TUCSON, Ariz.-The No. 25 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team scored season highs on vault, bars and floor and a season-high team total, but the Wildcats fell to the No. 21 Minnesota Golden Gophers, 195.800-195.600, Sunday in front of a crowd of 375, in the McKale Center. Arizona dropped to 5-7 overall, while Minnesota improved to 9-5 on the season.
Arizona trailed Minnesota, 49.050-48.875, after scoring a season-high 48.875 on vault in the team's first event.The Wildcats came back with a season-high 49.200 on bars and tied the score heading into the third rotation. Although the UA had to count two falls on beam, the Cats fell behind by only one point heading into the final rotation. Arizona bounced back with a season-high 49.375 on floor, but Minnesota's beam score of 48.475 in the final event was enough to give the Golden Gophers the win.
The UA's score of 49.200 on bars ties the No. 5 score on the all-time top-10 list, and the floor score of 49.375 is the highest floor mark in Arizona history. Arizona's season-high team total of 195.600 is the No. 4 score on the top-10 list. Seven Wildcat gymnasts set or tied career-high and season-high marks, and Arizona swept the top individual honors in all four events and the all-around. Minnesota and Arizona split the team events, with Minnesota taking the vault and beam events, while the UA won the bars and floor events.
Individually for the Wildcats, sophomore Randi Liljenquist scored a career-high 9.950 on floor and won the event title, and she took the all-around crown with a career-high 39.425. She also set a career-high 9.750 on vault, tied for second on bars with a 9.875 and tied for second on beam with a 9.850. Senior All-American Heidi Hornbeek won the vault title and tied a season-high 9.875 in the event, and she also took first on bars for the fifth time in six meets with a season-high 9.925. Hornbeek, who is battling a nagging ankle injury, tied a season-high 9.900 on floor and finished in third place, and she scored a 39.100 in the all-around to end the meet in fourth place.
Junior Kara Fry, a 1998 All-Pac-10 selection, won the beam title with a 9.875 and finished second in the all-around with a career-high 39.325. She tied a career-high 9.875 on bars and tied for second in the event and tied a career-high 9.725 on vault. Fry also tied for fifth on floor with a 9.850. Freshman Nikki Beyschau scored a career-high 9.800 on vault and tied for third place, and she tied a career-high 9.825 on floor. Senior Kiernan Andrews tied a career-high 9.850 on floor and tied for fifth, while fellow senior Gretchen Diaz set a season-high 9.725 on vault and a season-high 9.700 on beam. Junior Heather Straccia scored a career-high 9.700 on vault and a season-high 9.825 on floor.
"We looked like a much better team today than we did Friday night," Arizona head coach Bill Ryden said. "We scored well, we competed better, and we were more confident. Beam ended up costing us the meet, but it was the best our beam team has looked all year. Heidi (Hornbeek) and Randi (Liljenquist) really came through for us even though they are not 100 percent healthy, and Kara (Fry) had an incredible meet. Now, we just have to get everyone healthy and keep improving as a team."
Arizona hits the road this week to battle the fourth-ranked Utah Utes on Friday, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m., in Utah's Huntsman Center.
Arizona Gymnastics Minnesota @ Arizona McKale Center, Tucson, Ariz. February 20, 2000 Team Scores Vault Bars Beam Floor Totals 1. Minnesota 49.025 49.050 48.475 49.250 195.800 2. ARIZONA 48.875 49.200 48.150 49.375 195.600 Individual Scores Vault 1. Heidi Hornbeek Arizona 9.875 2. Leigh Dixon Minnesota 9.850 3. Nikki Beyschau Arizona 9.800 3. MaryAnne Kelley Minnesota 9.800 3. Shanyn Lancaster Minnesota 9.800 3. Kristi Selinger Minnesota 9.800 Uneven Bars 1. Heidi Hornbeek Arizona 9.925 2. Kara Fry Arizona 9.875 2. Randi Liljenquist Arizona 9.875 4. Judy Cavazos Minnesota 9.850 4. Melissa Chang Minnesota 9.850 4. Megan Skokut Minnesota 9.850 Balance Beam 1. Kara Fry Arizona 9.875 2. Randi Liljenquist Arizona 9.850 2. MaryAnne Kelley Minnesota 9.850 4. Megan Skokut Minnesota 9.750 4. Kelly Watson Minnesota 9.750 Floor Exercise 1. Randi Liljenquist Arizona 9.950 2. Megan Beuckens Minnesota 9.925 3. Heidi Hornbeek Arizona 9.900 3. MaryAnne Kelley Minnesota 9.900 5. Kiernan Andrews Arizona 9.850 5. Kara Fry Arizona 9.850 All-Around 1. Randi Liljenquist Arizona 39.425 2. Kara Fry Arizona 39.325 3. MaryAnne Kelley Minnesota 39.325 4. Heidi Hornbeek Arizona 39.100 5. Megan Beuckens Minnesota 38.775