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Gymnastics to Open 2007 at Michigan State
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/10/2007
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Arizona Gymnastics Meet Notes ?- at Michigan State (1/12/06)

 

What’s on Tap: The No. 16 Arizona women’s gymnastics team will open the 2007 season at No. 22 Michigan State this Friday, January 12. The meet is set to begin at 8 p.m. (EST) in Jenison Field House.

 

The Rankings: The Wildcats were tabbed as the No. 16 team in the nation according to the preseason coaches’ poll. Last season, the Wildcats finished the season No. 13 after beginning the year at No. 17. Arizona has been ranked in 73 of the last 74 polls, including 26 straight. 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Spartans: Michigan State returns eight letterwinners from the 2006 squad, which finished No. 24 in the nation, while it will welcome in seven newcomers. Last season, MSU posted an average meet score of 193.303. The Spartans are led by returning seniors Kristen Coleman, Chayla Hill and Victoria Iakounina. Coleman returns after qualifying individually in the all-around for the NCAA Championships last spring. Hill finished as a co-champion on vault at the 2006 Big 10 Championships, while Iakounina garnered her second-career Second-Team All-Big Ten award in 2006. MSU is coached by Kathie Klages, who enters her 17th season at the helm of the Spartan program.

 

Side-by-Side: Arizona and Michigan State event-by-event comparison based on 2006 season averages:

 

 

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Total

Michigan State

48.595

48.369

47.958

48.217

193.303

Arizona

48.812

48.862

48.490

48.896

195.058

 

 

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 108-118-3.  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.

 

It Starts on the Road: This season will mark the seventh-consecutive season Arizona has started its season away from Tucson, with the Wildcats owning an 11-8 record under Ryden in season openers on the road. Under Ryden, Arizona is 14-9 in season openers, including a 9-7 mark over the last four seasons.

 

Road Rules: It will be a busy travel season for the Wildcats this year, but it will be tough to live up to the journey experienced last year. In 2006, the club logged five trips over 2,000 miles (round-trip) throughout the year, and started the season on the road for three straight weeks, and five of the first seven. This year, Arizona will head to East Lansing, Mich., to open the year and then travel to Los Angeles to take on UCLA next week.

 

Welcome Home, Bree: One Arizona gymnast will feel right at home this week, sophomore Bree Workman. A native of Lansing, Mich., and a five-year member of Twisters Gymnastics, Workman will return to her home state for the first time in her collegiate career.  Last season, she competed on vault in all 13 of Arizona’s meets, posting a season average of 9.738 to go along with a career high of 9.900.

 

Facing the Best: Arizona always competes against some of the top programs in the nation year in and year out, and this season will be no different. The Wildcats will face eight opponents ranked in the preseason poll, including Pac-10 foes No. 5 UCLA, No. 8 Stanford, No. 11 Arizona State and No. 12 Oregon State. The Wildcats will also compete against No. 14 Penn State, No. 21 Minnesota, and Kentucky and Michigan State, both of which tied for No. 22. Other teams receiving votes that are on the slate for the Wildcats include Brigham Young, North Carolina State, Washington and California.

 

Looking Ahead: Wildcats will hit the road again, this time heading to Los Angeles where they will face the UCLA Bruins. The meet is set to begin at 3 p.m. PST on Sunday, Jan. 21.

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