Feb. 24, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. – Tonight was the night for leadership from the upperclassmen, as the No. 14 Arizona gymnastics team bested the No. 25 Washington Huskies 195.675-194.925.
“Tonight we had a couple of moments when we were in trouble, and the seniors and juniors took over. They do not want to lose, and they sort of willed their way to the win tonight. Kudos to them for stepping up in a huge way,” head coach Bill Ryden said.
Sophomore Shana Sangston was the leadoff for the Cats on vault, starting strong to place third with a new career high 9.775. Tying with Sangston was junior Molly Quirk and senior Rebecca Cardenas. Sophomore Jordan Williams broke the score cap with a 9.850 to tie with junior Aubree Cristello for first place. The team totaled a 49.025, putting them above the Huskies by 0.25.
“I felt good after vault. Last week vault was our struggle event, and this week we scored our second 49 on vault of the season,” Ryden commented.
Despite the strong start, the Cats had a little bit of trouble in the second event counting a fall for a 48.450. Leadership from the upper class enabled Arizona to salvage some of the score: senior Katie Matusik earned first place on the event with a 9.875, Cristello tied for second with a 9.850, Quirk posted a 9.800 for third place, and senior Britnie Jones tallied a 9.725.
After event number two Arizona had lost the lead to Washington, falling behind the Dawgs by 0.475.
The beam team picked up the slack, cutting the lead by Washington to only 0.275 by scoring a season high 49.075 in event number three.
Sangston started the Cats strong for the second event of the night, posting a 9.725.
“I’m so proud of Shana for showing up. She stepped up on vault, and despite some inconsistencies with leading off she made an impact in tonight’s beam team. She had been upset about the fact that she had been pulled from the lineup, and she really made up for it with her performance tonight,” Ryden said.
The upper classmen then took control, with Matusik and Quirk tying for second with scores of 9.825. Cristello posted a new career high 9.850 to tie with Jones’ season high score, earning them both first place on the event.
“I was stoked with how well our last few routines went. We went on a run of solid scores, and I know that was one of our strongest beam efforts of the season. Kudos to them for coming up, hitting, and getting us back into the meet,” Ryden said.
Arizona made up the deficit and more in the last rotation, earning a 49.125. For the second week straight the Cats counted only scores of 9.800 or better, with junior Mykle Douglas, Quirk and Matusik all posting scores of 9.800, and Cardenas posting a 9.825 for third place. In first place was Cristello, with yet another score of 9.90 – her fifth consecutive week of posting a score of 9.90 or better.
“I was incredibly impressed with the motivation and stick-to-it-tive-ness of the floor team. Even without two of our standard routines in the lineup the floor team came through. Shana once again surprised us with a solid start, and the upperclassmen put the icing on the
The all-around marked several accomplishments for the Cats, with Cristello posting her second highest career all-around of 39.450, and Quirk earning a new career high for the second week straight with a 39.200.
“Amazing job to both of the all-arounders tonight. They’re both better than they were freshman year, and as I’ve said before these scores are not surprising. They deserve them.” Ryden said, “Both girls really came through in the clutch when we needed them.”
From here the Cats head back to the gym on Monday, preparing for a two-meet weekend in California taking on UC-Davis, San Jose State, Alaska, Stanford and California.