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Catch up with the Gymcats
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 04/01/2009
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April 1, 2009

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Dear Friends, Alumni & Boosters,

 

          March 1               March had finally arrived.  The team was a bit tired but in reality, the time has really seemed to fly by.  It has been that way all year, so I had to do a double-take when I thought about the fact that we were in the final month of the regular season.  The weather also seemed to be ahead of schedule as we left high 80’s in Tucson to board our flight for our first meet of the month against the California Golden Bears.  After our home competition against ASU we had a full week of training but it seemed to be filled with bizarre injuries every day.  Kristen sprained a big toe missing the beam on Monday.  Britnie sprained an elbow falling off the bars on Tuesday.  Beamer tweaked her back tumbling on Thursday.  And Becca split the beam and jarred her back on Friday.  Enough to make me loose hair.  So off to Berkeley we went, not exactly sure of who would compete but knowing that we needed to keep performing well as we headed for the post-season.

          The meet went pretty well from our point of view.  Remembering that scoring is subjective and you can only control what you can control.  We started on bars with a 48.625.  The big thing here was that Britnie was able to overcome her sprained elbow injury and basically convince me to put her back in the line-up.  It was pretty impressive as she tied for our team’s highest score.  The scoring was a little tight and we were a touch flat so the world of 9.7’s seemed to be our calling.  We rotated to vault and sprang back with a 48.875.  Everyone had a pretty good effort except that Deanna had a problem with distance and basically performed her vault directly above the table!  She was able to land without a problem really but the lesson here is: Don’t scare the judges if you want a score!  We rotated to floor and performed some pretty good routines but had some execution problems that haunted us.  A couple of out-of bounds deductions and some landing issues kept us at a 48.6.  Finally on beam, it really was like a broken record.  We didn’t fall but the scores were just average giving us a 48.475.  The beam scores ranged from a 9.5 to a 9.8 with the average being a 9.625.  The final score of the meet was: Arizona-194.625, Cal-191.375.

          From a win-loss standpoint, it was nice to get the victory as we outdistanced Cal by 3.25 points.  Bree took the individual titles on Vault and Floor while Katie took the title on beam.   The 194 will increase our RQS but it just seemed that a very long week had taken its toll and the team was not all there.  We will head back to Tucson with the intent of being fully rejuvenated for our Senior meet that welcomes the University of Denver to McKale Center.

 

         

Arizona @ California

 

Bars

Vault

Floor

Beam

Erica

8.25

 

 

 

Beamer

9.7

 

 

9.7

Becca

9.75

 

9.725

 

Talyn

 

9.6

 

 

Colleen

 

9.8

9.525

9.75

Deanna

9.675

9.5

9.775

9.725

Alexis

9.4

9.825

9.575

9.5

Britnie

9.775

 

 

9.6

Katie

 

 

 

9.8

Kristen

 

 

 

9.625

Sarah

9.775

9.775

9.725

 

Bree

 

9.875

9.8

 

Score Counted                                                Score Dropped                                      Exhibition Routine

 

March 6     As I have mentioned before, this year has seemed to fly by, even faster then usual.  So here we were, only six days into March but the day of our last home meet and our meet honoring this year’s senior class.  We welcomed the University of Denver to Tucson for this competition, a team we haven’t had success against since 2006.  Needless to say, I knew this would be a tough competition that we needed to perform well in.  It was also a special occasion that we wanted to take time to appreciate but we also had to keep in mind the big picture of the RQS and our national ranking and the slightly smaller picture of wanting to win our final home meet.  We wanted to start putting together possible line-ups that we might use in the post season.  We had two main goals (other than the obvious of hit, score, victory) which were to maximize our vault potential and start out each line-up with a bang. 

We started off on vault where we had inserted Becca into the regular line-up to see what her 10.0 start value might add.  We did a really nice job with both Bree and Deanna really finishing us off with a bang scoring 9.875 and 9.9 respectively.  Becca’s score didn’t count but it showed definite possibilities as we ended the event with a 48.975.  We were .075 behind after one event.  We rotated to bars and had a good rotation with only Britnie running into difficulties.  Four scores at 9.8+ and another event score of 48.975 in our pocket.  We were competing well but were still .075 behind at the halfway point.  On beam, we had five routines of 9.7 or better and that’s fine, because five is all you need.  Beamer was our high score followed by Colleen.  Our event score was a 48.8 and we had finally taken the lead in the meet by .55.  Normally, I will take our floor team against any beam team with a half a point lead and smile all the way.  But on this night, the floor team wanted to make me loose a little more hair.  Uncharacteristically, we had back-to-back routines with falls in them but the other four routines were 9.8+.  Counting a fall on floor was a bit of a downer but we were able to hang on for an event score of 48.6 and barely the lead.  When the last routine was finally scored, the final result of the meet was: Arizona-195.325, Denver-195.025.

We had successfully met some of our goals for the meet and it certainly was entertaining and suspenseful for our fans.  We were able to add a little more lead-off punch to certain line-ups and we did win the competition.  However, we didn’t hit as we had 5 sub-standard routines and the final score wasn’t going to help our RQS or ranking.  Individually, Deanna tied for the victory on vault, Beamer tied for the victory on beam and Bree tied for the victory on floor.  Overall, I was pleased with the competitive spirit of the team and their refusal to give up.  Of course it was great that the seniors could get a victory the last time they would perform in McKale.  We all will go back to work on Monday with the goal of ridding ourselves of the little errors that keep getting in our way.  The final item on the agenda for the evening was to honor our seniors for their time with the program.

Arizona vs. Denver

 

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Erica

 

9.675

 

9.0

Beamer

 

9.825

9.825

9.8

Becca

9.625

9.8

 

9.325

Talyn

9.65

 

 

 

Colleen

9.8

 

9.8

9.8

Deanna

9.9

9.65

 

9.3

Alexis

9.775

9.85

9.7

 

Britnie

 

9.475

8.45

 

Katie

 

 

9.775

 

Kristen

 

 

9.7

 

Sarah

9.225

9.85

 

9.8

Bree

9.875

 

 

9.875

Score Counted                                                Score Dropped                                      Exhibition Routine

 

Besides our four senior gymnasts, we also have a senior manager that is a big, big part of our program, Brina Weissman.  So that was five faces that were going to be leaving the program at the end of the year.  They all had had an impact on the program and I wanted to include the comments honoring them from the evening’s ceremonies.

 

Brina Weissman

 

Brina Weissman first joined our program 5 years ago as a freshman and became our official manager a year later.  Since that time, she been such an asset to the program that she has become far more than a manager, she is a program coordinator.  She assists me with the running of the gym and literally commands the setup of the meet equipment.  She keeps me informed of all aspects of the technicalities of competition as well as helping the other coaches with coordination of the team and events.  To say that I will miss her could be the understatement of the year.  I want to thank her, here in front of everyone for such a great job and I know we all wish you were going to be here next year.

 

 

All four of these seniors have made an impact on the program and their leadership has meant a lot to the team.  When they arrived on campus, they were a class of 7, but through injury and retirement, these four have made it to the final few weeks of their careers.  Each of them has had to overcome some difficulties and I am very proud of the fact that each of them had the heart and the courage to keep coming back for more.  I know for a fact the members of each of the teams from 2006 thru today will always remember these gymnasts.  On behalf of the entire program I would like to thank them for four years of hard work and some fun times.

 


Erica Anderson

 

Erica made her way to the University of Arizona from Upper Arlington, Ohio, just outside of Columbus.  Erica truly loves the sport of gymnastics.  The team as well as the coaches appreciates the fact that Erica would never give up in spite of any obstacles.  Erica trained on all four events but made her biggest impact by adding to the bar depth when the team needed her most.  Her career high scores are 9.75 on Vault and 9.675 on Bars.  Erica is also a fine student, earning the U of A Academic Champion award last year.  Medicine runs in her family and Erica plans on following the family legacy with a similar path.  She will graduate this May with a degree in Physiology. 

 

 

Beamer Bergeson

 

Briana Bergeson, better known as Beamer, had only to travel a few miles down I-10 from Gilbert, Arizona to find her new home in Tucson at the U of A.  From the very first day Beamer walked in the gym, she has made an impact.  In fact, from the first meet of her freshman year thru tonight’s meet, she has been in the beam line-up and has only been out of the bar line-up once.  She has certainly contributed to the team’s success as she has amassed over 644 career points towards the team score.  Her high scores are: Bars-9.875, Beam-9.95, and Floor-9.85.  She has 12 career titles and was name 2nd Team All-Conference on Beam last season.  She is currently ranked 7th in the Pac-10 on Beam and is looking forward to finishing her career going out strong on all three of her events.  Speaking for myself, I will miss Beamers bright outlook and constant smile (which incidentally is how she got the nickname Beamer).  Beamer will graduate in May, 2010 with a degree in Family Studies and a minor in business. 

Alexis Greene

 

Alexis traveled completely across the country to compete for Arizona as she calls Severn, Maryland home.  Her coaches, teammates, and certainly the fans immediately picked up on the fact that something was exciting about Alexis.  Her power and agility immediately made a mark on the team as she began to impress from the very first meet of her freshman year.  Her college years have not always been kind to Alexis as she has had to overcome two major injuries and handful of minor ones. That has not stopped Alexis from rising above and giving the team everything she had.  She has always trained all four events but after missing virtually all of her sophomore season, she really came into her own last year when she was named 2nd Team All-conference the All-Around.  Alexis has been able to excel on each of the events as within the 9 career titles she has, she has at least one title on each event.  She has tallied over 544 points for the team and has high scores of: Vault-9.875, Bars-9.9, Beam-9.875, Floor-9.875, AA-39.175.  She is currently ranked 9th in the Pac-10 in the All-Around.  Alexis has not only excelled in the gym but in the classroom as well.  She was named both U of A Academic Champion and Academic All-American in 2007 & 2008.  She was also named 2nd Team Academic All-Conference in 2008.  Alexis plans to graduate in May, 2010 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Business.

 

Bree Workman

Bree Workman came to the sun and the University of Arizona from the chilly Midwest city of Lansing, Michigan.  Bree’s bright personality made an immediate impression on the as well as her sky-high tumbling and vaulting.  During her high-school career and into her collegiate gymnastics, Bree dealt with an arm injury that eventually would force her to quit training bars.  She focused on Vault, Beam, and Floor from that point on and has certainly made an impact with 17 career titles.  Her high scores are: Vault-9.9, Beam-9.3, Floor-9.875 and she is currently ranked 6th on Vault & 10th on Floor in the Pac-10.  Bree is also an accomplished student as she was named U of A Academic Champion in 2007 & 2008 and Academic All-American in 2008.  Bree will be student teach next year and plans to graduate in May, 2010 with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Family Studies. 

 

 

          March 14             Our final regular season meet of the year had the team traveling east to meet up with Maryland, Penn St. & Yale in College Park, MD.  We had a great week of practice so I was confident that we would have a good meet.  We had yet to really hit on every event yet so I was hoping that this meet might be the one.  We could use a good road score but maybe even more importantly, I wanted a positive boost going into the Pac-10 Championships which followed in a week.  A positive sign going into the last part of the season was the fact that Colleen was able to start swinging bars again after missing the last four weeks.  In fact, she looked very good and was hitting nice routines every day in workout.  It opened up some options as we are still working on that optimum lineup.  After we arrived in Baltimore, Alexis’ parents, Mary & Dwayne, had the team over for a great pre-meet meal.  It was a great start to the weekend and I hoped that it would continue.

          Our first event of the meet was beam and we planned on using our now standard line-up.  The beam team did their job as they went six-for-six.  The odd part was the strangest scoring I have seen in years.  We hit well, the beam team is ranked in the top-20 in the nation and the judges awarded us a 48.275!!! Are you kidding me??? Thank you very little.  I am posting the routines on-line so someone can enlighten me.  We were obviously behind, third and .675 behind.  The team was a bit miffed but not deterred.  We went to floor and rocked.  The only problem was that Deanna was very determined not to sit down her double Arabian and (you can guess), over-rotating it, and stepping out-of-bounds.  Our event score was a 48.975, a much better score befitting a six-for-six performance.  Our running score was a 97.25 but we were still behind.  We had moved up to second but were trailing by .825.  We rotated to vault and the team was pretty pumped.  We really rocked our vaults.  There was an interesting instance when someone crossed over the runway during Becca’s vault.  I chose to have her repeat her vault at the end of the line-up.  She definitely improved on her second effort but it didn’t matter.  The other vaulters had done so well the we didn’t need Becca’s score.  Our event score was a 49.275.  Our running score was a 146.525 and we trailed by .675.  On bars, the team performed well on most of the routines.  Becca had a rough set and Britnie had a fall, all the others were 9.8.  We managed a pretty decent 48.775 but it was one of those rotations that you knew could have been big.  Our final score was a 195.3, .825 behind Penn St., and 1.125 ahead of Maryland and 29.675 ahead of Yale.

          Individually we had some outstanding performances.  Bree tied for first on vault with Colleen fourth.  On bars, Colleen, Beamer, Sarah and Alexis all tied for fourth.  And Sarah placed second on floor with Bree third.  Our confusing beam score may hinder us a bit in our national rankings but we will just have to find a way to rise above.  Next up on the schedule is the Pac-10 Championships.  A very intense meet that can also be very enjoyable if things fall into place.  I know that we have the team that can make some noise and that every meet, we inch a little closer to the blowout competition.  Maybe next week…

          Before we left Maryland to return to the warmth of the desert, the team took some time to drive down to Washington D.C. and toured some of the national monuments.  It was nice to get a chance to make the trip about something more than just the competition.  We had a very good time even in the constant drizzle. 

 

Arizona @ Maryland w/ Penn St. & Yale

 

Beam

Floor

Vault

Bars

Erica

 

 

 

9.125

Beamer

9.625

9.7

 

9.8

Becca

 

9.8

9.725

9.575

Talyn

 

 

9.675

 

Colleen

9.7

9.775

9.875

9.8

Deanna

 

9.65

9.85

 

Alexis

9.6

 

9.8

9.8

Britnie

9.75

 

 

9.225

Katie

9.6

 

 

 

Kristen

9.6

 

 

 

Sarah

 

9.875

9.85

9.8

Bree

 

9.825

9.9

 

Score Counted                                                Score Dropped                                      Exhibition Routine

 

March 21             For the second time in a month, we headed to the Bay area to compete.  This time it was for the Pac-10 Championships being hosted at Stanford University.  Although the scoring wasn’t normal, the team had competed pretty well the prior week in Maryland and it was my hope that we would take that same performance into this year’s Championships.  It was a quick two days of training and we were off to meet up with every one of our Pac-10 rivals.

The Championships are a one session, seven rotation competition complete with TV people running everywhere, clustered floor space and a lot of noise.  There are no exhibitions, four judges per event, and the intensity is certainly turned up.  Our draw for the meet was: Bye, Bars, Beam, Bye, Floor, Bye, Vault.  It was a good rotation competitive-wise, if you could get by the two events that you could fall off of, Bars and Beam.  So after a quick bye in the first rotation, we marched to our first event – Bars.

We didn’t have the start to the meet that we hoped for.  Colleen fell leading off and Britnie fell as well, both scoring 9.075.  Beamer had our best set but her 9.8 could only help enough to get us a 48.025.  We rotated right to beam and it was deja-vu.  Kristen fell leading off and Britnie fell as well.  Beamer again was our high score but it was our second event counting a fall with another low score.  A 48.175 this time.  Talk about being hit by a truck.  I gathered the team in the locker room with all of us knowing that our team competition had all but slipped away.  What was left for us was showing our pride in ourselves, each other and in our program.  After the bye, we marched out to floor with a renewed commitment and energy.  This time out, we were great.  We hit one routine after another.  Starting out with Colleen’s 9.8 and ending with Sarah’s 9.875.  We scored a 49.2 and for the first time, we knew we had shown our real selves.  After our final bye, we rotated to vault.  Even though Bree had her first miss of the season, we were pretty dang good on this event also.  Deanna was our high score and our event score was a 48.925.  The last two events had certainly brought energy back to the team.  Event though we didn’t meet our goals, we knew that we still had some great gymnastics in us.

After all was said and done, our final team score was a 194.325, finishing fifth.  The final team order of finish was: UCLA, Oregon St., Stanford, Washington, Arizona, Arizona State, and California.  It was not the meet I wanted to have or expected to have.  Counting two falls and finishing fifth, .05 behind Washington.  Even with the problems there were some outstanding individual performances on the team.  Beamer had an amazing meet as did Sarah, both hitting a very fine 3-for-3.  Both Deanna and Katie also had a very good meet.  Colleen came back very strong on three events after her initial fall and Becca had an exceptional meet even with the rough landing on vault.  Sarah’s excellent floor routine earned her a podium spot in third as the awards were announced.  As the team met that evening to discuss the meet, we all were determined to do everything we could to give ourselves a chance as the Regional meet and not leave the same 1.6 points behind.

 

 

Arizona @ Pac-10 Championships

 

Bars

Beam

Floor

Vault

Erica

 

 

 

 

Beamer

9.8

9.85

9.775

 

Becca

9.75

 

9.825

9.675

Talyn

 

 

 

 

Colleen

9.075

9.8

9.8

9.8

Deanna

 

 

9.85

9.85

Alexis

9.65

9.55

 

9.775

Britnie

9.075

9.15

 

 

Katie

 

9.825

 

 

Kristen

 

8.975

 

 

Sarah

9.75

 

9.875

9.825

Bree

 

 

9.85

9.25

Score Counted                                                            Score Dropped

 

Next Month         After all of the stresses, injuries, and intensity of the season, we were very pleased and proud to qualify to the NCAA post-season for the 23rd consecutive year.  When the seedings were announced, we were placed in the South Central Regional hosted by the University of Arkansas as the fourth seed.  The other teams in the meet will be: Stanford, Arkansas, Michigan, Arizona State, and Southern Utah.  The meet will be held on Saturday, April 6 at 6:00 pm.  If you are anywhere near, I hope you can come out and cheer us on!

 

Awards and Honors                It is that time of year when awards and honors start being handed out.  Here are some of the accomplishments so far and I am confident there will be more before the year is out.

 

Alexis Greene                          Academic All-Conference (1st Team)

 

Miranda Russell                      Academic All-Conference (1st Team)

 

Sarah Tomczyk                        Academic All-Conference (2nd Team)

 

Bree Workman                        Academic All-Conference (2nd Team)

 

Sarah Tomczyk                        All-Conference Gymnastics Team (1st Team Floor)

 

Bree Workman                        All-Conference Gymnastics Team (1st Team Floor)

 

Beamer Bergeson                    All-Conference Gymnastics Team (2nd Team Beam)

 

Becca Cardenas                       All-Conference Gymnastics Team (2nd Team Floor)

 

Deanna Graham                      All-Conference Gymnastics Team (2nd Team Vault)

 

 

Team Banquet               The team banquet will be held on Saturday, May 9th in the Hall of Champions at 6:00 pm.  If you are interested in attending, the cost will be $20 per person.  It will be a great celebration of the season and the final send off for the four seniors.  Hope you can make it.  Please RSVP by April 30th if you would like to attend.

 

Alumni Sightings                    Monica Bisordi and Brooke (Stan) Laurie both came out to root on their old team at our meet at California.  Monica is living in San Mateo while she works on opening her own Pilates Studio.  Brooke is an attorney and living in Oakland.  Nicci (Filchner) Goodman contacted me to let me know that they have a new addition to their family.  Soren Genson Goodman arrived on 3/2/09 weighing 8lbs. 8oz.  Congratulations to Nicci and Gens.  We had a pretty diverse group of alumni in the stands for our Senior meet against Denver.  In attendance were: Aubrey (Taylor) Kelly, Danielle (Hicks) McAfee, Kara (Fry) Meyer, Rose (McLaughlin) Neale, Jamie (Duce) Quintero, Randi (Liljenquist) Acosta, Stevie Fanning, Karin Wurm, Jamie Custer, Jamie Holton, Nancy (Altmann) Jones, and Gina Martin-Mueller.  Rose and I went out to Kara’s home on the Saturday following the Denver meet and met up with Nicci (Filchner) Goodman where we could be introduced to the new member of her family.  Nancy (Altmann) Jones, Jamie Schell, and Shane Allbritton were all in attendance in Maryland.  Each of them brought family and combined with the family of Karin Wurm, accounted for about 20 of the incredible Arizona cheering section at the meet.  Monica Bisordi and Cori Messina were in the stands to root on the team at Pac-10’s.  Danielle (Hicks) McAfee called with some good news.  She has just received her Provisional Permanent Residency Status from the U.S. Government.  Everyone has a smile on their face from the irony. 

 

Boosters     We have already had donations to our program by some of our most loyal supporters.  I just want to thank you again for your contributions that make such a big difference to a program like ours.

If you would like to donate, just send a check made out to “University of Arizona / GymCats” and send it to me here at the office.  I will get it to the proper people.  Your donation is tax deductible and greatly appreciated.

 

Cyberspace          This year has been a busy year in cyberspace for the GymCats.  We webcast the meets live with commentators.  We have also launched a Facebook Fan sight so that fans from all over can check out current info as well as photos and videos from the present and the past.  You can view past meets and highlights using AllAccess on the Official University of Arizona Athletics Website (www.arizonaathletics.com). 

If you would like to see the full color version of the newsletter, it will be on the main website.  It will also be on the same site as the archives, (www.u.arizona.edu/~ryden/gym.html).  In fact there is an entire segment of GymCat supporters who receive this newsletter electronically.  Please contact me if you would like to be put on that list. 

 


Until next month…

 


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