Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcat Gymnasts Fry And Liljenquist End Season At NCAA Championship
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: June 22, 2004
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ATHENS, Ga. - Arizona senior Kara Fry and junior All-American Randi Liljenquist closed out the 2001 season Thursday night at the NCAA Championship in Athens, Ga. Both gymnasts made their second trip to the national championship meet.

Fry entered the NCAA Championship as the No. 3 at-large seed in the all-around. She tied for 24th in the all-around finals with a 38.775. She scored a 9.650 on vault, a 9.800 on bars, a 9.600 on beam and a 9.725 on floor. Fry's highest finish came on bars, as she finished in 22nd place in the event.

Liljenquist automatically qualified to compete in the floor exercise event at the national championship after earning top honors in the event at the regional championship meet on April 7. She posted a 9.800 on floor and tied for 45th in the overall event standings to close out the season at the national championship.

Fry, a 5-5 senior from Nazareth, Pa., was named to the 2001 All-Pac-10 team in the all-around last week. She was the only Wildcat gymnast to earn all-conference honors this season, and she was one of six gymnasts selected to the all-conference team in the all-around. Fry earned all-conference honors for the second time in her career. She was named to the All-Pac-10 team in the all-around following her freshman season in 1998.

The two-time All-Pac-10 honoree competed in 14 meets for the Wildcats this season as an all-around performer. Fry won 12 individual event championships this year, including four all-around titles. Fry, who was named 2001 South Central Regional Gymnast of the Year at the regional championship, also tallied 32 top-five performances after competing in a total of 56 routines this season. Fry earned her second trip to the national championship as the No. 3 at-large seed after posting a third-place finish in the all-around (39.275) at the regional competition.

Fry has scored over the 39.000 mark in nine out of 14 meets this year. She holds Arizona's top individual scores for 2001 on bars (9.950) and beam (9.900). Fry's career-high marks in all four events and in the all-around have earned her a place in the Arizona record books. Her career-high 39.525 is the third-best all-time individual all-around score, and her career-high 9.950 on bars is No. 3 on the all-time top-10 performers' list. Fry's career-high 9.850 on vault is No. 10 on the all-time list, her career-high 9.900 on floor is the No. 7 score, and her career-high 9.900 on beam is the No. 6 all-time mark.

Fry, who earned her first trip to the NCAA Championship as a freshman in 1998, competed in 51 consecutive meets dating back to the first competition of her freshman season. She proved her reliability and consistency in the all-around, competing in the all-around for the last 50 consecutive meets. Fry competed in a grand total of 201 events during her four-year career.

Liljenquist, a 5-2 junior from Tucson, Ariz., earned the second NCAA bid of her career after she tied for first-place honors in the floor exercise event at the regional championship. She scored a 9.925 on floor to win a share of the event title and automatically earned a NCAA berth in the floor exercise event. Liljenquist ended the 2001 season with 12 individual event titles, including three all-around championships, and 35 top-five performances.

The junior All-American has competed in 144 total routines dating back to her freshman year in 1999. Liljenquist also has competed in 39 out of a possible 40 floor routines since the first meet of the 1999 season. She did not compete on floor at the Minnesota meet on March 10, 2001.

She made her first trip to the NCAA Championship as a sophomore last season, and she earned second-team All-America honors in the all-around. Liljenquist holds Arizona's top individual scores on vault (9.900), beam (9.900), floor (9.950) and in the all-around (39.650) this season. Liljenquist's career-high 39.650 in the all-around ranks as the No. 2 all-time score, and her career-high 10.000 on floor remains tied for the top score in school history. Her career-high 9.900 on vault is the No. 6 all-time score, her career-high 9.925 on bars is the No. 7 mark, and Liljenquist's career-high 9.925 on beam is the No. 3 all-time individual score.

Arizona head coach Bill Ryden has had at least one gymnast qualify for a berth to the NCAA Championship in each of his three years at the helm of the program. In 11 years as a Wildcat assistant and head coach, Ryden has coached 11 All-Americans and 14 All-Pac-10 gymnasts. The Wildcats closed out the season with a third-place finish at the South Central Regional Championship on April 7 and missed qualifying for a team berth to the NCAA Championship.


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