Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Women's Gymnastics Inks Four Recruits
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 16, 2011
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Nov. 16, 2011

TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona women's gymnastics coach Bill Ryden announced Wednesday that Shelby Edwards, Lexi Mills, Jessie Sisler, and Christina Wood have signed National Letters-of-Intent to attend the school and do gymnastics. The four are expected to enroll and compete starting in the 2012-2013 school year.

A three time J.O. National qualifier, Edwards currently trains under Jack and Erin Carter of Carter Gymnastics Academy in San Tan Valley, Ariz.  Edwards was the 2011 Arizona State all-around Champion, and was also recognized by the state as Arizona J.O. Gymnast of the Year, and Arizona Most Outstanding Gymnast in 2009. In 2009 she was also a Level 10 National Team Member, and took 2nd place all-around at the J.O. National Championships.

"Shelby is a fantastic athlete. She is a true all-arounder, she is a fomer elite, and certainly someone I feel can contribute everywhere. She brings a high talent level and a high level of experience that will strengthen the team." Ryden said.


Following current gymnasts Katie Matusik and Mykle Douglas, Mills is another WOGA legacy to join the Wildcats. Out of Frisco, Texas, and coached by Yevengy Marchenko Laurie, Mills was both the level 8 Region III beam champion, and the level 9 beam and floor state champion. Mills also was the level 9 Western bar champion. A four time level 10 J.O. National qualifier, and five time level 10 state and regional qualifier, Mills also took 1st on beam and 3rd on bars at the level 10 J.O. National Championships.

"As a former national beam champion Lexi has great lines and grace. I really feel like her style of gymnastics will certainly contribute to the team. I would expect her to be an all-arounder, and she will make a huge impact on beam as well as to the look and elegance of the team." Ryden said.


Hailing from Sloughhouse, Calif. Sisler is a three time J.O. National Qualifier, and was the 2011 State beam and floor champion, and took first place on floor at Regionals. Also under her belt include three titles of state vault champion (2010, 2007, and 2006), three additional titles of state beam champion (2009, 2007, and 2006), one other title of state floor champion (2006) and regional vault champion (2007). Coached by Lisa Poarch, Tara Gilmore, Rick Newman, and Mark Holtzclaw, she currently trains at Technique Gymnastics.

"Jessie is a strong athlete on a number of events. She will be a huge addition to the beam squad, she has great tumbling, great vaulting, and is very powerful. She's capable of bringing in very high scores on those three events for sure, and should make an immediate impact in the lineup." Ryden said.

Wood has a number of titles as well, including 6th place all-around, 3rd place on beam, and 2nd place on floor at the 2011 Region I Championships. Additionally in 2011, Wood was ranked 17th in America's Top 100 Level 10 floor scores with a high of 9.800. Coached by Wes Jones, Geoff Eaton, Kristen Fanning, and Ashley Turner at Desert Devils, Wood took 1st on vault, 2nd on beam, and 1st on floor at the 2011 Level 10 State Championships. She was the 27th best all-around score at the 2010 J.O. National Championships. A two time national qualifier, Wood has also received an invitation to attend Karolyi Camp in 2008.

"Christina is the next in a many long line of Desert Devils that have been on the team; her best event by far is floor, but I can envision Christina making an impact on every event. She has some huge skills on each event, and her performances are always very solid." Ryden said.

"The amount of gymnastics that this class brings is very exciting to us, and we feel like this is a great class; they will have big shoes to fill of the girls who will be graduating this coming May, but I feel like these girls are all capable of it." Ryden said, "They all have incredible skill level - eye catching skills - and will bring a lot of fun and talent into the program."

While the girls are finishing up their senior years, the Arizona women's gymnastics team is preparing for the upcoming season, which begins January 6 in Cancun, MX.

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