MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. The No. 20 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team fell to the No. 15 Minnesota Golden Gophers, 194.675-196.850, in front of a crowd of 1,507, Saturday night in Minnesota's Sports Pavilion. Arizona's team total of 194.675 is the squad's fifth-highest mark of the season, while Minnesota's team total (196.850) is a season-high mark for the Golden Gophers. Arizona dropped to 4-15 overall, while Minnesota improved to 7-7 on the season.
UA's vault score (49.050) is the team's second-highest mark of the year, and the event total tied the No. 7 vault score on the Wildcats' all-time top-10 list. Three Wildcat gymnasts Nikki Beyschau, Cori Messina and Heather Straccia each posted season-high and career-high marks in tonight's meet.
Arizona, who lost by 2.175 points, trailed Minnesota for the entire meet, and the Golden Gophers swept each of the four team events. UA trailed Minnesota by .175 following the first rotation, but Minnesota's 49.275 on bars in the second rotation gave the Golden Gophers a .400 advantage entering the third event. Arizona encountered some problems on floor, scoring its second-lowest floor rotation score of the season (48.725). Adding to Arizona's difficulties, junior Randi Liljenquist did not compete on floor for the first time this season as a result of an ankle injury that she suffered during vault warmups. Minnesota capitalized on Arizona's mistakes, increasing its lead by .700 entering the fourth and final rotation. Arizona had a chance to close the gap in its last event, but the Wildcats had five out of six gymnasts score lower than a 9.700 on beam. Minnesota's 49.375 on floor in the final event allowed the Golden Gophers to capture the victory.
Individually for the Wildcats, senior Kara Fry tied for first place on bars with a 9.875 and finished second overall in the all-around with a 39.375. Fry tied for second on beam (9.825), finished third on floor (9.875) and tied for sixth on vault (9.800). Sophomore Nikki Beyschau tied for first-place honors on vault and tied a career-high 9.900 en route to a share of the title. Senior Heather Straccia posted a career-high 9.825 on bars and tied for fifth place in the event. Straccia tied for fourth place on floor with a 9.850 and scored a season-high 9.775 on vault.
Freshman Cori Messina posted a career-high 9.825 on vault and tied for fourth place. Messina tallied a career-high 9.550 in her first collegiate beam performance and tied a career-high 9.750 on floor. Junior Lindsay Compitello tied for sixth on beam with a 9.675. Senior Mary Reiss tied for eighth place on floor (9.750), and freshman Sheehan Lemley tied for eighth on beam (9.625). Beyschau and freshman Andi McCabe tied for eighth place on bars, each scoring a 9.775 in the event.
"We started off very well on bars and vault, scoring at least a 49 in both events. It is just so disappointing that we gave up a potentially higher score as a result of our difficulties on beam and floor. Kara (Fry) had a really good meet, and Cori (Messina) is really improving in all of her events. We just seemed to underperform on beam and floor, which have been two of our best events all season. We just have to get Randi (Liljenquist) healthy and have some good practices before Wednesday's meet (against North Carolina State)," said Arizona head coach Bill Ryden.
Arizona closes out the regular season against the North Carolina State Wolfpack in UA's final home meet of the year on Wednesday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. MST, in McKale Center. The Wildcats then travel to Seattle, Wash., for the Pac-10 Championship meet on Saturday, March 24.
University of Arizona Gymnastics Arizona at Minnesota Sports Pavilion, Minneapolis, Minn. March 10, 2001 Team Scores Vault Bars Beam Floor Totals 1. Minnesota 49.175 49.275 49.025 49.375 196.850 2. Arizona 49.050 49.000 47.900 48.725 194.675 Individual Scores Vault 1. Nikki Beyschau Arizona 9.900 1. Courtney Norman Minnesota 9.900 3. Shanyn Lancaster Minnesota 9.850 4. Cori Messina Arizona 9.825 4. MaryAnne Kelley Minnesota 9.825 Uneven Bars 1. Kara Fry Arizona 9.875 1. MaryAnne Kelley Minnesota 9.875 1. Annie Laatsch Minnesota 9.875 1. Mary Skokut Minnesota 9.875 5. Heather Straccia Arizona 9.825 5. Megan Beuckens Minnesota 9.825 5. Megan Skokut Minnesota 9.825 Balance Beam 1. Jenny Alf Minnesota 9.875 2. Kara Fry Arizona 9.825 2. MaryAnne Kelley Minnesota 9.825 2. Annie Laatsch Minnesota 9.825 2. Mary Skokut Minnesota 9.825 Floor Exercise 1. MaryAnne Kelley Minnesota 9.925 2. Annie Laatsch Minnesota 9.900 3. Kara Fry Arizona 9.875 4. Heather Straccia Arizona 9.850 4. Megan Beuckens Minnesota 9.850 4. Courtney Norman Minnesota 9.850 4. Alicia Opsahl Minnesota 9.850 All-Around 1. MaryAnne Kelley Minnesota 39.450 2. Kara Fry Arizona 39.375 3. Megan Beuckens Minnesota 38.675