April 8, 2012
SEATTLE, Wash. - Two Arizona gymnasts have officially qualified for the NCAA National Championships due to their performances at the NCAA Regional Championships yesterday. Junior Aubree Cristello and senior Katie Matusik will both be competing as individuals in different events in the upcoming meet.
In order to qualify as an individual, a competitor must do one of two things.
The first option is to qualify as an all-around competitor. Individual all-around competitors are chosen based on the next two top all-around scores once all all-around competitors from qualifying teams are removed from the standings. Thanks to scores of 9.850 on vault, 9.775 on bars, 9.775 on beam, and a 9.850 on floor, Cristello totaled a 39.250 and took third place in the meet. The two competitors in the standings above her were both from Alabama, a qualifying team. Therefore, Cristello was the first of two all-around competitors to advance to the Championships.
"Aubree has definitely earned the right to compete at Nationals. She has been ranked highly in the nation both in the all-around and on floor, so I think it is very fitting that her year isn't over yet," head coach Bill Ryden said.
The second option is to take first on an event, regardless of whether the competitor is on a qualifying team or not. Matusik did just this, tying for first place on beam with a score of 9.900. Even though she tied, Matusik will be advancing to the Championships as an individual beam competitor.
"Katie is certainly one of the best beam workers to ever wear an Arizona leotard. It's great to see her win that title and to get another chance to compete." Ryden said, "She has been working very hard all year for this opportunity, so this is wonderful to see that work pay off. Katie truly is one of the best we've ever had."
The girls will travel to Duluth, Ga. the weekend of April 20-22 for a chance to compete as individuals and qualify for a spot in the individual competition session.