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No. 13 Arizona to Travel to No. 4 Utah
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 02/06/2014
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Shay Fox
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics

No. 13 Arizona vs. No. 4 Utah
Friday, Feb. 7 // 7 p.m. (MST)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Video Steaming: Pac-12 Networks
Live Stats HERE

TUCSON, Ariz. – The No. 13 Arizona Women’s gymnastics team will be in Salt Lake City this Friday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. MST to take on the No. 4 Utah Utes.

“It is going to be a great meet atmosphere for us,” head coach Bill Ryden said. “It is an exceptional crowd that is very knowledgeable. It will actually be easier for us to stay in our ‘us against the world’ mentality with our small group performing in their gym in front of all of their fans. We are looking forward to what will be a very good meet between conference foes, and we are very anxious to be there.”

Arizona is coming off of a 196.500-195.175 win against Washington last Saturday. In the meet, the Wildcats posted a season high 49.150 on beam and took individual titles in all four events. The GymCats outscored the Huskies in three out of the four events, being outscored on bars by only .050.

Live stats will be available the day of the competition. The 7 p.m. meeting will be shown live on the Pac-12 Networks. There will also be updates on Facebook.com/ArizonaGymnastics and on Twitter @AZGymnastics.

Scouting the Opposition:
The Utah Utes are off to a 6-0 start and coming off of a meet against ASU where 39-year head coach Greg Marsden earned his 1,000th career win, 197.200-194.900. The team went 7-1-1 last year as a young team without any seniors. The Utes continued a 38-year tradition of making the National Championships. This year, Utah’s 13 person roster features five seniors and five juniors, including senior Corrie Lothrop and Pac-12 Specialist of the Week junior Georgia Dabritz.

2013 Arizona Review:
The Wildcats completed the 2013 season with a season record of 17-15 and advanced to their 27th consecutive NCAA Regional Championships. Finishing sixth, overall, at the Pac-12 Championships and third in the NCAA Regional Championships, Arizona rounded out the season ranked No. 17 in the nation.

Arizona was led by senior Aubree Cristello, who was the lone qualifier to the NCAA National Championships for all-around. Cristello was one of the team’s top all-around athletes, tying her career-high 39.475 three times as well as finishing her career with 2001.250 points, the second highest in program history.

Numerous freshmen stepped up despite roster injuries including Jessie Sisler and Shelby Edwards. Both freshmen received at least one Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Week award during the season. Sisler recorded a career-high 9.925, giving her one of the top program scores on floor. Edwards provided depth on beam recording scores despite an elbow injury that required her to perform an armless routine.

Look Out for New GymCats:
The Wildcats added a number of new faces this season, including two Arizona natives, Krysten Howard out of Phoenix and Selynna Felix-Terrazas from Tucson. Gabby Laub hails from Owasso, Okla., while Mackenzie Valentin comes from MustangOkla. Also added to the roster is former gymnastics manager and Plano, Texas, native Shay Fox. All of these gymnasts were top J.O. competitors and should make an immediate impact in the lineups this season.

Pre-season Rankings:
The Arizona gymnastics team heads into the season ranked No. 17 in the 2014 Women’s Pre-Season Coaches poll. The Wildcats are one of eight Pac-12 schools to place within the top 25, including No. 4 UCLA, No. 6 Utah, No. 9 Stanford, No. 12 Oregon State, No. 20 Washington, No. 22 California and No. 25 Arizona State.

Complete pre-season rankings can be found here: http://www.troester.com/gym/Wrankings/2014/WcoachesPoll.htm

Stacked to the Max:
The Arizona gymnastics team is going to compete against one of the toughest schedules in the nation. According to RoadtoNationals.com, Arizona’s strength of schedule is ranked No. 8. Of the 12 regular season meets and 16 regular season opponents, the Cats will face eight ranked teams. Those opponents include No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 4 UCLA, No. 5 LSU, No. 6 Utah, No. 9 Stanford, No. 12 Oregon State, No. 20 Washington, No. 21 Kentucky and No. 25 ASU.

Ryden’s Record:
Head coach Bill Ryden finished out the 2013 season with an overall even record of 220-198-3.

What’s Coming Up:
The Wildcats will remain on the road and travel to Dallas, Texas to compete against Oklahoma, LSU and Kentucky in its first quad meet of the season on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. MST. Following Dallas, Arizona will make their way to Tempe for the Territorial Cup point on the line as they take on ASU on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 4 p.m. MST.

 

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