Feb. 4, 2012
DENTON, Texas - The Arizona women's gymnastics team posted a new season high team total of 195.875 to overtake Texas Women's University who earned a score of 193.725.
"It finally feels good to get back on track. Was it a clean meet? Definitely not. Overall though, this meet was far better and far more what we expect out of ourselves," head coach Bill Ryden said.
The team started the night out on bars, improving last week's event total by 0.875 to post a 48.925. Sophomore Jordan Williams was the leadoff, earning a new career high 9.750. Other contributors included junior Molly Quirk, with a 9.775, and Aubree Cristello and Katie Matusik with matching marks of 9.825 to tie for second place.
The highlight of the event was senior Rebecca Cardenas, who posted yet another career high (for the second week straight) to tie for first place with a score of 9.850.
"Becca had a great set, even though she didn't have the best warmup," Ryden said. "Becca has been doing great on bars in general. She's definitely been doing her job. As a senior I'm really proud at how much she has been progressing and contributing."
The Wildcats then rotated to vault, totalling a 49.025 on the event. Sophomore Shana Sangston began the lineup with a score of 9.725. Junior Mykle Douglas posted a 9.750, Williams earned a 9.825 (to take second place), and Aubree Cristello earned a 9.775.
"Vault was stellar. I was very happy. Shana had the best vault of the year for her so far, and everyone stepping up for the event was something that was one of my highlights tonight," Ryden said.
One of the most pleasant surprises on the event was freshman Amber Wobma, who competed for the Cats for the first time. Not only did she drill the landing of her vault, but she earned a score of 9.850 to win the event.
"Amber's performance was what we had been expecting, but not what we had been seeing in the beginning of the season. It was just finally this week that something clicked, and oh my gosh, that just shows you the value of her to the team," Ryden said.
The momentum only continued on floor with yet another season high total of 49.250. Cristello was the leader for the team once again, taking first with a score of 9.90. Taking second place was freshman Kristin Klarenbach, with a score of 9.875.
"Kristin is the real deal. Obviously we knew that last week, and we confirmed it this week. She really is going to be a major contributor to the team in her career," Ryden said.
Matusik posted a 9.850 on the event for third place, followed by Quirk with a 9.825 and Douglas with a new career high score of 9.800.
"Floor was great, I mean with that high of a total what can you say? When you can start out with a score of 9.8 life's going to be good. It was by far the best total floor effort of the season so far," Ryden said.
Arizona rounded out the night on beam, under the leadership of Quirk (first place with a 9.850), Sangston (second place with a 9.775) and Matusik (tied for third with a 9.750). Senior Britnie Jones tied for fourth with a score of 9.725, and Cristello earned a 9.650 to total a 48.675 on the event.
"Tonight wasn't the best beam. Shana did a great job, we changed her routine and she definitely showed up. Starting out with a fall takes a lot of guts for the rest of the team, so all things considered we did alright on beam tonight," Ryden said.
In the all-around competition, Cristello took the gold with a season high 39.075, and Quirk took third with a 38.300.
"We were happy with the performance, we obviously have some improvements to make, but people really rose to the occasion this week. I'm very happy with the overall team effort tonight," Ryden said.
Up next for the Cats is the first of three home meets, as Arizona welcomes ASU to Tucson for the annual "Flipping for the Fight" meet in honor of breast cancer awareness.