Jan. 8, 2012
CANCUN, Mexico – The Arizona women’s gymnastics team opened the season with a bang, scoring a 195.10 to overtake Auburn (194.775), Iowa (193.875) and LSU (192.500) in the Cancun Classic. Arkansas won the meet with a team total of 196.450.
The team was slated to begin the meet on bars, totaling a 48.775 on the event.
“I was pretty pleased with the bar total all things considered.” Head coach Bill Ryden said, “We were able to put out a few new routines – Britnie threw a new release move and caught it – and we went seven for seven right off the bat, so overall I thought things were starting off relatively well.”
Highlights of bars included a debut of freshman Allison Flores, who led off the rotation out for the Wildcats with a score of 9.650. Scores of 9.700 by senior Rebecca Cardenas and junior Molly Quirk, scores of 9.775 from junior Aubree Cristello and senior Britnie Jones, and a team high score of 9.80 by senior Katie Matusik contributed to the team total as well.
Matusik was then queen of the beam for the Cats, taking second place in the competition with a score of 9.900.
“Katie really nailed her beam routine. In fact, she rocked that thing. Everything she did was just pristine – aside from one step on the landing of her dismount. Given that, you have to know just how beautifully she performed.” Ryden said.
The momentum only continued for the Wildcats with a team score of 48.750 on floor. The top team marks went to Cristello with a 9.825 and Cardenas, Shana Sangston, and Matusik, all with scores of 9.750.
“Floor wasn’t our best performance by any means, but it certainly wasn’t bad either.” Ryden commented, “Shana debuted her routine, and despite a few difficulties that were pretty uncharacteristic we were still able to go out and perform very well.”
Going into the last rotation, Arizona was tied for second place with Auburn – both with the vault rotation remaining. Thanks to a 9.700 from Sangston, two scores of 9.750 from Mykle Douglas and Williams, plus a 9.825 from Graham and a 9.850 from Cristello, the Cats were able to total a 48.875, pulling ahead of Auburn by .375 to secure second place.
“In the end, the meet came down to our vault versus Auburn’s vault, straight up. Auburn is an incredibly solid team, and their vault is nothing to sneeze at by any means. Our vaulters fought hard and had a very solid event so we were able to walk away feeling like we did our best at the time, and it paid off.” Ryden said.
Cristello was the lone Wildcat to compete all-around, taking fourth overall with a score of 39.150.
“We ended up going 24 for 24 in the scoring positions, 25 for 25 overall, so I’m very happy with the results of this meet. We competed incredibly hard, and incredibly motivated. It wasn’t the best gymnastics we are capable of, but it is also only January 6th and we just came back from break.” Ryden said, “We’re pretty happy, and this meet gave us the opportunity to walk away with a ton of things we know we need to work on in order to really take charge this season.”
1. Arkansas 196.450 (VT - 49.325, UB - 49.200, BB - 48.950, FX - 48.975)
2. Arizona 195.150 (VT - 48.875, UB - 48.775, BB - 48.750, FX - 48.750)
3. Auburn 194.775 (VT - 48.500, UB - 48.850, BB - 48.775, FX - 48.650)
4. Iowa 193.875 (VT - 48.575, UB - 48.975, BB - 47.950, FX - 48.375)
5. LSU 192.500 (VT - 49.200, UB - 47.975, BB - 46.525, FX - 48.800)
Arizona Individual Scores
All-Around – Aubree Cristello 39.150