Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Arizona Wildcats Travel to California for Back-to-Back Quad Meets This Weekend
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 16, 2001
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    What's Coming Up - The Arizona women's gymnastics team (2-1) returns to action this weekend with back-to-back quadrangular meets to close out a three-meet roadswing... Arizona squares off with San Jose State (0-0), No. 24 California (0-3, 0-1 Pac-10) and No. 13 Oklahoma (1-0) on Friday, Jan. 19, in San Jose, Calif... The inaugural Silicon Valley Gymnastics Classic, hosted by San Jose State, is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. PST (8:30 p.m. MST), in the Spartan Gym (1,000)... The Wildcats then will travel to Berkeley, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 21, to compete in its third quadrangular meet of the season at California, where Arizona will meet California, Oklahoma and Utah State (0-1)... Sunday's meet marks the second consecutive competition that the Wildcats will face both California - its first Pac-10 opponent of the season - and Oklahoma... The quad meet at California is set to begin at 2 p.m. PST (3 p.m. MST), in Haas Pavilion (12,172)...

    Last weekend, Arizona finished second in its season-opener behind New Hampshire, but the Wildcats notched two key wins over No. 19 North Carolina State and James Madison... UA had strong performances from seniors Kara Fry, a 1998 All-Pac-10 selection, junior All-American Randi Liljenquist and freshman Aimee Estella, who each won individual event titles in the meet... An Arizona gymnast swept top honors on vault, bars, beam and in the all-around in the meet at North Carolina State... The Wildcats expect Fry, Liljenquist, sophomore Nikki Beyschau and seniors Mary Reiss and Heather Straccia to provide Arizona with solid leadership and experience in all four events and in the all-around...

    On the opponent side, San Jose State is set to compete for the first time this season, while California and Oklahoma each opened the season last weekend... The Golden Bears fell to 0-3 on the season after finishing fourth in a quad meet behind Denver, Washington and Maryland on Jan. 13... The Sooners kicked off the season on Jan. 12 with an impressive 194.025-189.300 victory over Texas Woman's University... Utah State dropped to 0-1 on the season after falling to Boise State, 192.225-188.800, in the Aggies' season-opener on Jan. 16.

    Ryden's Weekly Analysis - "It (Arizona's team score at the NC State meet) was one of the highest starting scores in a while, and we had a pretty good meet overall. We counted three falls, and we weren't very sharp on bars and beam, so we have to concentrate on those areas this week. We were very good on vault and bars, and we showed that we have a lot of potential to grow as a team."

    "We are going into two meets this weekend that we have a good shot of winning. We are going to face some good teams and some teams more than once. I think we got most of the kinks out last weekend, and the freshmen now know what collegiate gymnastics is all about. It is going to be difficult traveling to two back-to-back road meets, but we are looking forward to getting back out there."

    Arizona's Last Time Out - The No. 20 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team opened the 2001 season with two wins over 19th-ranked North Carolina State and James Madison on Sunday, Jan. 14, in front of a crowd of 1,800, in North Carolina State's Reynolds Coliseum. Arizona scored a 193.450 and finished the quadrangular meet in second place behind New Hampshire's score of 193.800. North Carolina State (193.375) and James Madison (188.725) rounded out the field in third and fourth place, respectively. Arizona opened the year at 2-1 overall, while New Hampshire improved to 4-0 on the season. North Carolina State fell to 1-2, and James Madison dropped to 0-3.

    Arizona took the team vault title with a score of 48.650, edging New Hampshire by .325, and the Wildcats scored a 49.050 on floor to finish second behind North Carolina State (49.150) in the event. North Carolina State scored a 48.575 to win the bars event, while New Hampshire topped the field with a 48.425 on beam. Seven Wildcat gymnasts - Lindsay Compitello, Aimee Estella, Meagan Killpack, Sheehan Lemley, Cori Messina, Andi McCabe and Mary Reiss - each set career-high marks, and Arizona took top individual honors on vault, bars, beam and in the all-around.

    Individually for the Wildcats, senior Kara Fry scored a 39.050 to win the all-around title, and she took first place on bars with a 9.800. Fry also finished in sixth place on beam with a 9.750. Junior All-American Randi Liljenquist scored a 9.850 on beam and tied for first-place honors in the event. Liljenquist landed in second on vault with a 9.750, and she ended the meet with third-place finishes on floor (9.875) and in the all-around (38.975).

    Senior Mary Reiss helped pace the Arizona lineup on floor, as she set a career-high 9.900 and took second place in the event. Senior Heather Straccia closed out meet with a third-place showing on vault (9.725), and sophomore Nikki Beyschau tied for second place on bars (9.775). Junior Lindsay Compitello posted a career-high 9.675 on beam, and she competed on bars for the first time in her career, setting a career-high 9.100 in the event. Junior Nicci Filchner tied for ninth on bars with a 9.650.

    Five Arizona freshmen - Aimee Estella, Meagan Killpack, Sheehan Lemley, Andi McCabe and Cori Messina - made their official collegiate debut in today's meet for the Wildcats. Estella led the Wildcats to a team victory on vault after winning the individual vault title with a career-high 9.800. Estella also set a career-high 9.200 in her first beam competition. Killpack scored a career-high 9.150 on floor, while Lemley ended the meet with a career-high 9.100 on beam. McCabe posted a career-high 9.625 on floor, and Messina tied for fifth place on vault with a career-high 9.700.

    Scouting California - The No. 24 California Golden Bears (0-3, 0-1 Pac-10) finished fourth in a quadrangular meet on Jan. 13 behind then-No. 13 Denver, then-No. 16 Washington and then-No. 23 Maryland... Cal scored a 191.650, while Denver finished with a 194.175... Washington scored a 192.900, and Maryland tallied a 191.925... The Golden Bears have 10 returning letterwinners from last year's team... Head coach Trina Tinti (UCLA, '88) is in her fourth year with the Golden Bears and holds a school and career record of 25-39.

    Scouting Oklahoma - The No. 13 Oklahoma Sooners opened the 2001 season with a 194.025-189.300 win over Texas Woman's University on Jan. 12... The victory marked the debut of first-year Oklahoma co-head coach Steve Nunno (Massachusetts, ' 79), and the win increased the Sooners' all-time series lead against Texas Woman's University to 34-3... Oklahoma swept the top two spots in each event, including the all-around... Oklahoma co-head coach Becky Buwick (Oklahoma City, '76) is in her 18th year with the Sooner program and holds a school and career record of 206-94.

    Scouting San Jose State - The San Jose State Spartans open the season this weekend, as they host the inaugural Silicon Valley Gymnastics Classic... San Jose State boasts 12 veterans from last year's squad, and the team added three freshmen to the roster in 2001... The Spartans closed out the 2000 season with a 4-13 record and a sixth-place finish at the NIT... Head coach Jackie Walker (Miami, Ohio, '71) is in her 17th year at the helm of the Spartan program and holds a 117-160-2 school record and a 185-182-2 career record.

    Scouting Utah State - The Utah State Aggies (0-1) kicked off the 2001 season last Monday, falling to Boise State, 192.225-188.800... Utah State got off to a slow start in the meet and had to count falls on both bars and vault, and the Aggies experienced two falls on floor... Head coach Ray Corn (Northern Colorado, '71) is in his 24th year at the helm of the Aggie program and holds a 380-325-2 school and career record.

    Wildcats in the Rankings - Nine of Arizona's 2001 opponents - Utah, UCLA, Stanford, Minnesota, Denver, Oklahoma, Washington, New Hampshire and California - were ranked in the Jan. 15 national gymnastics poll... The Wildcats entered the 2001 season ranked No. 19 in the national preseason coaches' poll... Arizona closed out the 2000 season ranked No. 20 in the nation after the team finished fourth at the NCAA regional meet on April 7, 2000... In terms of schedule strength, 10 of Arizona's opponents in 2001 were ranked in the preseason coaches' poll... Six Pac-10 teams - UCLA (1), Stanford (7), Arizona State (11), Oregon State (12), Washington (16) and Arizona (20) - were ranked in the preseason poll... Women's gymnastics rankings are posted every Monday at:

    Cat Scratches - Arizona head coach Bill Ryden is in his third year at the helm of the program (11th overall at Arizona) and holds a 23-30-1 career and school record... Arizona already has notched two road victories after the first meet of the 2001 season... The Wildcats ended the 2000 season with a 5-4 regular season home meet record and a 7-7 overall home record (including the postseason)... UA closed out the regular season without any road victories (0-12) after six away meets during the 2000 season... Arizona missed qualifying as a team for the NCAA Championships for the fourth consecutive season... Ryden has had one gymnast compete at the NCAA Championship all-around finals in his two years at the helm of the program (Liljenquist in 2000 and Hornbeek in 1999)... The Wildcats faced 11 opponents ranked in the top 25 during the 2000 season... Liljenquist was one of only three Pac-10 gymnasts to score a perfect 10.000 on floor last season... At least two Wildcat gymnasts set or tied season-high and career-high marks in the team's last eight competitions of the 2000 season... Arizona has had 17 gymnasts receive All-Pac-10 honors in the last 17 seasons, and 14 Wildcat gymnasts have earned All-America accolades during the last 17 seasons.

    A Look Ahead - Arizona closes out its three-meet roadswing this weekend at San Jose State and California before returning to the confines of McKale Center on Friday, Jan. 26, where the Wildcats will meet fourth-ranked Utah in their season home-opener, at 7:30 p.m. MST... UA closes out its two-meet homestand on Feb. 2, when Arizona squares off against No. 12 Oregon State and No. 13 Denver.

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