Dear Friends, Alumni & Boosters,
Our first meet of the final month of the regular season would be a doozy against
The entire vaulting team (all of the team member that train vault) had had a good week of practice and once again I was ready to tweak the line-up to try and get more information as we get closer to the post-season. Therefore the line-up for our first event was a new one: Rachelle, Alexis, Aubrey, Jamie, Bree, and Karin. Rachelle hit one of her best of the season and a 9.825 to start us off with a bang. Alexis followed her with a 9.8. For the second time this year, Aubrey debuted a brand new vault. Going from first learning a Yurchenko to competing a layout with a full twist in less than seven months is pretty impressive (sounds like something Katie Johnson might do!). Aubrey did land her vault but was very cautious and took quite a few steps. She received a 9.425 but the future looks hopeful for the vault and a much higher score. Up next was Jamie and she rocked the thing. She stuck it cold and the team jumped with excitement even before the 9.925 appeared. Bree then hit a very vault herself for a 9.875. Karin finished our rotation with a 9.8. Our event score was a season best 49.225. It was pretty explainable when you think that for the first time, each of the scores that counted were vaults that lived up to potential. It was the first time we had five of them hit at the same time rather that two or three.
We rotated to bars and for the first time all year, I switched the line-up. Sarah P. had injured her shoulder a few weeks back and we were forced to alter her routine to one with a new dismount, one she had never competed before. I wanted to take the pressure off of her and it didn’t hurt that Suzanne has been getting better each week. The line-up would be: Beamer, Suzanne, Alexis, Danielle, Karin, and Aubrey with Sarah in exhibition. We had another change to the bar rotation as Beamer had an uncharacteristic fall on her routine. She scored a 9.075 and the pressure was on. Suzanne didn’t seem to be fazed at all as she hit her set for a 9.7 and got the team back on track. Alexis followed and although she had to improvise a little, she scored well receiving a 9.8 from the judges. Danielle then continued the steady climb with quality bar-work and a 9.825. Karin then scored a 9.85 followed by a 9.9 from Aubrey. Sarah came up seventh and performed her new routine for the first time. It was a very good routine but a fall on the new dismount gave her a score of 9.225. We had survived the scare of counting a fall by five athletes really coming through when the team needed them. Our event score was a 49.075 and our running meet score was a 98.3. We were up by .2 at the turn over the #2 team in the country. Pretty good.
We rotated to beam and the line-up remained unchanged: Jamie, Erin, Karin, Aubrey, Beamer, and Danielle with Sarah exhibition. Unfortunately we had the same start as bars as Jamie fell on her acro-series and scored a 9.25. The pressure was back on.
Our floor line-up was also unchanged (Jamie, Erin, Alexis, Danielle, Karin, Aubrey) but with Rachelle performing exhibition this meet. Jamie came back from her beam mishap with a good routine to start us off and a 9.775.
Even though the final scores for the meet were: Florida-196.625, Arizona-196.3, BYU-194.575 there were definitely more positives than negatives to be garnered from the competition. Being able to challenge one of the best teams in the country while fighting off early falls on two events was huge. I am very proud of the way the team fought and continues to fight regardless, week after week. We are still improving and from this meet alone, the coaches have a number of areas that need immediate attention. We will continue to work hard and see what happens.
Our last home meet of the season was a quad competition versus
Erin Muirhead came across the country to The University of Arizona from
Jessamyn Salter came to the warmth of the desert from the chill of
The only development in the week prior to the competition was that Sarah P. suffered an injury that we hope will heal quickly. Unfortunately it would keep her out of any gymnastics for the evening.
Our first event was vault and I decided to keep the line-up as it was the week prior: Rachelle, Alexis, Aubrey, Jamie, Bree, and Karin. Rachelle got the team off to a solid start with a 9.725. Alexis followed her with an identical 9.725. Aubrey then executed her new vault for the second time in competition and improved on her score from last week with a 9.7. Jamie then hit a great vault and received a 9.825 from the judges. Bree then built on that and hit a 9.875 effort. Karin finished the rotation with a nice 9.775. Our event score was a 48.925 and we were off to a pretty good start.
We rotated to bars and Sarah’s injury pretty much assured no changes in the line-up from last week: Beamer, Suzanne, Alexis, Danielle, Karin, and Aubrey. Beamer led off and had a good routine going until she sustained an injury during her second release move. She kept going but the injury had a caused a major break and her score was a 9.4. Suzanne hit her routine next but with a couple of deductions that kept her score at a 9.625. Alexis followed and hit a very nice routine for a 9.8. Danielle was up fourth and although hit a pretty nice routine, a couple of breaks kept her score at a 9.675. Karin then had one of worst routines of her collegiate career. She somehow stayed on, but with multiple breaks, her score was a 9.45. Aubrey wasn’t fazed though and hit her usual excellent routine for a 9.875. Our event score was a 48.425 and in all honesty, it was a sub par effort on our part. Our running meet score was a 97.35 and although we had a .875 lead at the turn, the outcome of the meet was far from decided.
We rotated to beam and once again had the same line-up as before: Jamie, Erin, Karin, Aubrey, Beamer, and Danielle. Jamie had a pretty good set going but a major break gave her a score of 9.525.
By now, you can guess that I did not change the line-up from the usual: Jamie, Erin, Alexis, Danielle, Karin, and Aubrey. This line-up is very good, had been good most of the year and I was hoping they would be better than our first three events. Jamie came back after a rough beam routine for a very “not” rough floor routine that gave us a big 9.825 out of the box. The team was much more its “normal, very vocal” self.
I hadn’t been watching the competition at all during the meet, just occasionally getting updates from the overhead scoreboard. As it turned out, we had won the 4th event dual in the desert to win the meet. The final scores were:
Our first away meet in four weeks had the team taking a quick flight to
With the three team format, our competition order would be Bars-Beam-Floor-Vault. Our bar line-up remained unchanged: Beamer, Suzanne, Alexis, Danielle, Karin, and Aubrey. The meet didn’t quite have the start I had hoped for when Beamer went over the bar on a cast handstand. The fall gave us a first score of 9.15 and immediately the pressure was on and the meet was 30 seconds old. Suzanne seems to be immune to most things and she smiled and went up and hit her routine to bring us back. She received a 9.75 for her routine. Alexis was up next and even though she tends to “freelance” and show a different routine each week, I had seen this version before. It still wasn’t the routine I wanted her to do but you have to give her credit for refusing to come off. Her score was a 9.725. Danielle followed and hit her set for a 9.75. Karin was up fifth and she too had one of those routines that seemed close to disaster on occasion but she fought through and scored a 9.8. Aubrey seemed to one-up Karin as her ENTIRE routine seemed on the verge of disaster. Like the four athletes before her, she refused to miss her routine and scored a 9.85. We had swung a little tight and I lost a few more hairs for an event score of 48.875. A little lower than what I think we are capable of but under the circumstances, we’ll take it.
We rotated to beam and for this meet Rachelle would perform exhibition behind the usual line-up (Jamie, Erin, Karin, Aubrey, Beamer, Danielle). Jamie started us off great with a hit set and a 9.8.
Our floor line-up again was unchanged from the prior competition (Jamie, Erin, Alexis, Danielle, Karin, and Aubrey) but for this meet, Melanie would perform exhibition. Jamie started us off with a good routine even though she had a step out-of-bounds on her middle pass. She received a 9.65 for her work.
Aubrey had injured her hand earlier in the week and despite everyone’s best effort, vault was just too much for it after all of the other events. Our vault line-up for this meet would be: Rachelle, Danielle, Alexis, Karin, Jamie, and Bree with Erica performing exhibition. Rachelle started us off right with a very nice vault and a 9.825. Danielle matched Rachelle with her own excellent vault and a 9.825. Alexis stepped up third and hit a great vault for a 9.85. Karin adapted well to the middle of the line-up with her best vault of the season and a 9.9. Jamie was almost able to match her as she received a 9.875 for her vault. Bree was able to match Karin for her own personal record and another 9.9 for the team. Erica then stepped up for her collegiate debut and did a really nice job on her vault. Her score was a 9.75 and our evening was complete. Our event score was a 49.35 and our final team score was a season best, 196.575.
It was very satisfying to get back on track after our less than perfect effort last week. The final scores for the meet were:
Our final regular season meet of 2006 was no regular meet at all; it was the Pac-10 Conference Championship. This year’s Championship meet was being host by
The competitive draw is random and our draw this year was certainly one that would challenge us. We would begin on bars, followed by beam, bye floor, bye, vault, and end on a bye. Our bar line-up was unchanged (Beamer, Suzanne, Alexis, Danielle, Karin, and Aubrey) for this meet. Beamer started us off and to her relief hit her first bar routine in almost a month in competition. Her score was a 9.6. Suzanne followed her and hit a pretty good set I thought for an identical 9.6. Alexis came up third and hit a pretty good routine although she did hit the low bar while tapping for her dismount. She was able to land without too much deduction but received a 9.625 from the judges. Danielle came up fourth and received our third 9.6 of the rotation. Karin finally broke out of the sixes for an excellent routine that received a 9.7. Aubrey finished up our rotation up with a virtually flawless routine (this isn’t me talking, remember we are required to video everything so we have proof) that scored a 9.775. It was by far the tightest scoring we had seen this season but it was a championship meet and the first rotations are historically scored lower. I was happy that we had gone six-for-six; it was a great way to start. Our event score was a 48.3 and we rotated to beam.
Our beam line-up was also unchanged: Jamie, Erin, Karin, Aubrey, Beamer, and Danielle. Jamie did a great job continuing our momentum with a hit routine and a 9.825. Unfortunately that momentum came to a screeching halt as
After the bye, we rotated to floor with our usual line-up: Jamie, Erin, Alexis, Danielle, Karin, and Aubrey. Jamie once again had a great lead-off routine and scored a 9.75.
Our intended line-up was: Rachelle, Alexis, Aubrey, Karin, Jamie, and Bree. Alexis sustained an injury during the one-touch warm-up and I quickly had to insert Danielle in the second spot. Rachelle started us off well with a 9.725. Danielle really stepped up for the team and scored a 9.7 with hardly any time to warm-up or mentally prepare. Aubrey then recovered from her problems on floor to hit a good vault and match Rachelle’s 9.725. Karin was up next and received a 9.8 for a very good vault. Jamie then hit our highest score so far with a 9.85. It was really looking good for Bree but she fell on her vault but still scored a 9.4 ?- oh, what could have been. It was a just another example of the night the team was having. Our event score was a 48.8 and our final team score was a disappointing 193.75.
We finished in 5th in the competition, far below what we were hoping for or capable of. The final standings were: Stanford, UCLA,
We had our usual big turnout for our meet against Florida & BYU. These are the ones that I can recall seeing in the stands: Monica Bisordi, Jamie Schell, Katie Johnson, Jamie Duce, Mary Reiss, Kara Fry, Amanda Goins, Andi McCabe, Sheehan Lemley, Aimee Estella, Gina Martin. I apologize if I miss people occasionally. These are just the ones I recall during a very busy evening. Here is an interesting fact: Since her arrival on campus in the fall of ’96, Kara Fry has not missed a home meet. Of course this includes her competition career from 1997 to 2000 and then every meet we have had at McKale since. She has also been at most of the meets up at ASU. Especially memorable was her leading the entire U of A section in very raucous cheers with her pom-pom during the 2002 Regional Championship at ASU. We defeated the home team to advance to the NCAA Championships. Yes, if I had one ?- I would give her an award. Alumni that I noticed at the Senior meet: Monica Bisordi, Katie Johnson, Jamie Duce, Jamie Schell, Stevie Fanning, Kara Fry, Meagan Killpack, Amanda Goins, Lisha Stone. Becky (Bowers) Greene sent some new photos of her son. Gabby (Zermoglio) Stigall sent some recent photos of a family vacation. Diane (Monty)
Honors & Awards
Additions to the three Gymnast-of-the-Week awards have started to roll in. I hope there are many to come.
Academic All-Conference Karin Wurm (1st Team)
Academic All-Conference Danielle Hicks (Honorable Mention)
Academic All-Conference Rachelle Silberg (Honorable Mention)
Academic All-Conference Aubrey Taylor (Honorable Mention)
Our annual team banquet will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 6th. If you would like to attend, the cost is $20 a person. If you would like to attend, just let us know at the office. Checks can be made out to “
I want to thank all of the boosters and supporters who have helped out both with donations and support of the team. We had a great home season, 7-1, and the team really appreciates all the support along the way. We averaged almost 1000 fans per home meet and next year we want MORE! So please tell your friends and if you are ever wandering through
If you would like to donate, just send a check made out to “
Be sure to check out the Official University of Arizona Athletics Website (www.arizonaathletics.com) where you can find out a lot of information on the team. You can relive the home meets on the internet with AllAccess, there are photo archives, player journal, team poster, media guide, and up to date information on the team. This and all the newsletters can also be accessed from the site. The archives of the old newsletters reside at (www.u.arizona.edu/~ryden/gym.html). You can also contact me if you would like to receive the newsletter by email.
Until next time...