March 24, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - After leading the competition the entire meet, the Arizona women's gymnastics team took first place in the first session of the Pac-12 Championships, overtaking the next place by almost a point and a half. The Cats missed a 196 by only one tenth, posting a 195.900. In second place was Arizona State with a 194.550, followed by Washington with a 194.125 and California with a 193.525.
"We did a good job. We came in just doing what we normally do, trying to hit 24 of 24. We had a few bobbles on the first two events, unexpectedly. But I'm most proud of the fact of how we just kept rising. And even when we had the fall on beam at the end, I knew that the team wouldn't let the fall on beam affect them. They'll rise to the occasion. It's nice to have a good meet. This ends the regular season by NCAA terms and so we'll take this as a springboard into our postseason," head coach Bill Ryden commented.
The Wildcats began the afternoon on floor, where they posted a 48.900 (the third score of the session on the event). Placing on the podium was junior Aubree Cristello who posted a score of 9.850 to take third place. Other contributors included senior Katie Matusik with a 9.800, junior Molly Quirk with a 9.775, freshman Allison Flores with a 9.750 and senior Rebecca Cardenas with a 9.725.
The Cats went on to post a 48.850 on vault, earning a total of 97.175 at the halfway point in the meet. Cardinal and navy took over the podium, with Cristello, junior Mykle Douglas and sophomore Jordan Williams going 1, 2, and 3 on the event with scores of 9.850, 9.800 and 9.775. The final two contributors were sophomore Shana Sangston with a 9.725 and Quirk with a 9.700.
In the third rotation, Arizona swung its way to a 49.025 on bars - the first of four scores of 49 or better in the session (Arizona State claimed the second in the third rotation with a 49.000 on floor). Senior Britnie Jones led off the lineup, earning a 9.800 and tying with Arizona's second competitor Flores. Placing third in the meet were Quirk and Matusik, who tied with the team high scores of 9.825. The final score in the total came from Cristello, who posted a 9.775.
The Cats secured the victory after posting a 49.125 on beam. Quirk and Matusik took the beam title, tying for first with the only scores of 9.90 of the session. These scores also marked the 12th consecutive meet with at least one score of 9.90 or better this season. Cristello earned third place, tying her season high score of 9.850 on the event. Williams also tied her season high score of 9.775, and Flores posted a new career high 9.700.
Arizona's two all-around competitors led the competition as well. Cristello earned a 39.325 for first place, and Quirk earned a career high 39.200 for second place.
The official place in the championships will be determined upon the conclusion of the second session, set to take place at 7 p.m. The results of this meet will also determine which Pac-12 schools will be competing in the 2012 NCAA Regional Championships.