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Gymnastics to Host No. 13 OSU in Home Opener
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/27/2007
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Arizona Gymnastics Meet Notes (Oregon State, 1/26/07)

 

What’s on Tap: The No. 16 Arizona women’s gymnastics team (1-1, 0-1) will host No. 13 Oregon State (1-1, 1-0) in its 2007 season-opener. The Pac-10 Conference dual meet is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. (MST) in McKale Center.

 

Watch it Live: ArizonaAthletics.com will provide live statistics and a live video webcast of the event (video is mostly of Wildcat gymnasts only). As always, the live stats are free, while the live webcast this week will be available to All-Access subscribers only. Links will be provided in this article prior to the meet beginning on Friday. For more information, please log onto ArizonaAthletics.com.

 

The Rankings: Arizona enters competition this week ranked No. 16 in the country, with an average team score of 194.025. In individual events, UA ranks No. 11 on floor (48.812), No. 17 on beam (48.350) and No. 10 on vault (48.975). The Wildcats were tabbed as the No. 16 team in the nation according to the preseason coaches’ poll. Arizona has been ranked in 75 of the last 76 polls, including 28 straight.

 

About the Rankings: Unlike other collegiate athletic rankings, collegiate gymnastic rankings are not based on wins and losses or votes. Gymnastic teams are ranked by their meet scores alone.  From Jan. 15-Feb. 12, teams will be ranked by their total season average.  Starting Feb. 19, teams and gymnasts will be ranked by a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS).  An RQS is based on a team's top six regular-season scores, with three scores coming from away meets. To obtain the RQS, the team's or gymnast’s highest score is dropped and the remaining five scores are averaged. 

 

A Look at the Beavers: Oregon State enters the week ranked No. 13 with an average team score of 194.600. The Beavers opened 2007 with a loss at Florida, 196.850-193.800. Last week, OSU evened its record with a Pac-10 victory over California, 195.400-191.875, in Corvallis, Ore. Against the Golden Bears, sophomore Jami Lanz won the all-around with a season-high score of 39.300 and Oregon State dominated the awards ceremony following the competition. Lanz added the vault (9.875) and beam (9.90) titles. OSU sophomores D'Anna Piro won on uneven bars with a career-best score of 9.80 and Kera Bolen earned the floor title with a career-high 9.875. The Beavers are coached by Tanya Chaplin, who is in her 10th season in charge of the OSU program.

 

Side-by-Side: Arizona and Oregon State event-by-event comparison based on 2007 season averages:

 

 

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Total

Oregon State

48.625

48.312

48.875

48.787

194.600

Arizona

48.975

47.887

48.350

48.812

194.025

 

Arizona and Oregon State event-by-event comparison by season high score:

 

 

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Total

Oregon State

48.875

48.775

49.225

49.025

195.400

Arizona

49.075

48.575

48.450

49.075

194.975

 

 Arizona Head Coach: Bill Ryden is in his ninth season at the helm of the Arizona gymnastics program, owning a school and career record of 109-119-3.  Last season, he joined Jim Gault as the second coach to surpass 100 career coaching victories at Arizona. Ryden made his first appearance as a head coach at the NCAA Championships in 2002, the program’s first appearance since 1996.  In 2002, Ryden also earned Pac-10 Conference Coach of the Year honors as well as South Central Regional Coach of the Year honors, becoming the first head coach in Arizona history to have earned Regional Coach of the Year honors. Additionally, Ryden has coached in 16 Pac-10 Championships, 14 NCAA Championships and 16 NCAA Regional meets. Ryden has also trained 12 All-Americans and 18 All-Pac-10 gymnasts in his tenure at Arizona.

 

Home Openers: After two weeks on the road, the Wildcats will be at home for the next two meets, including this week against Oregon State. Over the course of Ryden’s first eight season at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted an 11-2 record in home-openers, including a run of eight straight victories dating back to the 2001 season.

 

More Openers:  During the past eight seasons, the Wildcats have tallied 7-1 record in the first Pac-10 home meet of the season, including six consecutive victories. Coincidentally, UA has opened its home Pac-10 schedule with Oregon State three times during the stretch, with the Wildcats claiming victories in all three matchups.

 

Greene Out: Sophomore Alexis Greene will likely miss the remainder of the season due to injury. The 5-5 native of Severn, Md., ruptured her Achilles tendon during a practice session last week. She competed in the bars and floor lineups in UA’s season opener at Michigan State (Jan. 12). Last season, Greene competed in three events in 10 of the Wildcats’ 13 meets.

 

Remember Her? The last name may have changed, but don’t worry, Aubrey is still Aubrey. Senior Aubrey Kelly, previously Aubrey Taylor, married Jesse Kelly this past summer. Last season, Kelly earned a score of 9.900 on the uneven bars at the NCAA North Central Region Championships to qualify individually for the NCAA Championships, where she scored a 9.800 in Session II to place 17th.

 

Quiet Consistency: Over the course of her career, junior Danielle Hicks has quietly become on of the team’s most consistent performers. In her first two seasons, she competed in the all-around 17 times. While a shoulder injury will prevent her from competing on bars this season, she has asserted herself as a top scorer on beam and floor. She leads UA with a 9.838 average on beam, and has posted a 9.775 average on floor through two meets this season.

 

Solid Start: Senior Aubrey Kelly has begun her final season as a Wildcat asserting herself as one of the team’s most consistent scorers. The 5-2 all-arounder has totaled a 39.000 in each of the first two meets of the year, and she is tops on the team in scoring average on bars (9.838). She boasts solid averages on vault (9.713) and floor (9.675), and her beam average is second best for the Wildcats (9.775).

 

Back in the All-Around: Karin Wurm, who competed in the all-around in all 13 of the team’s meets last season in addition to an individual appearance at the NCAA Championships, was not in Arizona’s beam or vault lineups in the team’s season-opener. However, she returned to the all-around last week at UCLA, earning a total of 38.375, including marks of 9.800 on vault and 9.750 on bars.

 

Breaking in on Bars: Looking for the root of Arizona’s struggles to begin the year on the uneven bars? Look no further than the fact in each of UA’s meets this season, four of the six lineup spots have been filled by freshmen or sophomores. Contributing to the inexperience is the absence of junior Danielle Hicks, who is unable to compete on bars this year due to a shoulder injury. Add in the loss of Alexis Greene for the remainder of the season, the team’s second-highest scorer in the event a year ago, and it is easier to understand why the Wildcats are taking some time to break in on bars this year.

 

Senior Leadership: Now in her final season as a Wildcat, senior Jamie Holton began her senior campaign with arguably the best meet of her career. A former walk-on who does not compete on bars due to a previous shoulder injury, Holton posted 29.55 points for the Wildcats at Michigan State (Jan. 12), the highest three-event total of her career. She won a share of the vault (9.900) and floor (9.875) titles, while placing fourth on beam (9.775). The mark on floor was a new career best, while her score on vault was the second highest of her career.

 

All or Nothing: After capturing a share of the vault title at Michigan State with a 9.900, sophomore Bree Workman continued a trend she started last season. She has now placed in the top five on vault six times in her career, with four of those occasions being the individual event champion. Workman was a late scratch from the vault lineup last week. Currently, her 9.900 average ranks fifth in the nation.

 

Finish Strong: Historically, Arizona squads have thrived in the role as the underdog. When tabbed as the No. 16 team in the nation or lower to begin a year, as is the case this season, the Wildcats have finished ranked higher at the end of the year in each of Ryden’s seasons. Last season, the Wildcats finished the season No. 13 after beginning the year at No. 17. Below are Arizona’s preseason and final rankings by year since 1998.

 

Arizona in the Polls Since 1998:

 

Year

Preseason Rank

Final Rank

2007

16th

???

2006

17th

13th

2005

13th

t-18th

2004

17th

14th

2003

10th

19th

2002

17th

11th

2001

20th

18th

2000

16th

20th

1999

16th

20th

1998

12th

14th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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