April 1, 2002
What's Coming Up - The No. 12 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team (15-7, 9-4 Pac-10) travels to Tempe, Ariz., this week for the 2002 South Central Regional Championship on Saturday, April 6. The South Central Regional is hosted by Arizona State University and will be held in the Wells Fargo Arena at 6 p.m. MST. The Wildcats will take on No. 1 UCLA (19-8), No. 17 Brigham Young (10-3), No. 18 Arizona State (9-10-1), Cal State Fullerton (8-13) and Illinois-Chicago (19-10). The Wildcats will face Brigham Young, Cal State Fullerton and Illinois-Chicago for the first time this season, while the Cats battle UCLA and Arizona State for the third time this year. In addition to the six teams, five all-around competitors and four event specialists will compete in Saturday's meet. The all-around competitors are Jana Gallagher and Ashley Williams of Illinois-Champaign, Kristina Campos of Northern Illinois, Ashley Godwin of Southeast Missouri State and Luci Romberg of Texas Women's University. The individual event specialists are Texas Women's University's Jessica Brozovich (vault), Erin McNabb (bars) and Michelle Hepner (beam), and Southeast Missouri State's Michelle Walker (floor). Saturday's meet will mark Arizona's 16th consecutive postseason appearance.
Arizona at the NCAA Regional Meet - Arizona has qualified for the regional championship meet every year since 1987. The Wildcats are in search of their first berth to the NCAA Championship in six years. Last season at the 2001 regional championship meet, the Wildcats missed reaching the NCAA Championship by .100 of a point. Arizona finished third (194.825) behind first-place Nebraska (196.200) and runner-up Oklahoma (194.925) on April 7, in Lincoln, Neb. Arizona's highest regional finishes came in 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1996 when the Wildcats finished in second place to advance to the NCAA Championship. Arizona posted its highest regional meet team total of 195.125 during the 1996 season.
About the NCAA Regional Meet Structure - The top 18 ranked teams in the nation, based on their regional qualifying score (RQS), were placed into six regional championship meets around the nation (three per region). The top two teams in each of the six regional meets will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship meet in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on April 18-20. The top two all-around competitors and the individual event winners will also receive automatic bids to the national championship if they are not members of a qualifying team.
Arizona's Regional Rotation Order -
Rotation I: Floor
Rotation II: Vault
Rotation III: Bye
Rotation IV: Bars
Rotation V: Beam
Rotation VI: Bye
Scouting the South Central Regional Field-
UCLA - The No. 1 UCLA Bruins enter Saturday's meet with 19-5 overall record and a regional qualifying score of 197.230. UCLA is the back-to-back defending national champions. The Bruins finished in first place (197.625) at the 2002 Pac-10 Championships on March 23, to win the programs 10th conference championship in school history. UCLA is ranked nationally in all four events: No. 3 on vault, No. 1 on bars, No. 2 on beam and No. 6 on floor. The Bruins are led by 2002 Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year Jamie Dantzscher who is ranked No. 1 in the nation on floor and bars and No. 2 on vault. Head coach Valorie Kondos Field (UCLA, 1987) is in her 12th year at the helm of the UCLA program and has lead the Bruins to three national championships (1997, 2000, 2001) and 12 regional championships. She owns a career and school record of 244-52.
Brigham Young - The No. 17 Brigham Young University Cougars enter the regional meet with a 10-3 overall record and a regional qualifying score of 195.520. BYU is the ranked No. 9 in the nation on floor, No. 14 on vault and No. 19 on bars. The Cougars are led by senior Kelly Parkinson-Evanson, who is ranked No. 7 in the nation on beam and No. 11 in the all-around. Head coach Brad Cattermole is in his 12th season at the helm of the BYU program and has a career and school record of 178-212-1.
Arizona State - The No. 18 Arizona State Sun Devils will host Saturday's regional championship with a 9-10-1 overall record and a regional qualifying score of 195.435. The Sun Devils finished sixth (194.125) at the Pac-10 Championships on March 23. On March 1, the Sun Devils defeated Arizona 197.850-196.700, in Wells Fargo Arena. Arizona State is ranked No. 15 in the nation on bars and No. 18 on vault and floor. Sophomore Maggie Germaine is ranked No. 22 in the nation on vault. Head Coach John Spini (Arizona State, 1976) is in his 22nd year at the helm of the Sun Devil program and has a career and school record of 280-105-2.
Cal State Fullerton - The Cal State Fullerton Titans enter Saturday's meet with a 8-13 overall record and a regional qualifying score of 194.250. The Titans are ranked No. 30 in the nation on bars, No. 35 on floor, No. 36 on beam and No. 47 on vault. Senior Jonna Hughes is ranked No. 20 in the nation on bars and junior Kelley Mathiasen is ranked No. 16 on beam. Head coach Julie Knight (CS Fullerton, 1979) is in her fourth year at the helm of the Titan program.
Illinois-Chicago - The Illinois-Chicago Flames enter the regional championship meet with a 19-10 record and a regional qualifying 194.750. The Flames are ranked No. 27 in the nation on bars, No. 30 on vault, No. 36 on floor and No. 42 on beam. Head Coach Peter Jansson is in his tenth year at the helm of the Illinois-Chicago program and has a school record of 121-98-1.
Last Time Out - The No. 12 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team finished in second place at the 2002 Pac-10 Championship meet in Stanford's Maples Pavilion, on March 23. Arizona scored a team record 197.050 to match its best Pac-10 Championship finish in team history.
The No. 1 UCLA Bruins won the program's 10th conference championship in school history with a score of 197.625, narrowly defeating second-place Arizona (197.050). No. 10 Stanford landed in third place (196.150), No. 14 Oregon State finished fourth (196.125) and Washington finished the meet in fifth place (195.425). No. 16 Arizona State placed sixth (194.125) and California rounded out the field in seventh place (189.700).
Arizona's second-place finish at the 2002 Pac-10 Championship marks its fourth second-place finish in school history and its first since 1992 (1990, 1987). Arizona's team score of 197.050 is the highest total in team history, breaking the previous mark of 196.900 set on March 2, 2001 against Arizona State in McKale Center. The Wildcats won the team vault title with a new team record score of 49.550. Arizona posted its fourth-highest mark in team history on beam (49.125), its seventh-highest score in team history on floor (49.300) and its second-highest score of the season on bars (49.075).
The Wildcats finish the regular season with a record of 15-7 and 9-4 in the Pac-10 Conference. Six Wildcat gymnasts - Monica Bisordi, Jamie Duce, Stevie Fanning, Kristine Harper, Katie Johnson and Jamie Schell - each set or tied season-high and career-high marks at the Pac-10 Championship meet.
Individually for the Wildcats, senior Randi Liljenquist tied for first place on floor with a score of 9.950. Liljenquist also tied for third place on vault (9.925) and fourth place in the all-around (39.400). Sophomore Andi McCabe tied for third place with Liljenquist on vault (9.925). In her only event of the competition, freshman Stevie Fanning tied for first place on beam with a career-high score of 9.900.
Freshman Monica Bisordi placed third in the all-around competition with a career-high score of 39.425. Freshman Katie Johnson tied for third-place honors on floor (9.925) and posted a career-high 9.900 on vault, and freshman Kristine Harper tied for fifth on beam with a career-high 9.875. Freshman Jamie Duce set a career-high on beam (9.850) and freshman Jamie Schell tied a career-high on vault (9.900).
Wildcats in the Rankings - Arizona began the 2002 season ranked No. 17 in the preseason coaches' poll. Going into Saturday's regional championship meet, the Wildcats remain the No. 12-ranked team in the nation. The Wildcat's regional qualifying score is 196.020. Arizona is the No. 1 team in the nation on vault, No. 11 on beam and No. 12 on floor. Individually for the Wildcats, senior Randi Liljenquist is ranked No. 3 in the nation on floor, No. 9 in the all-around, No. 12 on vault and No. 13 on beam. Freshman Monica Bisordi is ranked No. 16 in the nation on beam and No. 20 on vault. Sophomore Andi McCabe is ranked No. 4 in the nation on vault and freshman Katie Johnson is No. 4 in the nation on floor.
Changing the Record Books - Arizona has posted a top-10 team mark in each meet this season. On March 23, at the Pac-10 Championships, the Wildcats scored a 197.050, which is the highest total in team history. Arizona also set a new team record on vault, posting a 49.550 to place first at the Pac-10 Championships in the event. Arizona has posted 20 new top-10 team marks this season.
Top-10 Cats - So far this season, seven Wildcat gymnasts - Nikki Beyschau, Monica Bisordi, Stevie Fanning, Katie Johnson, Randi Liljenquist, Andi McCabe and Jamie Schell - have posted scores that rank among the top-10 individual scores in team history. Senior Randi Liljenquist is the only Wildcat to set and tie an individual record during the regular season. Liljenquist posted a career-high and team record 10.000 on beam at Arizona State (3/1), becoming the first Wildcat to score a perfect 10 on beam in team history. She also tied a career-high and team-record 10.000 on floor against No. 11 Minnesota, Northern Illinois and Washington (3/14).
Stepping Up - At the Pac-10 Championship meet on March 23, all six Arizona freshman- Monica Bisordi, Jamie Duce, Stevie Fanning, Kristine Harper, Katie Johnson and Jamie Schell- each set or tied career-high marks. Monica Bisordi set a career-high all-around score of 39.425, the sixth highest mark in school history, to finish in third place in the event. Stevie Fanning posted a career-high mark of 9.900 on beam, the sixth-highest score in team history, to tie for first place honors. Katie Johnson tied a career-high mark on vault (9.900) and Kristine Harper placed fifth on beam with a career-high 9.875. Jamie Duce posted a career-high 9.850 on beam, and Jamie Schell tied career-high marks on vault (9.900) and floor (9.875).
Bill Ryden's Weekly Analysis - "We will be facing some very tough teams on Saturday. Each team has tons of competition experience at the regional and national level. Our team needs to be very competitive to be successful against this field. We will need to compete like we did at the Pac-10 Championship. I feel we have a good team and that we can rise to the challenge. Our team is working really well as a unit and everyone knows their jobs. I really hope every person who follows our program will show up to support us on Saturday."
A Look Ahead - The teams who finish in the top two positions at the regional championship will advance to the NCAA Championship on April 18-20 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The top two all-around competitors and the individual event winners who are not members of a qualifying team will receive an automatic bid to the national championship.