thank you Jim Holt. When Jim decided to move on in 1988 to other activities, which still included considerable contribution to the sport, it was thought that competitive gymnastics at the UW would die. Fortunately an equally dedicated individual, Mark Russo, offered to fill in the void. Mark produced his share of national champions. Mark was responsible for founding the WMGF, the organization that publishes newsletters (and now has a website). The purpose of this foundation is to raise the necessary finances to foster and promote the competitive sport of men's gymnastics at the UW.

       

Eric in the 1940's, 1958 and 2002

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The Jim Holt Era by Dr. Eric Hughes (written in the 1990's)

I like to think of Jim Holt as the savior of Husky gymnastics. As I said...in a previous report...it is remarkable that a WSU graduate would step forward and save U-Dub gymnastics. For some individuals like Jim Holt, the love of the sport overshadows any conflicting personal feelings. Jim has been my favorite Cougar ever since. First a little on his background.

Jim was born in Tacoma and participated in gymnastics at Tacoma Lincoln High School during the heyday of high school gymnastics in the state. He competed on rings (his best event), pommel horse and parallel bars at WSU from 1970-1974. In 1972 he placed 4th on the rings in the National AAU meet - the toughest meet in the country in those years. His political philosophy major led him to Lewis and Clark Law School where he received his degree in 1976. A lot of you probably remember Jim as that one-legged gymnast who was outstanding on rings. I remember especially his perfect landings from full-twisting and often double back dismounts. Jim's gymnastics continued to improve after graduation from WSU and he remained active in open and invitational meets well into his 30's.

Now back to his coaching days at the U. of W. He assisted Dick Foxal for two seasons, 1979 and 1980, and took over as head coach of the "Club" team when gymnastics was terminated as an intercollegiate sport in the spring of 1980. He continued in this capacity until 1988 when the present coach, Mark Russo, took over.

In 1981 Coach Holt and a group of gymnasts, including John and Mac Smith and Stu Domeier, traveled 3,200 miles by van to finish last in the Pac-10 championships at Arizona State. As chronicled in the International Gymnasts Magazine, "No one from Washington liked finishing last, but there was pride in the program's survival."

Speaking of survival! There was at one time, over 200 intercollegiate gymnastics teams in the US. By 1975, it was down to 155. Today (at the time of this writing) there are 21 plus 2 club teams - Arizona State and Washington. After 21 years we are still surviving. Those of you who are sending your annual contributions are a major part of this. Keep your dollars coming.

Gymnasts coached by Jim Holt received many honors both during and after his tenure as U of W coach. Mac Smith qualified for the USA championships in 1985.

In 1991 Washington gymnast Ignacio Morales represented his native Bolivia at the World Gymnastics Championships. Iggy also went on to compete at the '93 Worlds in the United Kingdom and the '94 Worlds in Australia. Huskies Daniel Luna and Eric Huntzicker also had international experience representing the US in the World Club Championships in Chile.

Jim Holt has been involved in gymnastics in some way his entire life: as a competitor, as the U of W coach, as a gymnastics school owner, as a gymnastic writer, as a consultant to developing gymnastics nations and most recently working with his wife, Hannah as a girls' coach at Roosevelt High School. Jim is truly one of those individuals who has given back to the sport in many many ways. (Note from Lee; Jim and Hannah have also judged girls high school gymnastics.)

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The 1970's-1980's by Jim Holt

In 1975, there were 155 Varsity gymnastics men's programs in the US. Today (1990's?) there are 23. Of the 120+ programs whose funding was cut, only two survive. The UW Athletic Dept. dropped funding for the Husky program in May 1980. A group of students including veteran gymnasts Mac and John Smith and Stu Domeier, kept the program alive and travelled 1600 miles by van to finish last at the 1981 Pac-10 Championships. As chronicled in the April 1982 International Gymnast Magazine article, "No one liked finishing last, but there was pride in the program's survival."

Highlights of the rebuilding years of the mid-80's include long time captain Mac Smith being voted a Nissen Award finalist (1984), and his qualification to the 1985 USA Championships.

The UW program's major breakthrough's in the modern era began in 1990 when the Huskies beat longtime rivals Cal-Berkeley in a dual meet marking the 1st time since 1980 that the Dawgs had won over a Pac-10 school. That same year saw the UW age-group program attain national prominence with incoming freshman Mike Williams making the US National Team by virtue of his 4th place finish at Nationals, and teammate Mark Oliver winning the National J.O. High Bar title.

Perhaps the most suprising of this one "left for dead" program's achievements occurred in 1991 when the UW's Ignacio Morales represented his native Bolivia at the World Gymnastics Championships. Iggy would go on to compete in the 1993 World's (Birmingham, UK) and 1994 World's (Brisbane, AUS) to cap his distinguished international career.

Huskies Daniel Luna and Eric Huntzicker also had international opportunities and represented the USA at the (unofficial) "World Club Championships" in Chile in 1992.

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YEARLY OVERVIEW

1950's

1950
Eric Hughes came to UW to work on his doctorate degree and he started the men's program. More information on Dr. Eric Hughes

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1951-1954
Eric wrote in 1970 to Mr. Bruce Maurer at the Edmundson Pavilion: "How Gymnastics became a varstiy sport at UW: There is very little to add to what has already been said in the Review of the '54-'55 Gymnastics Season. The following will supplement this document. Prior to my coming to the UW in 1950, there were three men who had worked with the sport of gymnastics in the Physical Education Department (at UW) - Auernheimer, Cutler and Paul Smith. Smith came in about 1948 and is now (1970) Director of Physical Education in the Shoreline District. As far as I know, none of them made any real effort to establish gymnastics as a competitive activity. When I arrived in September of 1950, to work on a Doctor's Degree, I started a coeducational gymnastics group primarily as a recreational outlet for myself. It was something I liked to do in my spare time. Of course, I was busy with studies during the '50-'51 school year so only devoted one evening a week to the group. In the fall of 1951, I was hired full-time in the Physical Education Department and had more time to devote to the extra-curricular group as I only took one course per quarter as I progressed slowly toward my Ed.D. Starting in the fall of 1951, I began to pressure Athletic Director Harvey Cassill to make gymnastics a varsity sport. Professor Cutler, Executive Officer of the Men's Physical Education Department supported me in this and sat in on several meetings I had with Mr. Cassill. Harvey was hard "to sell" however, and it took four years of pressure before he "gave in" and partially financed the "club" during the 19 54-'55 year in several competitions. Because of the interest shown, Mr. Cassill's interest increased and he established gymnastics as a minor sport for the 1955-'56 school year.

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1954-'55
Permission was given by Athletic Director Harvey Cassill to start gymnastics competition on a "club" basis with minor financial support from the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Cassill told Eric Hughes, that if the season was successful gymnastics would be established as a minor sport with letter awards in the 1955-'56 school year. A coed gymnastics club organized by Hughes had been in existence since the 1950-'51 school year. This club had emphasized activities suitable for men and women, particularly hand balancing, tumbling, and trampoline. Many exhibitions and demonstrations were presented. Competition was not a club activity although one member, Rudy Peterson, did enter a few AAU meets; and in the spring of 1954 Eugene Murphy and Charlie Michaelson, along with several other Seattle gymnasts, participated in the Northwest AAU Championships in Courney, British Columbia.

Three meets were entered in 1954-'55; A dual meet between the club and Seattle area "has beens". Actually a few high school youngsters participated on the "has been" team. The club won this meet 29.5 to 24.5. Members of the "has been" team were: George Lewis, Eric Hughes, Eddie Gross (1932 Olympian and Silver Medalist in Tumbling ), Vern Freese, Harold Willets, Walt Tabor, and Jim Norman. High school students were Bill Crow, Jim David, and Guy Moen.

At The Pacific Northwest College Invitational at WSC in Pullman, the Huskies placed third in this meet with 25 points, behind WSC with 138 points and Montana State College with 38. Idaho was fourth with 15 points.

The Pacific Northwest AAU Championships were held at UW. Three classes were held at this meet - novice, junior and senior. Husky Club members entered according to their ability. As a team, the club placed third in the senior division behind WSC and the Vancouver, B.C. Y.M.C.A. First in the junior division, and fifth in the novice division. Club members who entered one or more meets were: Joe Firpo, Jim Hilton, Eugene Murphy, Charlie Michaelson, Dick Bjerke, Pat McGunnigle, Jim Thoving, Ken Hauselman, Jim Lang, and George Staten. Special award winners: Most Valuable Freshman - Pat McGunnigle, Most Valuable Varsity - Charlie Michaelson, Inspirational - Joe Firpo, Captain - Eugene Murphy.

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1955-'56
The UW recognized the men's gymnastics team as a varsity sport. The gymnastic season was very successful considering it was the first year for competition on a varsity level. Opposing teams were all long established on the varsity basis. In collegiate competition, the record was 3 wins and 2 losses. Against club competition the team won 1 and lost 1. In the Northwest AAU meet, it placed second in team scoring in the senior division behind the University Hill Gymnastics Club of Vancouver, BC.

A total of fifteen students turned out for the entire season. Several more started the season and dropped, others started turning out during the latter part of the season. Eleven students participated in one or more meets. Eight students participated regularly. Only one team member graduated. Over half the team were freshmen.

Northwest AAU meet at Vancouver UW takes 2nd. Roy Ikeda won Rope and Bill Crow won Tumbling and Tramp.
Award Winners: Dick Bjerke, Bill Crow, Joe Firpo, Jim Hilton, Jim Lang, Pat McGunnigle, Charlie Michaelson.
Most Valuable Freshman, BillCrow; Most Valuable Varsity, Charlie Michaelson; Inspirational, Joe Firpo; Captain, Jim Hilton.

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1956-'57
The season was opened with another meet against the "has beens" who had Mel Robben, an ex-UCLA star, and Hale Newcomer, fron the University of Illinois, in their line-up. The star of the "has been" team, however, was Joe Firpo who had been a Husky in 1956. The Huskies won the meet.

In dual meets the record was 3-1. Bill Crow led the UW in beating WSC at home 88.5-55.5, after getting beat by WSC previously 73-71. He also won free ex., tramp, flying rings and tumbling. He was 3rd in long horse. Michelson (p bars) and McGonnigle (long horse) also took firsts for UW.

At the Northwest AAU meet held at Seattle Pacific College (SPC), UW won. Huskies scored 63.75 points. WSC was second with 57 and EWCE was 3rd with 30.75 points. Ron Sullivan from Eastern Washington College(EWC) (former WSC gymnast) won long horse, parallel bars, and AA. and Bill Crow of UW won free exercise, tumbling and trampoline. George Staton won the side horse.

At the PNW College Invite at WSC, Bill Crow won trampoline. The team took 2nd with 75 points to WSC's 82 points, Eastern was third with 34. Eugene Murphy won rope climb and Staton won side horse. Award winners were: Robert Bevan, Bill Crow, Ronald Curry, Charlie Denny, Leslie Driscoll, Kenneth Hauselman, Roy Ikeda, George Staton. Other regular team members were: Pat McGunnigle, Mike Miller, Ed McGuire. Special Award Winners were: Most Valuable Freshman, Bob Bevan; Most Valuable Varsity, Bill Crow; Inspirational, Ken Hauselman; Captain, Gene Murphy.


1st row: Coach Eric Hughes, Charlie Denny, Jack Biehl, Pat McGunnigle, Jim Lang, ?, Dick Allen.
top row: John Temple, Bill Crow, Ken Hauselman, ?, Les Driscoll, asst. coach Bob Sarver

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1957-'58
It was a successful season in both the number of students turning out, and the number of meets won. A total of 28 men turned out, 13 were used in one or more meets, and 7 were given minor "W" awards. The highlight of the season was the winning of the Northwest AAU team championship for the second straight year.

UW went to Pullman where WSC beat UW 76-52 on Feb 22nd. Bill Crow took first in free exercise, trampoline and tumbling in the meet against WSC, but the team lost at Pullman.
In an article from a local paper concerning the upcoming WSC vs. UW home meet: "Charlie Denney has added an intricate routine to his bag of tricks. He does a double back flip at the end of his performance on the flying rings." Bill Crow is quoted in this article as saying, "The team is developing so well, and prospects are so good that after next year I don't believe WSC will ever beat us again." On Feb. 28th UW won 88.5 -71.5.

Northwest College Invite at Pullman, UW took 2nd with 74 points and Bill Crow took first on Trampoline.
Pacific Coast Conference Championship -UW had 4 athletes entered: UCLA won with 201.5 points. UW was 4th with 40. Bill Crow was 2nd on tramp and 5th in Floor. McGunnigle was 5th on rings and 6th in AA.

Other gymnasts for the UW at this time were Alex Shevalaier (out with a dislocated elbow), John Temple, Pat McGunnigle Jack Biehl, Les Driscoll, George Staton, Ken Hauselman, and Jim Lang.

Eric recommended that Gymnastics be raised to a major sport for the coming year. Award winners were: Bill Crow, Charlie Denny, Les Driscoll, Ken Hauselman, Jim Lang, Pat McGunnigle, and John Temple. Pat McGunnigle elected captian for '58-'59; Bill Crow most valuable varsity; Jack Biehl most valuable freshman; Les Driscoll inspirational award.

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1958-1959
Pat McGunnigle was captain. The team was more successful each year. They participated in nine meets, winning eight of them. They had a junior varsity team. (Participated in two meets, won 1, lost 1.) A total of 20 men turned out, 11 on varsity, 8 were recommended for either Major "W" or Minor "W" awards.

Highlights: Undefeated in dual meets. Won Northwest College Invitation meet held at UBC. Eric took four men to the NCAA meet at Berkeley. This was the first time UW had ever participated in a national gymnastics meet. Two men qualified in the top ten, and therefore, for the finals. (Charlie Denny, 11th on trampoline, 5th on flying rings; Jim Lang 13th on tramp, 14th on flying rings, and 19th in tumbling; John Temple 22nd on side horse, and Ron Curry competed in rope climb but had no finishing placement.

At the Northwest AAU at Highline H.S.: UW took first with 30 points. Charlie Denny won tramp and flying rings. Eric notes that "the only unhappy occurrence during the season was in the Northwest AAU meet when Gerhard Kramer, the best performer on the team, fell off the horizontal bar and injured his wrist. This was the only regular season meet in which we were defeated."

At the NW College meet, Gerhard Kramer won high bar, still rings, free ex, parllel bars, and all-around. Jim Lang won tramp, and Charlie Denny won the flying rings.

On March 20-21 the NCAA Championships shows UW with 4 points. Eric once again recommends that Gymnastics be raised to a Major sport. Awards: Ron Curry, Charlie Denny, Ken Kennerud, Gerhard Kramer, James Lang, Alex Shevalier, John Temple. Gerhard Kramer was the first foreign student to be on the UW Gymnastics team. Gerhard voted MVP. Ken Kennerud was voted most promising freshman. Charlie Denny most Inspirational, and Jim Lang Captain for next season.

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1959-1960 - Results
The varsity team participated in seven dual or tri meets, winning all of them. Three tournaments were entered and team championships were won in two of the three. The freshman team participated in four dual or tri meets. Their record was one win and three losses. They participated in one tournament, the Pacific Northwest AAU and won the team championship in the junior division.

This was the first year as a "major" sport. It was the first year for a freshman team. In previous years freshmen were eligible for varsity competition. A total of 15 varsity and 12 freshmen turned out during the season, 8 participated in varsity meets, 7 in freshmen meets. 8 were recommended for the Big W award, 6 freshmen were recommended for numerals.

Terry Hildebrand

One very unfortunate accident occurred early in the year. Terry Hildebrand, promising freshman (graduate of Highline High School), who was a nationally ranked gymnast and Olympic prospect, fell off the horizontal bar and broke his back. This accident resulted in paralysis from the waist down.

Awards: Ken Kennerud captain for next season. Bill Crow most valuable gymnast. Lew Landers most promising freshman. Alf Lind Coaches' Inspirational trophy.

Pacific Coast Invite at Berkeley. Bill Crow won long horse and tumbling.
UW 1st place with 83 points at the Pacific Northwest AAU at Como Lake, BC. Bill Crow won tumbling, long horse, and tramp. Alf Lind won still rings.
UW took first at the Pacific Northwest College Invite (home meet) with 131 points. Alf Lind won side horse, still rings, p. bars and all-around. Bill Crow won tumbling and horizontal bar. Jim Lang won flying rings and tramp.

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1960's

1960-1961 - Results
Seven dual meets, (not including the freshmen meet) record 5 wins, 2 losses. Placed third in the Northwest College Championships, 2nd in the senior division of Northwest AAU Championships, and fourth in AAWU Championship meet. The freshmen placed fifth in Northwest College Championships and first in the junior division of Northwest AAU meet. 17 varsity and 15 freshment turned out during the season.

Eight participated in the varsity meets and were recommended for the Big "W" Awards: Doug Barnard, Wendland Beezhold, Lew Landers, Ken Lombardo, Bruce Richardson, Dave Skartvedt, Phil Thorne, and Mike Vergillo. Ten freshmen were recommended for Numerals. Mike Vergillo and Lew Landers were elected co-captains for the next season; Phil Thorne voted the outstanding gymnast; Ron Boyd most promising freshman; and Mickey Vergillo most inspirational.

At the Northwest College Championships, Phil Thorne won Horizontal Bar, and Dan Miller won Rope Climb. At the Northwest AAU meet Doug Barnard won the Rope Climb.

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1961-1962 - Results
Varsity participated in five dual meets (not including the freshmen and purple and gold meets). The season record was 3-1-1. Varsity placed first in the Northwest College Championships, sixth in the Western Intercollegiate Gymnastics Assoc. Championships, and fourth in the AAWU Conference Championships. 17 varsity and 10 freshmen turned out this season. Eleven varsity and four freshmen were recommended for awards. Varsity "W": Ron Boyd, John Clegg, John Deininger, James Dieterich, James Hubbard, Lewis Landers, Harold Lyons, Clifford Miller, David Skartvedt, John Torkelson, Michael Vergillo. Freshman Major Numerals: James David, Gary Finne, Bob Hall, Ekkehard Preikschat.

Lew Landers was the Outstanding Gymnast, Bob Hall, Most Promising Freshman, and Mickey Vergillo, Inspiration Award. Lew Landers was elected captain for the next season.

Freshman Bob Hall won the Pacific Northwest College All-Around Championship - Freshman division. Dan Miller set a new UW and Pacific NW rope climb record of 4.0 seconds. Later in the season this record was tied by John Clegg. Lew Landers won horizontal bar, still rings; and Harold Lyons won Trampoline. At the Northwest AAU meet, Lew Landers won horizontal bar.

Lew and John were sent to the National Collegiate Meet in Albuquerque. John tied for seventh in the rope climb and Lew placed 10th in long horse.

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1962-1963 - Results
The Huskies won the Pacific Northwest College Championship in Cheney, the AAWU Conference Championships in LA and the WIGA Championship in Pullman.(The 2nd largest college meet in the country.)

Gunter Bohrmann (German foreign exchange student) won the following all-around places, 1st at Pacific Northwest; 2nd at WIGA, 3rd at AAWU. He also won 1st in the long horse at the WIGA. Jim David won the following: 1st at AAWU and WIGA in floor and 1st in tumbling at WIGA.

At the NWCC, Jim David 1st on floor, Harold Lyons won Trampoline, Bob Hall won side horse, Gunter won on Horizontal bar, long horse, parallel bars, and all-around, and Kjell Hansen 1st on rings. At the AAWU, Jim David won floor. At the WIGA Jim David was 1st on floor and tumbling, and Gunter Bohrmann took long horse.

NCAA - Four gymnasts were sent to the National Collegiate Championships in Pittsburgh: Jim David 10th on Trampoline, 5th on floor and 4th on tumbling. Kjell Hansen took 10th all-around. Bob Hall and John Torkelson failed to score points.

Awards: Major "W" went to Gunter Bohrmann, Jim David, Jim Dieterich, Bob Hall, Kjell Hansen, Harold Lyons, Brian Sternberg and John Torkelson. Freshmen major numeral awards went to Michael Flansaas, Michael Lovell, Ron Wallace, Jon Warren, and Gary Wood. 17 varsity and 8 freshmen turned out during the season. 8 varsity and 5 freshmen participated in competition, and won letters and numerals. Jim David was elected captain for 1964 and Gunter Bohrmann won Outstanding varsity gymnast, Mike Lovell won Mosts pormising freshman, and Bob Hall and Harold Lyons won the Inspirational award.

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1963-1964 - Results
UW was ranked among the top four teams in the nation. Varsity was undefeated in dual competition and won the Pacific NW Championships in Seattle, the AAWU Championship in LA and the Western Intercollegiate Championships in Tucson. The freshman team competed as a separate team in the PNW Championship meet and placed 4th.

18 varsity and 6 freshmen turned out, with 11 varsity and 4 freshmen competing and earning letters. Bob Hall was elected captain for the 1965 season: Jim David , Most Valuable Varsity gymnast: Mark Buckingham - Most Promising Freshman: Bob Hall - Most Inspirational.

At the NW College Invite, Jim David won floor and trampoline, Bob Hall won side horse, horizontal bar, long horse, p. bars, and all-around. Gary Finne won rings.
At the AAWU Conference: Jim David won floor and tumbling and Bob Hall won side horse, horizontal bar and all-around.
National Meet Qualifiers and places: Jim David won 3rd on floor and also competed on trampoline. Bob Hall tied for 2nd on Side horse, and tied for 4th in all-around. Mike Lovell took 9th all-around. Mark Buckingham took 5th on long horse. Rick Fonceca competed on trampline. Bob Hall and Jim David were selected All-American,

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1964-1965 - Results
This year culminated in a 2nd place finish at NCAA championships
. The progression to the Nationals was a tough single elimination. The rules were changed this year so that only two teams ended up going to Nationals. It was very exciting for the UW. This form of elimination only lasted this one year.

Varsity won 5 dual meets during the regular season and then 3 more dual meets on the way to the National Finals. Season record was 8-1 after being beaten by Penn State. UW won the PNW College Championships. All-around winner was Bob Hall who also won side horse, horizontal bar, long horse, and p bars.

12 varsity and 5 freshmen turned out for the season. 10 varsity and 5 freshmen were used in competition. Two varsity were held out of competition to save the year of eligibility. 9 varsity and 4 freshmen received letter awards. Mike Lovell was elected captain for the 1966 season, Bob Hall won Most Valuable Varsity, Paul Grace won Most Promising Freshman, and Jim David won Most Inspirational. Bob Hall and Jim David were selected All-American.

Big "W" Winners: Mark Buckingham, Jim David, Gary Finne, Eigil Flaathen, Rick Fonceca, Bob Hall, Gene Jensen, Mike Lovell, Steve Lovell.
Frosh Numeral Winners: Randy Brown, Paul Grace, Bill Haworth, Jan Hardin.

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1965-1966 - Results
11th year of intercollegiate participation in gymnastics. The season opened with a dual meet against the alumni. This proved to be a very popular event. In regular season varsity won five and lost one dual meet. For the fifth year in a row they won the Pacific Northwest Championhip but for the first time in three years, they were beaten by Cal. in the Conference Meet and the Western District Meet. Their second place finish in those two meets enabled them to go to the NCAA Meet where they finished in 7th place. This was the fourth year in a row that UW placed in the top ten in the nation.

At the PNW College Meet, held at U of Oregon on Feb 26th, Mike Flansaas was the all-around winner. UW had 180.95 points to take first place.

Over 30 freshmen and varsity turned out during the season. Thirteen varsity and nine freshmen were used in competition and twelve varsity and seven freshmen received letters or numeral awards. Mike Flansaas was elected captain for the 1967 season. The Most Valuable Gymnast for 1966 was Mike Flansaas, the Most Promising Freshman was Mark Peterson, and Most Inspirational was Mike Lovell.

The Husky Gymnastics Club spent eight weeks touring Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii during the summer. The group consisted of Bo Bennett, Gunter Bohrmann, Jim David, Gary Finne, Eigil Flaathen, Mike Flansaas, Bob Hall and Mike Lovell. They participated in the Australian and the New Zealand National Championships and won the title in both countries.

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1966-1967- Results
Eric notes that this year's team scored as high as any previous team at UW, including the team that placed second in the nation in 1965. But because of the tremendous improvement in intercollegiate gymnastics in general and especially in the AAWU Confernece, UW placed considerably lower in some meets than other Washington teams in recent years. High score in 1965 was 183 in the National finals against Penn State. This year's team also recorded a 183 high. This year's team was a well-balanced team with depth but no individual stars.

Several top performers were lost due to academic problems which weakened the team prior to the start of the season. Mike Flansaas who might have been an individual stand out was hampered by one injury after another and never did reach the level of his junior year. In spite of the ability of the team, it did not qualify for the national meet.

UW Frosh Team 66-67

For the 6th year in a row, UW won the PNW Championship Meet, but had their lowest finish in five years in the Conference (4th) and the Western Region Meet (4th). Because of that 4th place finish at Regionals, they did not qualify for Nationals.

Over thirty individuals turned out for gymnastics during the year. 14 varsity and 7 freshmen were used in competition, with 11 varsity and 6 freshmen winning awards. Varsity: Mark Buckingham, Dennis Clemmons, Eigil Flaathen, Mike Flansaas, Rick Fonceca, Tom Gester, Jan Hardin, Gene Jensen, Steve Lovell, Mark Peterson, Pat Ruckert. Freshmen: Bo Bennett, Sho Fukushima, Yoshi Hayasaki, Charlie Peters, Ron Yound, Bob Fauman.

Jan Hardin, a junior from Seattle, was elected captain for 1968. Eigil Flaathen was named Most Valuable; Yoshi Hayasaki Most Promising Freshman; Charlie Peters Most Inspirational.

Gunter Bohrmann was the freshman coach, and Curt Sweet was also an assistant coach - working with the trampolinists.

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1967-1968 - Results
Dual meet record for 1968 was 10 wins, 2 losses for an over-all record of 74-12-1. This team was the best in UW history and probably the youngest. Of the fourteen who competed, two were seniors, three juniors and nine sophomores. The alumni beat the Huskies for the third year in a row. One of the highlights of the season was a television meet against the University of Illinois. This was a "first" and recieved considerable nationwide publicity by CBS and Sports Illustrated as well as being of local interest. Illinois won the meet, but fortunately TV meets were not accepted as as official, so it did not count as a loss.

For the seventh year in a row, the Huskies won the PNW Championship. In the Conference, UW placed 2nd behind a very strong U of Cal. This was the only college team to beat the Huskies during the dual meet season and they went on to place first at NCAA nationals.

For the first time, the Conference was used as the qualifying meet for the Nationals. The Regional meets, used since 1965, were eliminated. Qualifying was cut from three teams to one and from eight individuals to three. Because of this, in spite of an excellent team and outstanding individuals, UW only qualified two men for the Nationals; Yoshi Hayasaki and John Anthony. Yoshi placed second in the all-around and second in parallel bars. John placed 11th on the trampoline. Yoshi was selected All-American.

Twenty-five individuals turned out for gymnastics during the year. Fourteen varsity and eight freshmen were used in meets. Mark Peterson was elected captain for 1969. Hide Umeshita won Most Promising Freshman award; Yoshi Hayasaki won Outstanding Varsity Gymnast and Charlie Peters, for the second year won Most Inspirational. Assistant coaches included Curt Sweet, Mike Flansaas, and Ike Flaathen. Managers were Loren Woodward and Bob Bologa.

In a supplement to Eric Hughes' review of the season states that "a spur of the moment decision sent Yoshi Hayasaki and Mauno Nissinen as representatives of the Husky Gym Club to the USGF National Championship in Memphis on April 25-27. Yoshi won the all-around and placed 1st in rings, p bars, horizontal bar, 2nd in long horse and floor and 6th on side horse. Mauno Nissinen was 5th all-around and on side horse.

A team of eight men from the Husky Gym Club won the National AAU Gymnastics Team Championship in Long Beach, CA. This was the third National title for the Husky Gym Club. (The national titles in Australia and New Zealand in 1966 and this one.)

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1968-1969 - Results
This was a disappointing year, even though the win-loss record was good, the season was plagued with injuries. A review of the top college teams in the Modern Gymnast magazine read: "As everyone realized, Washington is the team to beat in both the Pac-8 and the NCAA." About the time the Modern Gymnast went to press, Yoshi Hayasaki severed his Achilles tendon and was out for the season. Later, Captain Mark Peterson, who strained tendons in his leg early in the fall was unable to compete all year in floor and vault, his two best events. Mark was expected to be a conference champ in floor and a national contender. Hide Umeshita injured his back during the summer and didn't reach top form during the season. He was unable to compete until the last two meets of the year. Hide was the outstanding freshman the year before and was expected to push Yoshi in the all-around. About the time Hide got in the line-up, Bruce Denton was lost because of a forearm strain.

Mauno Nissinen and Sho Fukushima both suffered injuries (broken heel and broken finger) early in the season and were out a good part of the year. The dual season still was 10-0. The overall dual meet record was 84-12-1.

The varsity beat the alumni, and for the eighth year in a row, UW won the PNW Championships, with Sho Fukushima winning floor, side horse, rings, long horse horizontal bar and all-around, and Charlie Peters winning p bars. In the Pac-8 Conference, UW placed second behind Cal. Eric notes that in this meet, Cal was especially hot and Washington especially cold.

As a result of this meet, Cal qualifed for the NCAA Nationals and UW did not. Nissinen won side horse horizontal bar and the all-around, and he went on to win the NCAA all-around and thus became the first NCAA champion for UW. He placed 3rd on horizontal bar and 4th on side horse. Nationals were held at UW this year for the first time on April 3-5. Sho Fukushima and Tomi Ozora qualified to nationals as individual competitors. In the finals, Sho finished 5th in both the all-around and the horizontal bar. Mauno and Sho were selected All-American.

After the regular season, the Husky Gym Club participated in the National AAU meet in Atlanta, Georgia. Members of the group were Mauno Nissinen, Tomi Ozora, and the two assistant coaches, Mike Flansaas and Kanati Allen. Yoshi Hayasaki also participated as an unattached entry since he was not cleared medically yet. Since Hughes could not take Hayasaki with the club, Yoshi traveled to the meet by himself and at his own expense. Yoshi was only able to compete in a few events before his injury forced him to discontinue. The Huskies won the championship for the second year in a row. Mauno Nissinen won the all-around, placed 2nd on side horse, 3rd on p bars, 4th on still rings and 4th on horizontal bar. Kanati Allen finished 6th in floor. Yoshi won p bars.

Fourteen varsity and twelve freshmen turned out for the season but only twelve and eight, respectively, completed the season. This was the smallest turn-out in the past 10 years. Bo Bennett and Charlie Peters were elected co-captains for '69-'70. Tomi Ozora was Most Promising Freshman; Mauno Nissinen Outstanding Varsity and Sho Fukushima was Most Inspirational. Managers for this years team were Loren Woodward, Dick Sparks, Art Hetland, and John Smozek.

Varsity letters went to Bo Bennet, Bruce Denton, Sho Fukushima, Mauno Nissinen, Charlie Peters, Mark Peterson, Brent Rule, Hide Umeshita and Tomi Ozora. Tomi was a freshman who qualified for the varsity award by placing in the Conference meet. He was the first freshman under the new rules to qualify. Freshman awards went to Kirk Edwards, Gary Fox, Art Hetland, Ron Hunter, Ralph Reitan, Chuck Sanders, and Tomi Ozora.

On Jan 30th, the Swiss Nationals Men's Team met the Husky Gymnastic Club at UW. The Swiss team was comprised of seven men, representing seven Swiss Turnvereins, and was coached by Jack Gunthard, "rated as the top coach in the world". Competing for the Huskies was Mauno Nissinen, Kanati Allen , Sho Fukushima, Mike Flansaas, Bob Hall, and Gunter Bohrmann. The Jusky team was defeated 275.2 - 269.6. Mauno Nissinen placed second in the all-around.

1968 Seattle Gymnastics Club. (Back row, L to R.) Dr. Eric Hughes, Yoshi Hayasaki, Bo Bennett, Jim David, Bob Hall, Mike Flansaas, Charles Peters, Gunter Bohrmann.  (Front row) Jean Henderson, Carol Elsner, Barbara Cook, Linda Bennett, Peggy Rowen.

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1969-1970 - Results
This season was almost an exact repeat of the 1969 season. The team had the potential to win the Conference and maybe the NCAA, but because of injuries which partially disabled two key men, they did not have the depth to beat a powerful California team. In the fall Tomi Ozora ruptured a disc in his lower back. It gradually got worse during the season so that by the time of the conference meet he was only able to work three events instead of his usual five. Team captain Bo Bennett had had problems with his feet since his sophomore year and was unable to practice for almost a month prior to the Conference meet. In spite of considerable pain, he practiced one day just prior to the meet and participated in two events.

The Varsity scored its second win over the alumni in the first (non-counting) dual meet of the year and continued its winning ways during the regular season, losing a close meet on the road to Cal. for the only loss. Overall dual record was now 93-13-1. For the 9th year in a row, UW won the PNW Championship meet at Oregon but by placing 2nd to California in the Conference, UW once again failed to qualify to Nationals. At the PNW Meet, Umeshita won floor and Hayasaki won side horse, rings, p bars, horizontal bar, and all-around.

At Pac-8 Conference, Hayasaki and Umeshita placed one-two in the all-around, and UW qualified more individuals to finals than any other team. Hayasaki won rings, p bars and horizontal bar and Umeshia, Kolsrud, Leiman, and Denton placed high in one or more events.

Three men qualified for NCAA meet at Temple in Philadelphia: Yoshi Hayasaki, Hide Umeshita and Lars Kolsrud. Yoshi won the all-around championship and horizontal bar. Hide placed 3rd in the all-around. All three men placed high in other events. This was the second year in a row for the Huskies to have the top collegiate gymnast. Both Yoshi and Hide were selected for the All-American team.

For the first time, UW had a JV team. Because of the new NCAA ruling allowing freshmen to compete on the varsity team, a JV team seemed more appropriate than one composed only of freshmen.

Two newcomers helped the varsity team: Kerry Leiman, transfer from Pierce JC in LA, earned a berth on rings. Mickey Wissler, also from LA was the only freshman to make the team. Eleven upper classmen and ten freshmen turned out for the season. Yoshi Hayasaki was elected captain for 1971 and Jim Blackstock was named Most Promising Freshman; Yoshi Hayasaki, Outstanding Varsity; and Hide Umeshita, Most Inspirational.

Assistant coaches were Sho Fukushima and Kanati Allen. Managers were Dick Sparks and Dan Schuler. Varsity Award winners were: Bruce Brinton, Bruce Denton, Norm Ewald, Yoshi Hayasaki, Ron Hunter, Lars Kolsrud, Kerry Leiman, Tomi Ozora, and Hide Umeshita. JV winners were: Kirt Bare, Jim Blackstock, Bruce Brinton, Frank Foreman, Gary Fox, Gordon Jones, Kerry Leiman, Chuck Sanders, Mickey Wissler, and Mike Wong.

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1970's

1970-1971 - Results
All-time record 98 wins, 14 losses, and 1 tie. This was a winning season. This year marked the first time since the addition of gymnstics to the program that there was a decrease in budget instead of an increase. Because of finances, meets were hard to obtain and only six official competitions were scheduled. For the 10th year in a row, UW dominated the PNW Championships, held at the U of BC. Brinton won floor, Denton won side horse, Leiman won rings, Gaylor won long horse, and Hayasaki won horizontal bar and all-around.

For the fourth year in a row, UW and California were ranked as the powers in the Pac 8, with Cal winning by a very narrow margin of 1.45 points. This was a very disappointing loss, as everyone on the team believed they were going to win. Their optimism was based on the fact that "compulsory exercises" were counting toward team standing for the first time and they had a strong team in compulsories. Cal won the compulsories 146.85-145.35 with UW winning the optionals 160.55-160.50. Hayasaki took first in the Pac 8, and Umeshita was 4th and Fukushima 5th. Hayasaki won rings, p bars, and horizontal bar. Sanders won side horse. Four men qualified for one or more events at the NCAA: Gaylor, Hayasaki, Sanders and Umeshita.

At the NCAA, Yoshi won the all-around for the second year in a row. He was pushed by Brent Simmons of Iowa State.Yoshi placed 5th in rings, 4th on p bars, and 6th on horizontal bar. The other three UW men did not qualify for finals. Hide Umeshita was 11th in vault and 17th in floor. Rich Gaylor placed 10th in vault and Chuck Sanders 14th on side horse.

Yohsi Hayasaki was a selection for the All-American team for the third year. (1968, and 1970) Three newcomers at UW in 1971 showed special promise. Richard Gaylor from Midwest City, Oklahoma, proved to be a good all-around man and outstanding in long horse. Joe Hughes, Sunnyvale, CA., slowed by an appendectomy in mid-season, also came on strong as an all-around prospect. The outstanding freshman specialist was Bill Carpenter, a horizontal bar man form Willmette, Ill.

A total of 25 men turned out for the season. Several others dropped during the year. Seventeen participated on the varsity team, and eleven on the JV team. Fifteen men won a varsity award and nine a JV award. Ron Hunter was elected captain for the next year, and Most Promising Freshman was Joe Hughes, Outstanding Varsity was awarded to Yoshi Hayasaki, and Most Inspirational was Sho Fukushima. The coaching staff included Bob Bosse as an assistant, and also Konati Allen. Fumio Yakota, exchange teacher at Roosevelt High and Gunter Bohrmann, high school coach from Kent, were hired to come in part-time.

Varsity Award winners: Bruce Brinton, Bill Carpenter, Bruce Denton, Norm Ewald, Gary Fox, Sho Fukushima, Rich Gaylor, Yoshi Hayasaki, Joe Hughes, Ron Hunter, Lars Kolsrud, Kerry Leiman, Jan Ornholt, Chuck Sanders and Hide Umeshita. JV Award winners: Dale Burson, Chuck Draper, Peter Paulson, and Steve Yates.

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1971-1972 - Results
Washington's 1972 team was young and inexperienced, but quite deep. This 17th season was a winning one with a record of nine wins and two losses. The all-time record at the end of the season was 107 wins, 16 losses, and one tie. Finances became even more of a problem in 1972 than in 1971. The budget for gymnastics was decreased slightly for the second year in a row. The only real noticeable curtailment of the program, however, was the elimination of the JV team.

The season started with the annual Alumni Meet. The varsity won. For the 11th year in a row, the Huskies won the PNW Championship which was held at Portland State University. For the first time, however, the Huskies failed to dominate the meet. A very strong Oregon team pushed UW all the way. Rich Gaylor won the vault, and Ron Hunter won all-around.

For the first time since 1962, Washington was not considered a strong contender in the Pac-8 Conference. Cal, which was the top team, was on NCAA probation because of rule infractions in football and track. This meant that the second team at the conference meet, which was held in Pullman, would qualify for the Nationals. Three teams were in strong contention for that second place, UW, Stanford and Oregon. Cal won the meet and UW was second and won the trip to NCAA Nationals. This was one of the most exciting meets ever for the Huskies. On the first day, Washington built up a 2.15 lead through a very outstanding compulsory exercise performance. The second day, Washington competed ahead of Stanford and scored only 153.45 in optionals. It was then a matter of waiting to see what Stanford could do. UW's compulsory lead was whittled away event by event, but Stanford could not quite catch the Huskies. A Stanford protest on one of their own scores delayed the outcome for half an hour after the meet. The protest, which was not upheld, would have reversed the teams' placings. Tomi Ozora won the parallel bars.

The following men qualified at Conference for the NCAA: Floor - Jim Blackstock: side horse - Chuck Sanders and Norm Ewald: vault - Rich Gaylor: p bars - Tomi Ozora and Ron Hunter: horizontal bar - Bill Carpenter: all-around - Ron Hunter. At the NCAA meet at Iowa State University, the Huskies placed seventh in the team standings. Rich Gaylor was third in vault, Bill Carpenter tenth on horizontal bar, and Jim Blackstock and Chuck Sanders placed in the top twenty in floor ex and side horse, respectively. Rich Gaylor was selected for the All-American team.

Freshmen who showed particular promise in 1972 were: Dave Nakanishi, an all-arounder from Lake Washington High School, Bob Kelly, an all-arounder from West Seattle High School whose specialty was horizontal bar, and Tom O'Donnell, a specialist who won the Illinois State Ring championship in 1971.

At the annual banquet, Norm Ewald was elected captain for 1973: Most Promising Freshman - Tom O'Donnell: Outstanding Varisty - Ron Hunter: and Most Inspirational - Tomi Ozora.

Varsity award winners were Jim Blackstock, Seattle, Dale Burson, Seattle, Bill Carpenter, Glencoe, Ill, Norm Ewald, Wilmetter, Ill , Rich Gaylor, Midwest City, OK, Joe Hughes, Sunnyvale, CA, Ron Hunter, Vancouver, BC, Gordon Jones, Kent, Kerry Leiman, Woodland Hill, CA, Tom O'Donnell, Glenview, Ill, Tomi Ozora, Kobe, Japan, Peter Paulson, LA, CA, and Chuck Sanders, Everett. (Other team members include Gary Fox, Seattle, Chuck Draper, Seattle, Frank Foreman, Longview, John Talbott, Portland, Steve Yates, Seattle, Bob Kelly, Seattle, Mark Laura, Seattle, Scott Morrow, Seattle, Drew Turner, Seattle, Dave Nakanishi, Kirkland, and John Yingling, Tacoma.) Tom Morgan from NY, NY was manager.

The coaching staff included Eric Hughes, head coach; Sho Fukushima and Steve Eadie part-time assistants; and Bob Hall, Jim Hopper, and Kanati Allen who were volunteer part-time assistants. At this time, Bob Hall was now a dentist who came in three days a week during the first half of the season.

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1972-1973 - Results
After this 18th season, the all-time record was now 118-19-1. The dual meets were lost by less than a point (Stanford and Southern Illinois-the defending national champ) and one was won by less than half a point (Cal). This was the first time they beat Cal in seven years and it was most gratifying. The 1973 team was mature and experienced. It had good depth but no outstanding performers. It was a team with good team spirit - the type of spirit Washington had been noted for for many years. It was a pleasant contrast to the dissention and poor attitude of the past few years.

The season started as usual with the Alumni meet, which the Huskies won for the fourth year. For the 12th year in a row, UW won the PNW Championship meet which was held at Portland State University. No UW man won any of the events this year.

At the Pac-8 Conference meet at UCLA, UW was considered the favorite along with Cal. A new NCAA rule change permited the second place conference team to go to the NCAA Championships if their score is one of the highest in the country. This was great incentive for both teams to score as high as possible. Cal was outstanding in compulsories and won the meet because of it. Although Washington was an easy second, they only posted the 12th highest score in the country and were not selected for the nationals. Those qualifying on an individual basis for nationals were Rich Gaylor, 1st in vault, Tom O'Donnell on rings and Bill Carpenter, 1st on horizontal bar.

NCAA Championships were held at Oregon, and was a disappointing meet for the UW. Rich Gaylor was considered a strong contender for the championship in vault and Bill Carpenter was given a good chance to get into the finals in high bar. Both just missed the finals. This was the first year since 1962 that Washington was not represented in the finals of the NCAA.

At the Awards Banquet at the Sun Ya Restaurant, Rich Gaylor was elected captain, Most Promising Freshman - Dave Jackson; Outstanding Varsity - Bill Carpenter; Most Inspirational - Rich Gaylor. Varsity Award Winners were Jim Blackstock, Dale Burson, Bill Carpenter, Jay Clark, Norm Ewald (the only senior), Rich Gaylor, Bjorn Hermansson (considered the best gymnast on the team by Eric - Bjorn, a sophomore who showed up on campus a few days before the start of winter quarter, was injured for a lot of the season), Dave Jackson, Gordon Jones, Tom O'Donnell, Peter Paulson, John Talbott, Steve Yates, John Yingling.

The team roster also included Joe Hughes, Drew Turner, Bob Kelly, Dean Brooke, Stephen Heard, Brad Holt, Jeff Ladum. Team managers were Tom Morgan and Randy Gustafson.

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1973-1974 - Results
Losing only one senior from last years team, there was great hope for this season. It was a great disappointment when Gordon Jones announced at the end of last season that he was accepted to law school, and would not return for this season. After dominating the Pacific Northwest and being a Conference power, the team was beset by problems. Besides the loss of Gordon Jones, Rich Gaylor, all-arounder, was injured and forced to red shirt. Dale Burson, also was injured and red shirted. Jim Blackstock was injured and gave up gymnastics, Bjorn Hermansson and Tom O'Donnell were injured and could only go half speed all year. John Talbott and Dave Nakanishi were ineligible, and Steve Heard did not come back to school.

The total overall record after this season was 124-23-1. The season's results were not completely based on the UW problems but also on considerable improvement by other Conference teams. All the Conference schools were ranked above UW in the National rankings even though they beat Stanford in a dual meet and USC and UCLA in the Conference. National rankings were based on optional exercise scores only. The Huskies were relatively much tougher this year in compulsory exercises than optionals.

For eleven years they had been ranked in the top ten schools in the nation. In 1973 they dropped to twelfth and this year dropped to nineteenth. For the first time since 1960, UW did not win the PNW Championships. They took third. Bill Carpenter won the horizontal bar, and Keven Bylin won vault. In the Pac 8 Confernece Meet in Oregon, they dropped to 5th.

Most Promising Freshman Award was given to Rod Minaker; Outstanding Varsity - Bill Carpenter; Most Inspirational - Joe Hughes; Captain for 1975 - Rich Gaylor. Eric Hughes was head coach, Tomi Ozora assistant, and Jim Hopper and Mace Brady were volunteer part-time assistants. Varsity Awards: Kevin Bylin, Bill Carpenter, Jay Clark, Bjorn Hermansson, Joe Hughes, Dave Jackson, Rod Minaker, Scott Morrow, Tom O'Donnell, Peter Paulson, Steve Sosman, John Yingling.

The team roster also included: Dale Burson, Steve Yates, Drew Turner, John Talbott, Brad Holt, Jeff Ladum, Dave Nakanishi, Don Smith, Jim Gray, Rick Monroe, Frank Rabinovitch, John Trowbridge and Brad Tupper. Managers were Randi Gustavson and Don Hensey.
Coaches were Eric Hughes with assistants Mace Brady, Jim Hopper and Tomi Ozora.

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1974-1975 - Results
The 1975 team was without individual stars but was one of balance and depth. It was an experienced team as almost everyone used during the year had had experience the year before. The season started as usual with the Alumni Meet, which the varsity won. The dual meet record was better than expected, 7-2. This raised UW's overall dual meet record to 131-25-1. On January 17th, the Japanese National Gymnastics Team came to Seattle. They had Olympic champions and world champions with the team. The Huskies did very well against them, and it was an honor to compete against them. UW outscored them on side horse.

UW took second at the PNW Championships, and for the first time since the meet was started in 1954, the Huskies failed to win any individual event titles. The meet was marred by an unfortunate injury to Kevin Bylin, who was favored to win the horizontal bar. Kevin tore his Achilles tendon. Rod Minaker finished 2nd in vault. In the Pac-8 Conference meet, Cal won it's 9th championship in a row. After the compulsories, UW was in 3rd place and after optionals UW took 4th in the meet. Bjorn Hermansson took 3rd on rings, John Maseng 4th on pommel horse, and Dave Nakanishi 5th on horizontal bar. Melvin Cooley, freshman, was an outstanding horizontal bar worker and tied a UW all-time high established by Mauno Nissinen in 1969, when he scored a 9.55 in the Pac-8 meet.

Awards: Most Promising Freshman, Melvin Cooley; Most Valuable, Bjorn Hermansson; Most Inspirational, Bjorn Hermansson; and Captain for 1976, Bjorn Hermansson. Bjorn was the highest all-around scorer in every meet, and established a new school record of 9.5 on rings, erasing the old record of 9.45 held jointly by Gunter Bohrmann, 1963 and Yoshi Hayasaki, 1971. UW's national ranking at the end of the season was twelfth place. Bjorn Hermansson, the only UW qualifier to the NCAA, placed a disappointing 17th on rings.

Six team members ended their eligibility this season. Captain Rich Gaylor especially would be missed. He worked mostly as a specialist in 1975 but when his injured knees would stand it, he sometimes was used in the all-around. Tom O'Donnell (rings), John Yingling (fx), and John Talbott (p bars) were all regular squad members who would be hard to replace in 1976. Scott Morrow (pommel horse) was a valuable backup man. A total of 29 men turned out during the year. 18 competed in one or more meets and 12 won letters: Kevin Bylin, Jay Clark, Melvin Cooley, Rich Gaylor, Bjorn Hermansson, Dave Jackson, John Maseng, Rod Minaker, Dave Nakanishi, Steve Sosman, John Talbott, John Yingling.

Coaches were: Eric Hughes, Koji Saito and Dick Swetman as paid, full time assistants, and Jim Hopper a volunteer, part-time assistant.

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1975-1976 - Results
The 1976 season was not expected to be a good one. Eric thought if they could break even in dual meets, it would be a satisfactory season. They did much better than they expected. They came out as one of the best in the country. Early in the season they moved from unranked, to 19th. They gradually moved up and at their best, they were as high as 6th. The final ranking had them 10th in the nation.

Varsity won the Alumni meet, then they won eight dual meets, and only lost two.The highlight of the season was beating Cal on their own floor. All-time record became 139-27-1. (83% win rate) Washington took 2nd place at the PNW Championships, and 3rd at Pac-8 Conference. This was the toughest conference in the nation, with three teams in the top ten in the final ranking. UW had six individuals qualify for the finals of Pac-8; Melvin Cooley, Bjorn Hermansson, John Maseng, Rod Minaker, Dave Nakanishi and Steve Sosman. Rod placed second in vault and qualified for the NCAA. Steve came close in rings, but placed fourth, just missing one of the three qualifying spots.

Awards: Most Promising Freshman, Gary Kath; Most Valuabel, Bjorn Hermansson; Most Inspirational, Dave Jackson, Captain for 1977, Rod Minaker.
Letter Winners: Jay Clark, Melvin Cooley, Jim Gray, Bjorn Hermansson, Dave Jackson, Gary Kath, John Maseng, Rod Minaker, Dave Nakanishi, Steve Sosman.

Coach: Eric Hughes, Assistant Coach: Dick Foxal.

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1976-1977 - Results
This was a season of just mediocre team performance, but one of outstanding individual performances. It was a year of new records -in three of the six events and tied in another. A new all-time score for the Husky in any event was set by John Maseng on pommel horse. This was tied and then broken later by Steve Wejmar in vault. Steve Sosman tied the old ring record twice during the season. Steve first tied Rod Minaker's vault record, then broke it a total of four times. Kevin Bylin first tied the HB record, but before his name could be placed into the record book, Melvin Cooley broke the record again.

John Trowbridge injured his neck when he fell from a tree several days before school started and had to have a neck fusion and was unable to compete this year. Rod Minaker had surgery in early September but was able to compete some this year. Shortley before the end of the season the team received news that Doug Gravatt was told he needed serious heart surgery. He was unable to compete all year, so he red-shirted, hoping he would be able to come back in the future.

Varsity once again won the Alumni meet.
During the year, the team was ranked between 10th and 20th in the nation. They ended in 21st which was disappointing - their second lowest ranking since 1963. UW once again took 2nd at PNW Championships, and they took 3rd at the Pac-8. UW had seven individuals qualify for the finals of the Pac-8: Stu Domeier in FX, John Maseng on PH, Steve Sosman on rings, Steve Wejmar and Rod Minaker in vault, and Melvin Cooley placed third on HB to qualify for NCAA. Steve Sosman and John Maseng placed fourth - just missing nationals.

At NCAA Steve and Melvin led the nation after compulsories. After optionals, Steve was still in the lead, but Melvin dropped to second. Both did outstanding jobs in finals with Steve Wejmar winning the national vault championship. Melvin took second. Both won All-American status. In his final vault, Steve scored a 9.75 to break the all-time UW scoring record for any event.

Awards: Most Promising Freshman, Stu Domeier; Most Valuable Melvin Cooley; Most Inspirational Rod Minaker; Captain for 1978, Melvin Cooley.
Letter Winners: Bert Bylin, Melvin Cooley, Charlie Fritschen, John Maseng, Steve Sosman, Kevin Bylin, Stu Domeier, Gary Kath, Rod Minaker, Steve Wejmar.

Coaches: Eric Hughes and Assistant Coach Dick Foxal. Rich Gaylor and Scott Morrow were volunteer assistants. Famous German Olympic medal winner, Eberhard Gienger, practiced with the team for most of the year. He was a great inspiration to the team. Mauno Nissinen, an ex-Husky national all-around champion, also attended many practices and helped a great deal. Jim Holt, former WSU gymnast, also worked out and helped the team the last half of the year.

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1977-1978 - Results
Dick Foxal prepared the end of the season report for the UW - the first time in 28 years - Eric was on sabbatical leave, and announced his pending retirement from coaching so that he could devote his time to teaching for his last few years at the University. Eric states, "I guess it (his decision to retire) all boils down to a decision to give up something I have greatly enjoyed to gain some free time to do other things and, also, to go at a little slower pace for the next few years. I may regret my decision as I know I will miss the team and the thrill of competition...At a time like this, especially when you are as old as I am, it is easy to look back and reminisce. Being a coach has been fun. I have enjoyed every minute of it except maybe a few years in the late '60's and early '70's when a few athletes in all sports made a coach's life somewhat difficult. Certainly I have been proud of my gymnasts. Over the years, Washington became a nationally recognized gymnastics power....proud of the 83% winning record." (The authors note: It is amazing to read his words almost 30 years later and to know this man who is in his 80's as sharp and fit - he still throws his canoe up onto his van and takes off alone to far flung rivers- writing about how old he was!)

The 1978 season was an exciting year for both team and individual performances. It was also a year of new records. Mel Cooley raised the horizontal bar record to a 9.7. The vaulting team broke the 1966 record a total of three times, and Steve Wejmar tied his record of 9.75 in vault. When the season began, the team had little depth. The Varsity lost to the Alumni - the first loss in nine years. The depth deficiency was alleviated in December when Al Gerber, S. Africa, and Kari Kamarianen, Finland, arrived and Perry Walrack, transfer student, was declared eligible. Both Al and Kari were recovering from injuries, but still managed to become team members during the season.

PNW Championships - UW 2nd, and Pac-8 UW 3rd, with six individuals qualifying for finals; Ricky Mah, Stu Domeier, Steve Wejmar, John Maseng, Al Gerber and Mel Cooley. Mel won the HB and was named Pac-8 gymnast of the year by the coaches. Steve Wejmar won vaulting for the second year, John Maseng placed second on PH and Ricky Mah placed 3rd in vault to qualify for nationals.

The NCAA was an especially exciting meet. Mel led the nation after compulsories and John was third - only .05 from first after the first day of competition. After Friday's optionals, Mel was still in the lead, but John had dropped to fifth. Mel Cooley won the national championship in HB, scoring a 9.7 in finals and setting a new scoring record for that event. John finished seventh and missed being awarded All-American by one place. Steve Wejmar dropped out of school after winter quarter and did not defend his NCAA title. Ricky Mah failed to qualify for finals as a result of a sprained ankle.

Mel and John attended the AAU nationals in Houston, and Mel took first with John 7th. The team selected the following for awards: Most Promising Freshman, Kari Kamarainen; Most Valuable, Mel Cooley; Most Inspirational, Mel Cooley, Captain for 1979, Charlie Fritschen and Gary Kath. Letter Winners were; Mel Cooley, Stu Domeier, Charlie Fritschen, Al Gerber, Gary Kath, Ricky Mah, John Maseng, Perry Walrack, Steve Wejmar. The Coaching staff consisted of Dick Foxal and Mauno Nissinen. Scott Morrow attended many practices and helped a great deal during the year.

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Washington Records thru 1978

Event

Gymnast

Meet & Year

Score

FX

Jim David

PNW 1964

9.5

 

Mike Lovell

PNW 1966

9.5

PH

John Maseng

Arizona St. 1977

9.7

Rings

Bjorn Hermansson

Pac-8 1975

9.5

 

Steve Sosman

BYU & Portland 1977

9.5

Vault

Steve Wejmar

NCAA 1977 & PNW 1978

9.75

PB

Yoshi Hayasaki

Pac-8 and USGF 1968

9.6

HB

Mel Cooley

UBC & NCAA 1978

9.7

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1978-1979 - Results
Gary Kath got mono and could only compete at the Pac-10's. Stu Domeier, Rick Mah, and Alwyn Gerber were injured and could only go half speed all year, Joe Bardsley was injured and out for the year, and Kari Kamaraine tore his achilles half way into the season. The injuries became such a problem that for the first time in memory UW was not able to enter a full team at the PNW meet. Oregon won the PNW, Pac-10 and Western Regionals.UW was 5th at Pac-10 and 6th at Regionals. Rich Mah and Alwyn qualified for finals at Regionals. Al finished 7th on pommel horse and qualified for nationals with 6th AA. Rick placed 2nd in vault. Al was 16th in optionals and 26th in compulsories for a 24th place finish at nationals. Rick strained a hamstring and missed making finals in vault by .05 of a point.

At the team banquet, the following award winners were: Most Valuable - Alwyn Gerber; Most Inspirational - Kari Kamarainen; Captain for 1980 - Kari Kamarainen. Letter winners were: Gordie Bylin, Stu Domeier, Perry Walrack, Charlie Fritschen, Alwyn Gerber, Kari Kamarainen, and Ricky Mah.

Dick Foxal was head coach, with Mel Cooley and Jim Holt as assistants.

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1979-1980 - Results
Coaches Dick Foxal and Eric Hughes wrote what they felt would be the last edition of the gymnastics newsletter in July of 1980. The newsletter was something that Eric religiously sent 3-4 times a year for the previous 20 years. That spring, men's gymnastics was eliminated as a varsity sport. They were told that if they could raise $200,000 to cover expenses for the next four years, the team would be reinstated. They fell far short only reaching $10,000 in pledges.

The Huskies were 6-3 this season in dual meets. The highlight of the season was winning the PNW Championships. Pac-10 was disappointing with a 7th place finish, but UW did have two gymnasts qualify for finals. Kari Kamarainen and Stu Domeier on parallel bars. Kari hyper-extended his knee and Stu placed 8th. Stu also placed 7th all-around for the 2nd year and just missed qualifying for the NCAA.

Most Promising Freshman: John Daley; Most Valuable: Stu Domeier; Most Inspirational; Gordy Bylin. The letter winners for this year were: Gordy Bylin, John Daley Stu Domeier, Rich Halverson, Kari Kamarainen, Rick Mah, and Perry Walrack. Two volunteer coaches assisted during the year; Fred Perkuhn, former California gymnast, and Jim Holt.

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The following years will be added to as information comes in. Please send any info you have to me at lbjella@hotmail.com


1980's

1980-1981
Jim Holt, former WSU gymnast can be given credit for keeping this years gymnastics alive. Jim, along with gymnast Mac Smith, led the program "out of the wilderness" and brought it a long way back. Eric Hughes noted that "Jim clawed, kicked, and refused to say "uncle". As a volunteer coach, he...kept the program alive. I serve as a faculty advisor the the Club". Jim wrote the season in review and states that the season could be divided into two seasons, the first effort was directed at the administrative level. The program was given Sports Club status under the Recreational Sports Program at the college. The second part was the competitive season. The Alumni meet was held in December, but no team scores were kept. All-around was won by alumni Stu Domeier.

1981-1982

1982-1983

1983-1984

1984-1985

1985-1986

1986-1987

1987-1988

1988-1989

1989-1990

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1990's

1990-1991

1991-1992

1992-1993

1993-1994

1994-1995

1995-1996

1996-1997

Jeff Johnson won rings at the USAG College Nationals.

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1997-1998
Only six men on the team this year. In the final regular season competition, freshman Evan Cabodi tore a thumb ligament that required surgery and put him out of Nationals. Senior Jeff Johnson had "a stellar performance" at Nationals and finished fifth on floor and first on rings for his second consecutive ring title. He was named Outstanding Senior Gymnast.

Season Review


1998-1999

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1999-2000

Season Review

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2000's

2000-2001

Evan Cabodi was Team President. Jeff Crocket (freshman, All-Around, Boise, ID) severely sprained his ankle in warm ups at the first meet of the season, at ASU. Team included Ryan Welborn, (Senior, Grangeville, ID) Jeff Johnson UW Alumni, ring specialist who placed third on Rings at the Winter Cup Challenge and Blackjack Invite in Las Vegas. This was a National Team Qualifying event.

Prior to the UCSB Invitational at Santa Barbara, Freshman Jess Dowell was injured in the Nisqually Earthquake, when a light in a classroom fell on his shoulder.

Team Members: Lance Bowie, Ben MacColl, Ryan Welborn, Jesse Dowell, Jeff Johnson, Matt Coles (Sophomore,West Richland, WA), Aaron Cole, (Sophomore, Colville, WA.), Evan Cabodi (Senior). Welborn, Crockett and Bowie became All-Americans in the All-Around, and Welborn also earned All-American honors on Rings and Vault. Coach Mark Russo.

Season Review

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2001-2002

Coach Mark Russo

Season Review

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2002-'03
Jeff Crockett was the team's leading AA performer. Coach Mark Russo

Season Review

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2003-'04
Jeff Crockett was lost to the team this year as he started his mission time with his church. Incoming Freshmen: Sean Liner, Seattle, won the Dr. Eric Hughes Scholarship award. He had been a Cascade Elite gymnast who was coached by John Shiveley, Darius Campbell and Wayne Kerr. As a National competitor for three years, he won the National Academic All-American Recognition Award each year. Stewart (Stu) Renz, Spokane, won the WMGF scholarship. Stu also went to Nationals and for years received All-American Academic Awards. Ryan Chriswell, Bremerton, from Mile High Gymnastics, coached by Ed Friedman and Jesse Nevin from CEG joined the Huskies. Joel Hennig, Scott Provence, Ben MacColl, Graham Gordon and Jeff Fausz rounded out the team. Coach Mark Russo

Season Review

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2004-'05
The team included Joel Hennig, Graham Gordon, Jeff Crockett, Ben MacColl, Sean Liner, Kevin Perkins and Joe Zhou. They took second at College Nationals in the Club division. Jeff Crockett finished second in the all-around and won pommel horse and high bar, and placed second on floor. Kevin Perkins was All-American on rings. Coach Mark Russo. Video of Jeff's double Jaeger. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnW-cR_BoT4&feature=youtu.be

Season Review

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2005-'06 - Results
UW won the Collegiate Club division at USAG College Nationals this year and 16th overall in the NCAA! Jeff Crockett won the All around.
(He performed a double-twisting Jaeger release on high bar.) Marc Russo, Coach of the Year. Video of Jeff's double Jaeger. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnW-cR_BoT4&feature=youtu.be

Jeff writes concerning his double-twisting Jaeger: " I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would be able to do something that no one else in the world could do. Catching the double-twisting Jaeger in practice was exciting, but it didn't have a lot of meaning to me at the time. I wanted to show the world...The first time people saw warmups for finals at Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas onFebruary 4. 2006.

Overall this season -16 victories, 11 losses - all against University funded programs. 9-0 against other clubs. The team won the Southwest Cup at ASU with senior Jeff Crockett winning the All Around. Joe Lawrence qualified to event finals at Collegiate Nationals on the four events he competed.

UW Husky Team 2005-2006
L–R: Coach Mark Russo, Jeff Crockett "the Rockett" Joey Lawrence, Christian Stefonesku, Sean Liner, Graham Gordon, Dennis Berry, Alex Paek, Brian James, Kevin Perkins.

Season Review

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2006-'07 - Results
Team members: Joe Zhou, Sean Liner, Mohamed Ghanem, Kevin Perkins. Coach Mark Russo, asst. coach Jeff Crockett.

The effect of injuries was obvious at the team’s first meet of the year, the 2007 Washington Open.  Although no one competed All-Around, Kevin Perkins worked the Floor Exercise, Jeff Crockett swung a Pommel Horse routine, and Mo Ghanem competed Vault.  Sean Liner and Kevin Perkins both battled minor injuries.  Due to his injury, Crockett will not be competing again until the summer when he hopes to qualify for the USA Nationals on Pommels, P-bars, and High bar.

The club won’t compete as a team this year because team roster does not include enough gymnasts per event.  However, the guys will still compete as individuals, and we expect at least two gymnasts to individually qualify to this year’s Collegiate Nationals held at William and Mary.  Kevin Perkins will also be attending the Winter Cup Nationals in February, and plans to compete Rings, Vault, and Floor.

(Asst Coach Jeff Crocket competed as a junior for 12 years and was a four time Junior Olympic National competitor. He moved to Seattle from Boise in the fall of 2000 after he graduated from Centennial High School. Jeff competed for the UW men’s team for 5 years. During which he became a 20 time Collegiate All American, and 8 time Collegiate National Champion on various events and the All around.  He was the UW assistant coach from ’06 to ‘09 and received collegiate assistant coach of the year all three years. Jeff is the only one in the world who has performed “the Crockett” a double twisting laid out jäger in February of 2006, winning the first ever New Skills Challenge held at the Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas.)

Seattle Post Intelligencer article

Season Review

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2007-'08
Jon Chapman, Marc Miller, Ivan Koveshikov, Sean Liner, Jeff Crockett, Mohamad Ghanem, Morgan

Colletiate Nationals, a Success: Written by UW Admin, Sunday, 30 March 2008
Koveshnikov wins All Around and Crockett brings home a gold medal for vault.
The guys made their way to Springfield Massachusetts last Wednesday night, March 28th at midnight. After their red-eye flight they caught up on some sleep at the Days Inn before practice at Blake Arena Thursday night. The team and individual all around competition was Friday night. The team placed 3rd behind Arizona State, and James Madison University. This was a great accomplishment because each event counts four scores, and the team only had three competitors on the rings.

The highlight of the night was a fantastic performance by freshman Ivan Koveshnikov. Ivan hit all six of his routines and won the collegiate all around title. He scored a season high of 81.35 beating Arizona State’s Anthony Naddour by five tenths of a point. Ivan’s placing makes this year the third in a row that Washington Men’s Gymnastics has provided an all around champion at this meet. Sean Liner and Jeff Crockett also claimed this title the last two years. Ivan also made it to the event finals on the floor (8th), parallel bars 8th), and high bar (7th).

Jeff Crockett competed for the third time since his ACL surgery a year and a half ago, and is definitely showing improvement as he tied for first on vault and made pommel horse finals in the first night of competition. At finals, Crockett took 1st on vault and placed 7th on pommels. “Going into the surgery for my knee I knew that I might not get the chance to pursue my dreams of becoming the gymnast I know I can be, and I was scared. But after a meet like this I now have the confidence I need to push me to the next level. I am so grateful for Coach Russo and the team who have always encouraged me and never stopped believing in me.” -Crockett

All arounder Marc Miller also had a strong performance that Friday night. He had some terrific performances on the high bar floor and rings. Marc will be key in next year’s team score as he looks to improve his skills over the summer and fall. Our specialists Mohamad (rings and vault), Jon (all but rings), and Morgan (floor, vault and parallel bars) all did well that Friday night as well.

From WMGF News by Mark Russo: Early this summer, our best gymnast, Ivan Koveshnikov, over-rotated a rings dismount while training at his home gym, the Multnomah Athletic Club (Portland). He landed on his head and neck in the loose-foam pit, cracking a neck vertebra. Although he suffered no paralysis, it was a huge scare and his doctors decided to fuse two vertebrae.

Season Review

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2008-'09

 

UW men 2008-09

Sam Softich, (frosh, Mid-Columbia Gym Academy), Kevin Smith (frosh), Jon Chapman (junior), Joey Lawrence (soph), Marc Miller (soph), Andrew Hill (frosh, Connecticut), Bobby Miller (frosh, CEG), Ivan Koveshnikov (soph), and club member Eugene Burton-Breazeal.
Coach Mark Russo

Results Review of Season

2009 -'10

 

 

Andrew Inaba, Jon Chapman, Michael Sloat, Kevin Smith, Bobby Miller, Sam Softich, Taylor Anthony, Jeramie Hardi

Coach Mark Russo

Results Review of Season


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2010's

2010 -'11

 

Back row (left-right): Mo Angok, Jon Chapman, Joey Lawrence, Greg Steward, Eugene Burton-Breazeal, Andrew Inaba
Front row: Coach Mark Russo, Peter Moser, Layton Oka, Kyle Farmer, Kevin Smith, Sam Softich, Bobby Miller, Taylor Anthony

Results Review of Season

 

2011 -'12

 

Back Row: Coach Mark Russo, Jon Chapman, Greg Steward, Franklin Stutevoss

Front Row: Peter Moser, Tim Forro, Layton Oka

 

 

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HEAD COACHES

Eric Hughes: 1950-1978
Dick Foxal: 1978-1980
Jim Holt: 1980-1988
Mark Russo: 1988-present

Assistant Coaches: Bob Sarver was an assistant coach in the 1950's. Frank Hailand, graduate of the U. of Illinois, and a national tumbling champion, joined the UW staff. 1966-'67 season had Gunter Bohrmann and Curt Sweet assisting. Coaching assistants for '67-'68 were Curt Sweet, Mike Flansaas and Ike Flaathen. 1969-Mike Flansaas and Kanati Allen. 1970-Assistant coaches were Sho Fukushima and Kanati Allen. Managers were Dick Sparks and Dan Schuler. The 1970-'71 coaching staff included Bob Bosse as an assistant, and also Konati Allen. Fumio Yakota, and Gunter Bohrmann. The '71-'72 coaching staff included Sho Fukushima and Steve Eadie and Bob Hall, Jim Hopper, and Kanati Allen. '73-'74 assistants were Mace Brady, Jim Hopper and Tomi Ozora. '74-'75 - Koji Saito and Dick Swetman and Jim Hopper. 1975-'76 Assistant Coach: Dick Foxal. 1976-'77 Assistant Coach Dick Foxal with Rich Gaylor, Scott Morrow, Eberhard Gienger, Mauno Nissinen, and Jim Holt all lending a hand. 1977-'78 Mauno Nissinen and Scott Morrow. '78-'79 Mel Cooley and Jim Holt. 1979-'80 Fred Perkuhn and Jim Holt. 2005-'09 asst. coach Jeff Crockett.

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Meet Coach Mark Russo by Eric Hughes -written in 1999 newsletter

Mark has been coach since the 1988-89 season so will be starting his tenth year this fall and yet I would guess some of you know little about him.

First let me say Coach Russo is one of the most dedicated gymnastics coaches I know. For his first eight years he volunteered approximately six hours a day not including time for preparation at home, recuriting and attending competitions. Last year (1998) the WMGBC was able to provide a salary of $5,000 and this year we hope to do the same. This works out to about $1.25 an hour. See what I mean - that's dedication to the sport.

Of course no one can live on this salary. Mark supports himself as owner of a laundermat on Eastlake Ave. This sort of occupation allows for flexible hours so he can be in the gym for practices which are sometimes in the morning, sometimes afternoon, and often twice a day.

Coach Russo was born in Seattle in 1961 but moved to Mercer Island while quite young. His father works for the US Army Corps of Engineers. His mother works for Mercer Island School Dist.

Mark was attracted to the sport of gymnastics in his PE classes at Mercer Island Jr. High School and enrolled in my UW Saturday Extension Classes for boys in 1975. The only thing I can remember him saying about those classes was how he hated to do "log rolls". At least I didn't completely drive him away from the sport. He continued his gymnastics at Mercer Island High School which had a competitive team at that time, first under Coach Jim Long, a UW gymnast alum and then under Mace Brady an Eastern WA. graduate.

Mark attended UW and received a degree in Fisheries in 1985. As a freshman he was asked to join the team by Mac Smith who had also graduated from Mercer Island H.S. and was the big-gun on the UW team. Jim Holt, a former WSU gymnast was his coach. (I'll digress with a little history. There have been four head coaches of men's gymnastics at the U. Myself from 1950-1978, Dick Foxal from 1978-1980 when the program was dropped by the Athletic Dept., Jim Holt from 1980-1988 and Mark Russo from 1988-present.)

While Mark was a university student, he started working in the age-group program organized by the University Women's coach, Bob Ito. In 1986 he became head coach of the children's program and when Jim Holt resigned in 1988 also head coach of the men's club team. During this time he moonlighted by coaching at a private gymnastics club in Lynnwood - Cascade Elite. This club is owned by Wayne Kerr, a former Washington gymnast.

Mark is a Washington product - born here, educated here, trained here. He is gung-ho Washington gymnastics. He lives and breathes the sport. We couldn't possibly find a better man for coach. He has consistantly produced quality teams and several outstanding gymnasts including two present National Champions - Jeff Johnson on rings and Sergio Luna on Horizontal Bar. We should all be thanking Mark Russo and giving him our support.

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Historical Notes:

Don Smith, gymnast in the late 1960's at Kirkland Parks and Recreation taught by Bill Crow and Dave Nakanishi, In 1972 while at Sammamish High he petitioned the school administration to equip the gym with gymnastics equipment and to hire Jerry Penney as coach. As a UW gymnast, he taught youth classes on Mercer Island, and for Bellevue Parks and Rec, and for Dr. Hughes' Saturday classes. After college he traveled to Europe and taught tumbling in Denmark. He also performed as a circus acrobat and clown. Don is an artist and lives in Skagit Valley with his wife and two sons.(12)

Mauno Nissinen, competed in the 1968 Olympics for his native Finland. Mauno was the first gymnast to perform a double back off the parallel bars in the Olympics. He also competed in the European Championships and won silver medals on PB and pommel horse against the Russians who were the power house in that era. Mauno coached Eberhard Gienger and they both came to the UW in the late 1970's to help with the team.

John Maseng, says, "after four years of trying, I finally made it to Nationals in 1978 where, after falling on my last routine, I slipped from second or third to seventh...the lessons learned and hard work and determination I developed during my gymnastics years helped and influenced my chosen profession...I went to a civilian flight school in Florida and got a second degree, this tme in Flying." He joined the US Air Force Reserves and put in 20 years flying C-141B Transports. He also worked for United Airlines. During the first Gulf War, he flew troops and equipment all over the Middle East.

Bibliography:
12.WMGF News, Dec. 2003

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CHAMPIONS

(These stats will be updated as information comes in.)

CONFERENCE OR REGIONAL CHAMPIONS

1960

Bill Crow

Tumb. & LH

1963

Jim David

FX

 

Gunter Bohrmann (West Regionals)

LH

1964

Jim David

Tumb & FX

 

Bob Hall

SH and Tramp

1965

Jim David

FX

 

Bob Hall

SH, HB, AA

1966

Mike Flansaas

PB

1967

Rick Fonceca

Tramp

1969

Mauno Nissinen

SH, HB, AA

1970

Yoshi Hayasaki

R, PB, HB, AA

1971

Yoshi Hayasaki

R, PB, HB, AA

 

Chuck Sanders

SH

1972

Tomi Ozora

PB

1973

Rich Gaylor

V

 

Bill Carpenter

HB

1974

Bill Carpenter

HB

1977

Steve Wejmar

VT

1978

Mel Cooley

HB

1978

Steve Wejmar

VT

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NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

1962

AAU

Charlie Denny

Flying rings

1967

AAU

Yoshi Hayasaki

PB & AA

1968

USGF

Yoshi Hayasaki

R, PB, HB, AA

1969

NCAA

Mauno Nissinen

AA

 

AAU

Mauno Nissinen

AA

 

AAU

Yoshi Hayasaki

PB

1970

NCAA

Yoshi Hayasaki

HB, AA

1971

NCAA

Yoshi Hayasaki

AA

1977

NCAA

Steve Wejmar

VT

1978

NCAA

Mel Cooley

HB

1994

USAG

Karl Huntzicker

HB

1996

USAG

Jeff Johnson

VT

1997

USAG

Jeff Johnson

Rings

1997

USAG

Sergio Luna

HB

1998

USAG

Jeff Johnson

Rings

1999

USAG

Ryan Welborn

AA

2000

USAG

Ryan Welborn

AA

2001

USAG

Ryan Welborn

AA

2003

USAG

Jeff Crockett

AA, FX, HB

2005

USAG

Jeff Crockett

PH,HB

2006

USAG

Team Champs

 

2006

USAG

Jeff Crockett

AA, VT

2007

USAG

Sean Liner

AA

2008

USAG

Ivan Koveshnikov

AA

2008

USAG

Jeff Crockett

VT

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ALL AMERICANS

1963

Jim David

Tumb

1964

Jim David

Tumb

 

Bob Hall

PH, AA

1965

Bob Hall

SH, AA

 

Jim David

FX

 

Mark Buckingham

V

1968

Yoshi Hayasaki

PB, AA

1969

Mauno Nissinen

AA

 

Sho Fukushima

AA

1970

Yoshi Hayasaki

R, PB, HB, AA

 

Hide Umeshita

AA

1971

Yoshi Hayasaki

AA

1972

Rich Gaylor

V

1977

SteveWejmar

V

1977

Mel Cooley

HB

1978

Mel Cooley

HB

1997

Jeff Johnson

R

1998

Jeff Johnson

R

2001

Ryan Welborn

AA,R,V

 

Jeff Crocket

AA

 

Lance Bowie

AA

2005

Jeff Crockett

PH,HB,AA,FX

 

Kevin Perkins

R

2006

Jeff Crockett

AA

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UW LETTER WINNERS

Bernard,Doug 1960,61

Beezhold,Wendland 1961

Bennett,Bo 1969

Bevan,Bob 1957

Bjerke, Dick 1956

Blackstock,Jim 1972,73

Bohrmann,Gunter 1963

Boyd, Ron 1962

Brinton,Bruce 1970,71

Buckingham,Mark 1965,66,67

Burson, Dale 1972,73

Bylin, Bert 1977

Bylin,Gordie 1979,80

Bylin,Kevin 1974,75,77

Carpenter, Bill 1971,72,73,74

Clark, Jay 1973,74,75,76

Clegg,John 1962

Clemmons,Dennis 1967

Cooley,Melvin 1975,76,77,78

Crow, Bill 1956,57,59,60

Curry, Ron 1957,58,59

Daley, John 1980

David, Jim 1963,64,65

Deininger,John 1962

Denny,Charlie 1957,58,59

Denton, Bruce 1969,70,71

Depue, Darrel 1966

Dieterich, Jim 1962,63,64

Domeier, Stu 1977,78,79,80

Driscoll, Leslie 1957,59

Ewald, Norm 1970,71,72,73

Finne, Gary 1964,65,66

Firpo, Joe 1956

Flaathen, Eigil 1965,66,67

Flansaas,Mike 1964,66,67

Fonceca,Ricardo 1965,66,67

Fox, Gary 1971

Fritschen, Charlie 1977,78,79

Fukushima,Sho 1969,71

Gaylor, Rich 1971,72,73,75

Gerber,Alwyn 1978,79

Gester, Tom 1967

Gray, Jim 1976

Hall, Bob 1963,64,65

Halverson,Rich 1980

Hansen, Kjell 1963,64

Hanvey, Terry 1964

Hardin, Jan 1966,67

Hauselman,Ken 1957,59

Hayasaki, Yoshi 1970,71

Hermansson,Bjorn 1973,74,75,76

Hilton, Jim 1956

Hubbard,Jim 1962

Hughes, Joe 1971,72,74

Hunter, Ron 1970,71,72

Ikeda, Roy 1957,60

Jackson, Dave 1973,74,75,76

Jensen, Gene 1965,66,67

Jones, Gordon 1972,73

Kamarainen, Kari 1979,80

Kath, Gary 1976,77,78

Kennerud, Ken 1958,60

Kolsrud,Lars 1970,71

Kramer,Gerhard 1958,59

Landers, Lew 1961,62,64

Lang, Jim 1956,58,59,60

Leiman, Kerry 1970,71,72

Lind, Alf 1960

Lombardo, Ken 1961

Lovell, Mike 1964,65,66

Lovell, Steve 1965,66,67

Lyons, Harold 1960,62,63

Mah, Ricky 1978,79,80

Maseng, John 1975,76,77,78

McGunnigle, Pat 1957,59

McGunnigle, Ray 1956

Michaelson,Ernie 1956,57

Miller, Cliff 1962

Miller, Mike 1960

Minaker, Rod 1974,75,76,77

Morrow, Scott 1974

Murphy, Eugene 1956,57

Nakanishi,Dave 1975,76

Nissinen,Mauno 1969

O'Donnell,Tom 1972,73,74

Ornholdt, Jan 1971

Ozora, Tomi 1969,70,72

Paulson, Peter 1972,73,74

Peters, Charlie 1969

Peterson, Mark 1967,69

Richardson,Bruce 1961

Ruckert, Pat 1966,67

Rule, Brent 1969

Sanders, Chuck 1971,72

Shevalier,Alex 1958,59

Skartvedt, Dave 1961,62

Sosman, Steve 1974,75,76,77

Staton, George 1957

Sternberg, Brian 1963

Talbott, John 1973,75

Temple, John 1958,59

Thorne, Phil 1961

Torkelson,John 1962,63,64

Umeshita, Hide 1969,70,71

Virgillo, Mike 1961,62

Wallace, Ron 1964,66

Walrack, Perry 1978,79,80

Wejmar, Steve 1977,78

Yates, Steve 1973

Yingling, John 1973,74,75

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UW HALL OF FAME

Yoshi Hayasaki

Jim David

Bob Hall

Mauno Nissinen

Melvin Cooley

Eric Hughes

Joyce Tanac Schroeder

Yumi Modre

Dale McClements Kephart

 


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