TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona women's gymnastics team scored two impressive upset victories over No. 20 Oregon State and No. 24 Denver in a triangular meet Friday night, in front of a crowd of 825, in McKale Center. Arizona led the way with a season-high 195.175 team total, while Denver finished second (194.825) and Oregon State (194.575) ended the meet in third place. The Wildcats posted season-high totals on bars (48.700) and beam (48.875). Arizona improved its record to 4-8 overall and 1-2 in the Pac-10, as the Wildcats earned their first Pac-10 victory of the year. Oregon State dropped to 1-5 overall and 1-2 in the conference, and Denver ended the meet with a 5-3 overall mark.
Arizona (4-8, 1-2 Pac-10) trailed Oregon State by .575 after the first rotation. Although the Wildcats scored a season-high 48.700 on bars in the second rotation, Oregon State still led the Wildcats, 97.700-97.275. UA came back strong in the third rotation, as the Wildcats posted a season-high performance on beam (48.875). Arizona climbed into first place following the third event, while Denver moved into second, and Oregon State dropped to third. Arizona's 49.025 team score on floor in the fourth and final rotation sealed the Cats' first-place finish. UA's season-high beam score (48.875) now ranks as the 10th-best beam rotation mark in school history.
UA won the team beam (48.875) and floor (49.025) events, while Denver and Oregon State tied for first in the vault (48.750) event. Oregon State also took the team bars event (49.150). The Beavers took top individual event honors on vault, bars and beam, while Arizona's Randi Liljenquist took first place in both the floor and all-around events. Seven Wildcat gymnasts - Nikki Beyschau, Kara Fry, Sheehan Lemley, Randi Liljenquist, Andi McCabe, Cori Messina and Heather Straccia - each set or tied season-high and career-high marks in tonight's meet.
Individually for the Wildcats, junior All-American Randi Liljenquist won her first all-around title of the year with a season-high 39.375. Liljenquist took top honors on floor for the third time this season after setting a season-high 9.950. She tied for second on beam with a 9.850, finished fifth on vault with a season-high 9.775 and tied a season-high 9.800 on bars.
Senior Kara Fry scored a season-high 9.850 on bars and tied for third place, and she landed in fifth place on floor with a 9.850. Senior Mary Reiss tied for third place on floor with a 9.875, while fellow senior Heather Straccia set a career-high 9.700 on bars. Sophomore Nikki Beyschau posted a season-high 9.750 on vault and tied for sixth in the event. Beyschau also set a season-high 9.825 on bars and tied for sixth place.
Freshman Sheehan Lemley tied for fourth place on beam and set a career-high 9.825 in her only event of the meet. Freshman Andi McCabe set a career-high 9.775 on beam and tied for seventh place. McCabe also tied a career-high 9.750 on floor and tallied a career-high 9.000 in her first collegiate vault performance. Freshman Cori Messina posted a career-high 9.350 in her first collegiate floor performance.
"Tonight's meet was a really good team effort. We had a fall in every event, but we didn't let that bother us. All of the gymnasts really came through, and I am happy for them because they can see where all of their hard work is going," said Arizona head coach Bill Ryden.
Arizona begins a two-meet road swing next weekend, as the Wildcats are set to battle top-ranked UCLA, No. 12 Washington and Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, Feb. 11, at 2 p.m. PST (3 p.m. MST), in Los Angeles, Calif.
University of Arizona Gymnastics Arizona vs. Oregon State & Denver McKale Center, Tucson Ariz. February 2, 2001 Team Scores Vault Bars Beam Floor Totals 1. Arizona 48.575 48.700 48.875 49.025 195.175 2. Denver 48.750 48.850 48.225 49.000 194.825 3. Oregon State 48.750 49.150 48.550 48.125 194.575 Individual Scores Vault 1. Katrina Severin Oregon State 9.975 2. Ashley Shible Denver 9.925 3. Lara Degenhardt Oregon State 9.800 3. Emily Bankhead Denver 9.800 5. Randi Liljenquist Arizona 9.775 Uneven Bars 1. Elizabeth Jillson Oregon State 9.950 1. Stephanie Bychowski Oregon State 9.950 3. Kara Fry Arizona 9.850 3. Lara Degenhardt Oregon State 9.850 3. Melanie Schiff Denver 9.850 Balance Beam 1. Annie Campbell Oregon State 9.900 2. Randi Liljenquist Arizona 9.850 2. Melanie Schiff Denver 9.850 4. Sheehan Lemley Arizona 9.825 4. Elaine Yoder Oregon State 9.825 Floor Exercise 1. Randi Liljenquist Arizona 9.950 2. Jennifer Ebdon Denver 9.900 3. Mary Reiss Arizona 9.875 3. Lara Degenhardt Oregon State 9.875 5. Kara Fry Arizona 9.850 All-Around 1. Randi Liljenquist Arizona 39.375 2. Jennifer Ebdon Denver 39.175 3. Melanie Schiff Denver 39.050 4. Ashley Shible Denver 38.775 5. Emily Bankhead Denver 38.750