Final National Ranking: 13th
Dear Friends, Alumni & Boosters,
NCAA Regionals- Now that the regular season is behind us, we were happy to be one of 36 teams left competing in the country. I am very proud of the fact that the program now has qualified for the post season for 20 consecutive years. We are ranked 15th and have received the number 3 seed to the North Central Regional to be held at Iowa State University in Ames, IA. Competing with us is
Alexis’ ankle had not yet recovered from her injury at the Pac-10’s so we decided to insert Beamer in the 3rd spot in the floor line-up: Jamie, Erin, Beamer, Danielle, Karin, and Aubrey. Jamie did her usual great job of starting us off with a hit and a great score: 9.8.
Our vault line-up hadn’t changed from the six that saluted in
We were on a bye for the fourth rotation but
We marched to our third event, bars, with the same line-up that had worked for us ever since Sarah P. went down with a concussion: Beamer, Suzanne, Alexis, Danielle, Karin, and Aubrey. Beamer started us off with a hit and a 9.675. Suzanne wasn’t able to hit her set though and a fall on her Tkatchev left her with an 8.975 from the judges. Alexis coxed one landing out of her injured ankle and was able to stick her dismount after a great routine and scored a 9.8. Danielle was up fourth and had a great routine going when she was not able to pull back a handstand on her transition. She refused to come off the bar and her effort along with quick thinking resulted in a “salvaged” 9.55. It was a shining example of how the injuries sustained during the season were adding up and affecting the team score. Karin then stepped up and kept her solid night going with a 9.85. Aubrey finally put up a routine that she wanted to finish up our bar effort and received a 9.9 that included a stuck dismount that I had been waiting for all season. Once again we had to count a routine into the team score that we weren’t counting on. Our event score was a decent 48.775. The meet standings after five rotations were: Iowa St.-195.725, BYU-192.125, ASU-147.475, Minnesota-146.825, Arizona-146.475, Denver-146.075. The team was still focused with energy and enthusiasm. We were going to fight to the end.
Iowa St. had set the mark. As we rotated to our last event, beam, John and I talked about the fact that we were still in the meet even with counting two substandard scores. Beam is actually one of our best events when we were on and we would have to be on to have any chance of advancing in the top-2 team positions. We had slightly altered the usual beam line-up, swapping Erin and Jamie: Erin, Jamie, Karin, Aubrey, Beamer, and Danielle. Erin seemed to feel right at home in the lead-off spot as she hit one of her best routines for a 9.725. Jamie didn’t feel the same for her new position in the line-up as she uncharacteristically fell on her acro series. She received a 9.15 from the judges. The team didn’t let the setback quiet them and Karin used the enthusiasm to hit one of her best which resulted in a 9.8. Aubrey was also focused and energized as she hit a great routine for a 9.825. Beamer then came up and hit her routine to keep the streak going for a 9.725. Danielle came up sixth to finish our beam work and our meet. She recovered quickly from the struggle on bars as she hit a great routine and our top score of the event, 9.85. I was proud of our fight and determination to finish well. Our event score was a 48.925, a good score in this type of meet. We almost pulled ourselves out of the hole we created but not quite. The final standings were: ASU-196.675, Iowa St.-195.725, Arizona-195.4, Denver-195.25, Minnesota-194.675, and BYU-192.125.
We had missed our goal of advancing to the NCAA finals by .325. We had four routines we wish we could get back but there are no Mulligan’s here. When I step back and think of all that we have gone through since September with the injuries, lack of depth, and inexperience; the team really did more than was probably expected. But it is a bitter pill to get so close and not reach the goal when you can identify where things went wrong. Still there were many positives to come out of the meet. Erin really did a great job hitting both of her events to boost the team in her last meet as a GymCat. Beamer had a good meet as well hitting all three of her routines. Jamie tied for fourth on vault. Aubrey won bars with Karin placing sixth. Danielle tied for fourth on beam. Karin tied for sixth on floor and also tied for third in the all-around. Karin was the top all-arounder not on a qualifying team and therefore qualified as an individual to the NCAA Championships. Aubrey qualified as an individual as well based on her victory on bars. Finally, as this was our last team competition, our final ranking is determined by this score. Our score was the highest in the nation of any team that did not advance and therefore our final national ranking is 13th. A very good result from such a young group. It still feels like there is unfinished business but I guess I will leave that until next year.
NCAA Championships We arrived in Corvallis for the third time this year, late the night before the workout day. It was a pleasant surprise to awake to sunshine which is rare in Oregon this time of year. Karin and Aubrey were in separate workout sessions so it would be a longer than usual day just to get through five events. Both of them had a little difficulty with workout which wasn’t all that unusual. All the equipment is brand new from the factory for this competition and everyone seemed to be struggling a bit. Nevertheless, we were sure that the next day they would both perform great.
Karin was seeded in the afternoon session, rotating with Oklahoma. She was the No. 3 seed all-arounder and Oklahoma was the No. 3 seed team, hence the match. The rotation order is done by random draw at the NCAA office and I was very excited to see that she would be competing in Olympic order: Vault ?- Bye ?- Bars ?- Beam ?- Bye ?- Floor. She started out on vault and hit a very nice effort. It was the first event of the day and scores were understandably tight. She scored a 9.625 for her effort. After the bye, she marched to bars (an event that gave her a few fits the day before) and hit a really good routine. She received a 9.775 from the judges. We marched to beam and Karin was her usual laid-back self. If she was nervous at all she didn’t show it and it certainly didn’t affect her beam routine. She hit one her best for the year and a 9.8. It was very exciting. After the second bye, we marched to floor where she would be the last performer of the session. With just a few little landing bobbles, she hit her fourth routine in a row for a 9.825. She had an all-around score of 39.025 as she improved on every routine as competed. Needless to say, I am very proud of her. She finished 9th on beam, 17th on floor and 16th in the all-around in her session. A very good effort for her first NCAA Championships.
Aubrey was competing in the evening session and would have both a similar and different competition schedule. Specialists perform in the 3rd rotation of the session. Aubrey was the only bar specialist in the competition, so obviously she would compete bars in the 3rd rotation, the same as Karin. The team that would be on bars at that time was Georgia, the eventual team champion. They were great to follow. Aubrey hit the same great routine that we have all seen many times through the season. Just a step on her dismount kept her from finals on Saturday. She received a 9.8 from the judges. I am just as proud of Aubrey’s effort.
Although neither Karin nor Aubrey advanced to individual finals, they did a great job representing the program and the university. All five performances were great and that is all I could ask. I know that both of them really benefited from being in the competition and will certainly relay what it takes to succeed at this level to the rest of the team. As of now, we are on to next year. I really feel that we will have a very strong team and I look forward to that team taking the floor in McKale Center next April for the South Central Regional Championships.
Newest Members of the Family There are three athletes out there that are going to be joining the team next year and will have a big impact on the team score. Miranda Russell from Oshkosh, WI is currently in the midst of an undefeated season most recently winning the USAG Regional IV Meet. She will be competing and the Junior Olympic National Championships in Oklahoma City. Joining Miranda will be Jamie Custer from Naperville, IL. Jamie had to sit part of the season out rehabilitating an injury but was able to come back in time to win the USAG Region V Meet. Our third new team member is Brittney Morgan from Barboursville, VA. Brittney placed 2nd at last years National Championships but an injury will keep her from this year’s competition. She is busy going through rehab so that she will be 100% in August.
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)
NCAA Regional Bar Champion Aubrey Taylor
Team Banquet This year’s team banquet was held on Saturday, May 6th. It was a nice event to celebrate a good season and send off our two seniors. The team awards given out at the banquet were:
Golden “A” (MVP) Danielle Hicks
Jim Gault Coaches Award Karin Wurm & Erin Muirhead
Outstanding Performance Aubrey Taylor
Most Improved Jamie Holton
Newcomer-of-the-Year Briana “Beamer” Bergeson
Boosters & Banquet Sponsors
Phil & Linda Johnson
Jim & Sandra Ferry
S. Jack McDuff
Roy & Jane Karadbil
Mary & Fred Roby
John & Helen Schaefer
Roy & Carol Lundstrom
Erich & Carolyn Holzer
Chris Wurm & Ginger North
Avery Davis & Debra Davis
Jerry & Joan Tolle
Tim & Susan Weiser
Howard & Marlene Volin
If you would like to donate, just send a check made out to “University of Arizona / GymCats” and send it to me here at the office. I will get it to the proper people. Your donation is tax deductible and greatly appreciated.
Next Year Yes, we have just finished off a long year and already I am mentioning next season. I have included next year’s schedule at the end of the newsletter so everyone can plan ahead. We will be traveling to Lansing, MI; Westwood, CA; Seattle, WA; Berkeley, CA; Raleigh, NC; Provo, UT; and Tempe, AZ. I want everyone to make sure and take notice that we are hosting the NCAA South Central Regional Meet. I am very excited about the fact that we will have a very strong team and will be hosting this competition. We will also only be traveling up I-10 for the Pac-10 Championships. I would encourage all of you to attend every meet you can but be sure and make your plans to come root on the Wildcats at both of these Championship meets in Arizona.
Cyberspace 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...