April 17, 2013
Aubree Cristello will be representing the University of Arizona in the 2013 NCAA National Gymnastics Championships presented by Northwestern Mutual. The senior has been seeded to compete alongside No. 1 Florida, and therefore will be taking the floor in the first session of the evening. The meet is set to take place this Friday, April 19 at 1:00p.m. PT in Pauley Pavilion at UCLA. Cristello will be vying for a spot in Sunday's competition, as the top four performances (including ties) total on each event from Friday's sessions will advance to the individual event finals.
Following the Action
The NCAA National Gymnastics Championships will not be televised. Instead, live video feeds will be available for each session in addition to live statistics. Friday's semi-finals will be hosted via www.ncaa.com; Saturday's Super Six Competition and Sunday's individual event finals will stream through ESPN3.com. Live links will be posted the day(s) of the competition.
Friday's semi-finals will feature two sessions, each with six teams, six all-around competitors and several event specialists. Cristello will be competing among the best of the best in session I at 1:00p.m. Friday. The senior will individually take on routines posted by No. 1 Florida, No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 LSU, No. 8 Minnesota, No. 9 Stanford and No. 16 Illinois. As the number one seed of the competition, Florida has earned a starting spot on floor, meaning Cristello will follow the Gators through a rotation order of floor, vault, bye, bars and beam. The team will end the meet on a bye.
For this and more such as ticket info, the full event schedule and links to live streams and scoring, please see the official website.
Last Year at NCAA's
Cristello earned her first berth to the NCAA National Gymnastics Championships alongside teammate Katie Matusik.
Cristello rotated with the University of Utah, posting a 39.075 all-around for the tenth best overall score of the session. The then junior earned a 9.825 to tie for fourth place on floor, a 9.800 to tie for seventh on vault, a 9.600 for tenth place on bars and a 9.850 to tie for fourth on beam.
As a beam event specialist, Matusik earned first-team All-America status by posting a 9.900 to tie for second place overall on the event. The then senior went on to compete in the individual event finals, posting a total score of 9.8875 to take third in the competition.
With the gymnastics competition season past the half-way point, the team and individual rankings have switched from being based on overall score average to a team's total RQS. But what exactly is an RQS score, and how does it work?
Given that gymnastics is a sport based on judgment, it needs to have a ranking system that can mostly eliminate scoring and performance inconsistencies. Obviously, in a perfect world, all judges would take the same deductions for the same degree of mistakes, etc. - but every judge can't be at every competition, so deductions aren't necessarily 100% foolproof. With that same token, in a perfect world a team would never have a bad meet - though everyone has an off day.
Because of this, RQS was born. An RQS score is made up of a team's top three away scores plus the team's top three other scores minus the overall top score, and average of the remaining five. This average is supposed to be an overall better indicator of a team's performance, taking out overly bad performances (in addition to overly good performances) as well as potential judging differentials.
So what is the reason the rankings start out as an average? In the beginning of the season there are not enough scores to factor into the RQS formula. Each team needs to have at least three away meets and a total of six meets under their belt before this type of score can be calculated.
Look Out for New GymCats
Arizona added a number of new faces this season, including Shelby Edwards out of San Tan Valley, Ariz., Lexi Mills hailing from Frisco, Texas, Sloughouse California native Jessie Sisler, and Krishna Yemany from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. All of these gymnasts were top J.O. or Canadian Elite competitors and should make a dent in the lineups this season.
The Arizona gymnastics team heads into the season ranked No. 19 in the 2013 Women's Pre-Season Coaches poll. The Wildcats are one of six Pac-12 schools to place within the top 25, including No. 2 UCLA, No. 5 Utah, No. 6 Stanford, No. 9 Oregon State and No. 17 Washington.
Stacked to the Max
The Arizona gymnastics team is going to complete an extremely difficult season in 2013. Of the 12 regular season meets and 20 regular season opponents, the Cats will face 11 ranked teams during eight meets (six of which within the top 10). Those opponents include No. 2 UCLA, No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 5 Utah, No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Nebraska, No. 9 Oregon State, No. 13 Auburn, No. 17 Washington, No. 18 Illinois, No. 21 Missouri, and No. 25 Kentucky.
Head Coach Bill Ryden bolsters an overall record of 205-201-3 after a third place finish in the NCAA Columbus Regional.