March 5, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. -- After a nail biter of a competition, No. 21 Arizona clinched a victory over the Washington GymDawgs 195.75 to 195.675. After several meets of having difficulties finishing meets, the Wildcats pulled it out on the last event for a come from behind win.
“This meet was close. Very close - but that is what is fun about competition.” Head Coach Bill Ryden said, “Washington is a very good team. They’re young like us, and you can tell that when they’re on they’re hot.”
The GymCats began the meet on vault, earning a team total of 48.925. Despite getting to count three scores of 9.800 earned by junior Colleen Fisher, senior Sarah Tomczyk and sophomore Deanna Graham as well as the winning score of 9.825 earned by freshman Aubree Cristello, the Wildcats were behind the Huskies by 0.125 after the first event.
The Cats then headed to bars, determined to close the gap. Led by sophomore Britnie Jones who tied for first on the event with a score of 9.850 Arizona earned a team total score of 48.875. After the second rotation, Arizona was only trailing Washington by 1 tenth of a point.
“At this point in the meet, I knew Washington was hitting their best meet of the season so far, so being down by a tenth after bars was a little bit distressing.” Ryden said, “However, we had hit 12 for 12 routines so we just wanted to keep the momentum rolling into the next event.”
Sophomore Molly Quirk led the beam team once again this week, earning a score of 9.825 to tie for first on the event. The team ended up with a total beam score of 48.650, putting them over three tenths behind Washington after three events.
“Going into floor I didn’t think there was any possibility we could win, so I told the girls to just go out there and show everyone what we could do. I told them to keep up the momentum, keep up the energy, and don’t be afraid to be good.” Ryden said.
The girls kept up the energy, showed off their talent, and ended up earning a stellar season high floor score of 49.300. Sophomore Talyn Curry started the rotation off strong, earning a solid score of 9.750. From there the team continued to build on the scores, with Molly Quirk earning a 9.850, and Katie Matusik debuting her floor routine for the first time in her career with a 9.850. Aubree Cristello then came out and earned third place on the event with a career high 9.875. From there the scores continued to rise, with Deanna Graham earning a career high and the first place score of 9.925 as well as Sarah Tomczyk finishing off the rotation with a 9.900.
“Floor was an absolutely great rotation. I think Katie did an amazing job with for her college debut with such a strong score. We definitely were able to build on our routines, and watching the last three girls stick their double backs at the end was really fun to see.” Ryden said.
In the all-around competition, Cristello and Quirk finished second and third with scores of 39.100 and 39.025 respectively.
For Washington, a number of athletes stepped up to be stars. Sophomore Amanda Cline tied teammate junior Haley Bogart (as well as Arizona’s Cristello) for first place on the vault with a 9.825. Kristen Linton, Samantha Wailor, and Lauren Rogers all tied Arizona’s Britnis Jones for first place on the bars with a 9.850, and Samantha Wailor tied for first on beam with a 9.825. Hatsune Akaogi won the all-around competition with a 39.125.
“This win was shocking to me. After beam we were in a pretty good hole, so all I wanted the girls to do was go out and rock the house.” Ryden said, “When I heard that we had won the meet, I thought the person telling me that had to be wrong. This was a great meet, and an exciting victory.”
Next week the Wildcats spend another week at home, hosting No. 22 Minnesota.