Jan. 8, 2002
What's coming up- The Arizona women's gymnastics team (3-0, 0-0 Pac-10) returns home to the McKale Center this week. The Wildcats will take on the Boise State Broncos (0-0) and the Brown University Bears (0-0) in Arizona's 2002 season home-opener on Friday, Jan. 11, at 7:30 p.m. (MST). Friday's meet will be the first meeting between Boise State and Arizona since the 1999 season. It will also be the first meeting between Arizona and Brown in the history of both schools.
Last week, Arizona opened the 2002 season in Hawai'i. On Jan. 4, the Wildcats finished in first place at the Maui Invitational with a score of 194.650. The Cats knocked of the No.3-ranked Michigan Wolverines, 13th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners and the Sacramento State Hornets to begin the season with a 3-0 mark.
Arizona's Last Time Out- The No. 17 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team opened the 2002 season with three wins over 13th-ranked Oklahoma, third-ranked Michigan and Sacramento State on Friday, January 4, in front of a crowd of 512 in the War Memorial Gymnasium in Wailuku, Hawai'i. The Wildcats scored a 194.650 and finished the quadrangular meet in first place, edging out the second-place Oklahoma squad (194.425). Michigan (193.625) and Sacramento State (187.400) rounded out the competition in third and fourth place, respectively. Arizona is 3-0 overall (0-0 Pac-10), while Oklahoma starts off the 2002 season with a 2-1 record. Michigan has a 1-2 record, and Sacramento State drops to 0-3.
Arizona took the team vault title with a score of 49.075, and the Wildcats scored a 49.025 on floor to finish first in the event, nipping Michigan (49.000) by .025 of a point. Michigan scored a 49.275 to win the bars event, while Oklahoma topped the field with a 48.300 on beam. Arizona took top individual honors on vault, floor and in the all-around.
Individually for the Wildcats, senior Randi Liljenquist scored a 39.425 to win the all-around title, and she tied for first place on floor with a 9.925. Liljenquist also finished in second place on vault with a 9.8750, third place on balance beam (9.800) and in fifth place on bars (9.825). Freshman Katie Johnson made an impressive debut for the Wildcats on floor, tying teammate Randi Liljenquist for first place (9.925) in the event and finishing in fourth place on beam (9.750). Sophomore Andi McCabe set a career-high on vault with a score of 9.950 to take top honors in the event.
Freshman Monica Bisordi helped pace the Wildcats on vault with a score of 9.800, finishing in fifth place in her debut. Also making her collegiate debut, freshman Kristine Harper posted a solid score of 9.800 to finish in eighth place on floor, and finished in seventh place on beam scoring a 9.675. Junior Nikki Beyschau finished in seventh place on vault for the Wildcats, scoring a 9.7500.
Scouting Boise State- The Broncos of Boise State travel to Tucson to open their 2002 season. Boise State finished 10-8 last season, and placed third at the Western Gymnastics Conference Championship and fifth at the Regional Championships. The Broncos have 10 returning letterwinners. Head coach Yvonne Sandmire (Arizona State, 1978) begins her 15th year at the helm of the Boise State gymnastics team and has a career record of 155-129-1.
Scouting Brown- The Brown University Bears open the 2002 season with 11 letterwinners and three freshman newcomers. The Bears finished last season 9-6 and finished in fifth-place at the ECAC Chapionships. Head coach Tom Miller (Rhode Island, 19) is entering his 12th season as a member of the Brown gymnastics coaching staff, although this is his first year at the helm of the program. After spending his first 11 years as an assistant under Jackie Court (mother of Arizona assistant coach John Court), who retired in the spring of 2001 after 32 years with the gymnastics program, Miller was promoted to head coach.
Wildcats in the Rankings- Arizona closed out the 2001 season ranked No.18 in the nation after the team finished third at the NCAA regional meet. Nine of the Arizona's opponents in 2002 are ranked in the preseason coaches' poll. Six Pac-10 teams-- UCLA (1), Stanford (8), Arizona State (9), Oregon State (10), Arizona (17) and Washington (19) are ranked in the preseason top-25.
Cat Scratches- Arizona head coach Bill Ryden (Arizona State, 1983) is in his fourth year at the helm of the program (12th overall at Arizona) and holds a 30-51-1 career and school record. Arizona ended the 2001with a 9-22 overall record and missed qualifying as a team for the NCAA Championship for the fifth consecutive season by .100 of a point.
A Look Ahead- Arizona will travel to Salt Lake City, Utah, to take on perennial power-house Utah on Friday, Jan. 18, at 7:00 p.m. MST. The Utes begin the 2002 season ranked fifth in the pre-season poll. Utah opens the 2002 season this Friday, Jan. 18, at home against the No. 18 Ohio State Buckeyes.