What's Coming Up - Coming off a loss at Denver and Minnesota Sunday, the Arizona gymnastics team (3-4, 0-2 Pac-10) returns to the sweet confines of the McKale Center for its second-consecutive tri-meet of season when the Wildcats battle the California Golden Bears (1-3, 0-3 Pac-10) and the Southern Utah Thunderbirds (1-2) on Friday, Feb. 4, at 7:30 p.m. Arizona has a 3-1 record at home, and the Wildcats are in search of their first Pac-10 win this season. After an impressive 194.025-188.100 win over the San Jose State Spartans last Friday in McKale Center, Arizona traveled to Denver and finished in third with a 192.900--the second-highest meet total of the season--behind Minnesota (194.525) and Denver (194.375). The Wildcats once again will look to sophomore Randi Liljenquist, freshman Nikki Beyschau and senior All-American Heidi Hornbeek to provide solid leadership and experience in all four events and the all-around.
On the opponent side, California is 1-3 after last weekend's loss to Oregon State. The Golden Bears scored their highest team total of the season with a 192.000, and the team's beam score of 48.350 is the fourth-highest in California history. Southern Utah grabbed its first win of the year Monday night and upped its record to 1-2 after defeating Texas Women's University, 189.975-184.775.
Head Coach Bill Ryden Says... - "We came out flat on beam and floor at Denver, and we had some uncharacteristic falls on beam by people who never fall. But, I am not disappointed with our performance because earning such a high away score will help us at the end of the season."
Coach Ryden on this week's meet - "Both Cal and Southern Utah are good programs that are capable of scoring, and the meet will be a good challenge. Heidi Hornbeek is getting better everyday, and she is really anxious to get back at full speed. There is a good chance that she will compete on vault, as well as bars."
Arizona's Last Action - The University of Arizona women's gymnastics team finished in third place with a score of 192.900 behind No. 15 Minnesota (194.525) and No. 12 Denver (194.375), Sunday in front of a crowd of 900, in Denver's Hamilton Gymnasium. Arizona dropped to 3-4 overall, remaining winless on the road, while Denver improved to 5-2, and Minnesota upped its record to 3-2 on the season.
The Wildcats (3-4 overall, 0-2 Pac-10) set a season-high 48.125 on vault, and senior All-American Heidi Hornbeek tied for first place on bars for her second-consecutive bars title. Seven Wildcat gymnasts set or tied career-high and season-high marks.
Individually for the Wildcats, All-American Heidi Hornbeek tied her season-high 9.850 on bars and tied for first place in her only event of the meet. Hornbeek, a seven-time All-Pac-10 selection, won her second bars title for the second-consecutive meet after taking first place Friday night against San Jose State.
Senior Gretchen Diaz scored a season-high 9.575 on vault and a season-high 9.650 on beam (tied for ninth place), while junior Nicci Filchner tied a career-high 9.675 on bars. Junior Kara Fry, Arizona's top finisher in the all-around, set a season-high 9.725 on beam (tied for sixth place), and she also set a season-high 38.775 for a fifth-place finish in the all-around.
Sophomore Randi Liljenquist tied a career-high 9.650 on vault and tied for ninth place, and she tied for fifth on floor with a 9.800. Freshman Nikki Beyschau tied for fourth on bars with a 9.775, while sophomore Emily Peterman scored a season-high 9.650 on beam (tied for ninth place). Junior Heather Straccia recorded a career-high 9.650 on vault and tied for ninth in the event.
About the California Bears - California (1-3, 0-3 Pac-10) is coming off a season-high team total 192.000 in a loss at home to Oregon State. The Golden Bears defeated Seattle Pacific in the first meet of the year, but they have fallen since to Washington, Arizona State and Oregon State. Junior Pari Olver scored a career-high 9.800 on beam, placing second, while senior Leila Khoury finished in third against Oregon State. Khoury also placed second in the all-around with a career-high 39.050. Freshman Janet McKnight scored a 9.750 on bars--a California season best.
Head coach Trina Tinti (UCLA, 1988) is in her third season at the helm of the Golden Bear program and has a career and school record of 15-27. In 1999, California finished in seventh place in the conference and was 6-15 overall. The 2000 squad consists of six out of 12 letterwinners from last year's team and eight newcomers.
About the Southern Utah Thunderbirds - Southern Utah (1-2) gained its first win of the year Monday with a 189.975-184.775 win over Texas Women's University. This week's meet marks the first meeting between the Thunderbirds and the Wildcats. Southern Utah recorded season highs on vault (48.425) and floor (48.175) in their last meet. Freshman Sarah Geisler scored a career-high 9.750 on vault for a share of the event title, and she finished in second on floor with a career-best 9.700. Junior Suzi Clark scored a 38.300 in the all-around and finished with top honors in the event, while junior Heather Slack finished in first on beam (9.675) and floor (9.725).
Head coach Scott Bauman (Utah State, 1990) is in his ninth season at the helm of the Thunderbird program, and he carries a 57-74 career and school record into Friday's meet. Bauman's 1999 squad finished 1-12 overall, and the 2000 team returns six out of nine letterwinners from last year's team.
Liljenquist's Leadership - Although the Wildcats experienced some growing pains in the early part of the season, sophomore sensation Randi Liljenquist has paced Arizona with consistent performances. She underwent voluntary elbow surgery last summer because she wanted a chance to compete on vault and in the all-around. Liljenquist has posted 10 top-five finishes so far this season, and she has won five first-place titles in the first four meets. Against Denver and Minnesota on Jan. 30, Liljenquist tied a career-high 9.650 on vault, and she tied for fifth place on floor with a 9.800. Liljenquist scored a career-high 39.125 in the all-around on Jan. 28 against San Jose State, winning the second all-around title of her career for the second week in a row. She scored a career-high 9.650 on vault (fourth place), and she tied her career-high 9.825 on bars (second place). Liljenquist took the beam title with a 9.750 and closed out the meet with a career-high 9.900 on floor and a first place finish--giving her the sixth event title of her career. At Stanford on Jan. 21, she scored a 38.825 in the all-around and won her first all-around competition, tied her season-high 9.800 on beam for a second-place finish, and she landed in third place on floor with a 9.750. Liljenquist hit a 9.600 in her collegiate debut on vault against UCLA, Central Michigan and Iowa (1/14), and she shared first-place honors on floor with senior Kiernan Andrews, each scoring a 9.850.
Fabulous Freshman - Arizona's lone freshman Nikki Beyschau has lifted the Wildcats' team performance with consistent scores in each event, including the all-around, and she holds Arizona's top individual scores on vault (9.775) and bars (9.900). In the Denver and Minnesota meet on Jan. 30, Beyschau tied for fourth place on bars with a 9.775. She scored a career-high 9.700 on beam (second place) and a career-high 9.825 on floor (second place) against San Jose State (1/28). She also set a career-high 39.000 in the all-around for another second-place finish. She tied for second on vault (9.675) and finished in third on bars (9.800). Against Stanford (1/21), Beyschau scored a career-high 9.900 on bars and tied for top honors in the event, winning her first event title. In her collegiate debut against UCLA (1/14), Beyschau tied for fifth place on both vault (9.775) and bars (9.750) and was Arizona's top finisher in the all-around with a 38.425.
All-American Heidi Hornbeek - Senior Heidi Hornbeek is back for her fifth year to help lead the team to its first NCAA Championship berth in four years. Hornbeek has seen limited action for the first four weeks of the season due to a nagging ankle injury and has been able to compete solely on bars. Against Denver and Minnesota, Hornbeek tied her season-high 9.850 on bars and tied for first place in the event, winning her second bars title of the season for the second consecutive meet. In her only event of the evening against San Jose State (1/28), Hornbeek returned to action, taking the bars event title with a season-high 9.850. The fifth-year senior did not compete at Stanford (1/21) the week before, and she also saw limited action against UCLA (1/14) where she scored a 9.700 on bars in her only event of the meet. Hornbeek, a six-time All-America selection and a seven-time All-Pac-10 honoree, returned to the Arizona lineup in 1999 after undergoing major shoulder surgery and racked up 32 impressive top-five finishes, including 12 first-place titles. She competed in 10 meets as an all-around performer and was the only Wildcat gymnast to reach the NCAA Championships after qualifying as the top at-large seed in the all-around. Hornbeek received All-America honors in the uneven bars, balance beam and all-around events at the 1999 NCAA Championships.
Cat Scratches - The 2000 season marks the first time the Cats have opened the conference with an 0-2 record since 1998 when Arizona started the year 0-3 in the Pac-10... It is the second year in a row that the Cats have opened competition against a Pac-10 opponent... Arizona has six home meets, and the Wildcats only have to leave the state four times during the regular season... Nine UA opponents (UCLA, Michigan, Utah, Arizona State, Stanford, Oregon State, Minnesota, Denver, Washington) began the season ranked in the women's gymnastics preseason top-25 poll... Eight UA opponents (Utah, Michigan, UCLA, Stanford, Arizona State, Denver, Minnesota, Washington) were ranked in the national poll (as of Jan. 25).
Arizona in the Rankings - Arizona fell out of the rankings on Jan. 25 after its loss at Stanford (1/21)... The Wildcats were ranked No. 23 in the Jan. 18 top-25 poll... Previously, the UA was ranked No. 11 nationally on floor and No. 23 on bars in the Jan. 18 poll... On Jan. 18, senior Kiernan Andrews and sophomore Randi Liljenquist were tied for No. 23 in the nation on floor exercise... The Wildcats began their second-straight season ranked No. 16 in the women's gymnastics preseason coaches' poll... Women's gymnastics rankings are posted every Tuesday evening at:www.troester.com/gym/WRankings.
A Look at the 2000 Season
Jan. 28 vs. San Jose State - The University of Arizona women's gymnastics team defeated San Jose State, 194.025-188.100, Friday night in front of a crowd of 975, in the McKale Center. The UA set a season-high total (194.025), and the Cats also posted season-high scores in all four events. Sophomore Randi Liljenquist led the Wildcat charge, winning the second-consecutive all-around title of her career. Arizona improved to 3-2 overall and 0-2 in the Pac-10, while San Jose State dropped to 0-2 on the season.
Arizona never trailed during the meet, and the Cats scored a season-high team score of 48.075 on vault, a 48.900 on bars, a 48.025 on beam and a 49.025 on floor-the new No. 9 score on the UA's all-time top-10 list. Four Wildcat gymnasts set career-high scores during the meet, and Arizona swept the top-three individual spots on bars, beam, floor and in the all-around.
Individually for the Wildcats, sophomore Randi Liljenquist scored a new career-high 39.125 in the all-around, giving her the second all-around title of her career for the second week in a row. Liljenquist scored a career-high 9.650 on vault (fourth place), and she tied her career-high 9.825 on bars (second place). She also took the beam title with a 9.750, and she closed out the meet with a career-high 9.900 on floor and a first-place finish.
Freshman Nikki Beyschau looked impressive for the Cats, setting three career highs for the meet. She tied for second on vault (9.675) and took third on bars (9.800). Beyschau scored a career-high 9.700 on beam for second place, recorded a career-high 9.825 on floor for another second-place finish, and she took second in the all-around with a new career-high 39.000.
In her only event of the evening, senior All-American Heidi Hornbeek returned to lineup after sitting out the last meet with an ankle injury and took the bars title with a season-high 9.850. Junior Kara Fry tied her season-high 9.775 on bars (fourth place), scored a season-high 9.625 on beam (third place), tied her season-high 9.800 on floor (third place), and she scored a season-high 38.750 in all-around (third place).
Jan. 21 at Stanford - The No. 23 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team fell to the No. 19 Stanford Cardinal, 194.275-191.275, on Jan. 21 in front of a crowd of 500, in Stanford's Burnham Pavilion. Arizona dropped to 2-2 overall and 0-2 in the Pac-10, while Stanford grabbed its first conference win and upped its record to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-10.
Arizona scored a season-high team score of 48.675 on bars and a season-high 47.550 on beam, while five UA gymnasts set new career-high marks during the meet. Arizona took the top individual spots on bars and in the all-around, while Stanford swept the team events and the top individual spots in the four events.
Individually for the Wildcats, sophomore Randi Liljenquist led the Wildcat charge once again with a new career-high 38.825 in the all-around, giving her the first all-around title of her career. Liljenquist set a season-high 9.725 on bars, tied her season-high 9.800 on beam for a third-place finish, and she also took third place on floor with a 9.750. Freshman Nikki Beyschau looked impressive for a second consecutive week, scoring a career-high 9.900 on bars for a tie for first place. She also set career-high scores on beam (9.300), floor (9.700) and in the all-around (38.525).
Senior Kiernan Andrews lifted the Wildcats on beam with a new career-high 9.750 and third place in the event. Senior Gretchen Diaz scored a season-high 9.550 on vault. Junior Kara Fry set a season-high 9.775 on bars and a season-high 9.275 on beam, while fellow junior Heather Straccia scored a career-high 9.475 on vault. Sophomore Lindsay Compitello made her official collegiate debut in the meet, posting a 9.200 on beam and a 9.050 on floor.
Jan. 14 vs. UCLA, Central Michigan, Iowa - The 16th-ranked University of Arizona women's gymnastics team topped Central Michigan and Iowa, finishing in second place in its 2000 season home-opener on Jan. 14 in front of a crowd of 720, in the McKale Center. Arizona (2-1 overall, 0-1 Pac-10) scored a 192.675, while Central Michigan (4-2 overall, 1-0 Mid-American) recorded a 191.850, and Iowa (0-3 overall, 0-0 Big 10) ended the meet with a 190.775. Third-ranked UCLA (4-4 overall, 1-0 Pac-10) took the meet title with a score of 196.300, sweeping all four events and the all-around.
Arizona trailed UCLA and Iowa for three rotations, and the Cats were in third place with a score of 143.750 heading into the final rotation. Although Arizona experienced some falls on beam, the Cats roared back in the final rotation on floor with a team score of 48.925, which tied the 10th-highest floor score in Arizona history. Five UA gymnasts set or tied new career-high marks during the meet. UCLA gymnasts captured the top individual spots in all four events and the all-around, while two Arizona gymnasts tied for top honors on floor.
Individually for the Wildcats, sophomore Randi Liljenquist lifted the Cats on beam with a third-place score of 9.800, and she also tied senior Kiernan Andrews for first-place honors on floor, each with a score of 9.850. Liljenquist tied her career-high 9.850 on floor, while Andrews set a new career-high mark in the same event. Andrews also set a career-high 9.675 on beam. The meet also marked Liljenquist's collegiate debut on vault, scoring a 9.600 in the event, and she ended the meet with a new career-best 38.400 in the all-around.
In her official collegiate debut, freshman Nikki Beyschau tied for fifth on both vault (9.775) and bars (9.750) and was the highest UA finisher in the all-around with a score of 38.425. Beyschau also scored a career-high 9.250 on beam and a career-high 9.650 on floor. Senior Lisa Heckel set a career-high 9.725 on bars, and junior Heather Straccia competed on vault for the first time in her career, scoring a 9.350.
Prowlin' With the Wildcats - Here's the upcoming broadcast schedule for Fox Sports Net Arizona's bi-weekly magazine show about University of Arizona athletics - "Prowlin' with the Wildcats"... Wednesday, Feb. 9, 5 p.m./Friday, Feb. 11, 9 p.m. (replay); Wednesday, Feb. 23, 9 p.m./Friday, Feb. 25, 9 p.m. (replay).
A Look Ahead - Arizona heads for the Oregon Trail in search of its first road win on Friday, Feb. 11 when the Cats will battle Pac-10 powerhouse Oregon State at 7 p.m. (PST), in Gill Coliseum. The UA returns to the McKale Center on Friday, Feb. 18 and Sunday, Feb. 20 when the Wildcats take on Washington and Minnesota in back-to-back dual meets.