Feb. 19, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 21 Arizona Gymcats lost to the No. 1 Alabama Crimson tide 197.250 to 195.100. Despite the loss, the Wildcats improved their team score by half a point. The young team also seemed to find their groove tonight, setting a number of career highs throughout the meet, as well as showing improvement overall.
According to Head Coach Bill Ryden, “this meet as a whole demonstrated the potential for a lot of the team to come through. We’re getting better with each meet, and despite some minor errors here and there we are getting better and better.”
The Wildcats began the meet on bars, led by Junior Miranda Russell, who hit her routine this week to earn a 9.800.
“It was nice to see Miranda hit a set. When she hits, her bars are so solid that she never earns less than a 9.800. She is a very strong bar worker.” Ryden said.
Arizona then moved to the vault rotation, where they earned a season high team score of 49.225, beating their previous season high (earned against ASU) by one tenth. The team started the rotation with Sophomore Talyn Curry, who earned a career high score of 9.850. The team then finished with Sophomore Deanna Graham, who earned a 9.875.
“Vault was just a great rotation overall. When your lowest score is a 9.775, and the rest of the scores are 9.800 and above, you know you must be doing something right.” Ryden said.
The momentum continued on the floor, with the Gymcats earning their second highest season floor score of 48.950. Significant contributions came from Freshman Aubree Cristello, who earned a 9.850, Sophomore Talyn Curry and Senior Sarah Tomczyk who earned twin scores of 9.750, and Sophomore Deanna Graham who earned a new career high score of 9.90. This score also allowed Graham to tie for second on the event.
“Deanna’s score was totally worth it. She rocked her Arabian Double front, and then sold the routine from there.” Ryden said, “She is a great floor worker, and that routine was the best thing she has put down in competition so far for sure.”
The team then finished on the beam, earning a total team score of 48.250, led once again by Freshman Molly Quirk who scored the team high score of 9.800.
For Alabama, Seniors Morgan Dennis and Ashley Priess and Sophomore Geralen Stack-Eaton led the meet all-around competition, each earning an all-around score of 39.475 to tie for first. Close behind was Senior Ricki Lebegern, who earned an all-around of 39.250. Alabama also entertained a sold out crowd of 15,075 spectators.
“There were a lot of positives about this meet.” Ryden said, “It was another great step in the right direction. The meet as a whole also showed that we are definitely ready to compete at a national level.”
Next week, the Gymcats head to Lincoln, Neb. to compete in their first quad meet of the season. Arizona will be competing against Nebraska, Denver, and West Virginia.