Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Kristin McDermott Named Most Valuable Gymnast
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: May 09, 1999
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TUCSON, Ariz. (May 9) - The University of Arizona's women's gymnastics team held its annual team banquet Saturday night to announce its awards for the 1999 season.

Senior All-American KRISTIN McDERMOTT (Long Branch, N.J./Allentown Central HS) was chosen Most Valuable Gymnast and received the Golden "A" Award after competing in every single meet during her career. McDermott finished her fourth Wildcat season with 30 top-five finishes and was named to the All-Pacific-10 team in the all-around for the second time in her career.

Redshirt juniors HEIDI HORNBEEK (Glendale/Ironwood HS) and MAUREEN KEALEY (Roslyn Valley, Pa./Allentown Central HS) each received the "Tough as Nails" award based on their impressive comebacks following season-ending injuries suffered by both gymnasts in 1998. Hornbeek, a six-time All-America selection and seven-time All-Pac-10 honoree, scored 30 top-five finishes and 11 first-place titles, while All-American Kealey racked up 25 top-five finishes.

The inaugural Jim Gault Coach's Award was presented to sophomore KARA FRY (Nazareth, Pa./Nazareth HS) and junior LISA HECKEL (Cave Creek/Chaparral HS), while freshman RANDI LILJENQUIST (Tucson/Canyon Del Oro HS) was chosen as the team's Newcomer of the Year. Liljenquist competed in every meet during her first collegiate season and had 15 top-five finishes.

The Wildcats, under head coach Bill Ryden, finished the 1999 season ranked No. 20 in the nation, and they posted a 14-10-1 overall record and a 6-5-1 Pac-10 mark in the program's first winning season in two years.

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