Feb. 9, 2012
No. 16 Arizona comes back to Tucson, hosting its annual "Flipping for the Fight" meet in honor of breast cancer awareness. The team will be taking on No. 25 Arizona State in special pink leotards, and encourage any and all fans to wear pink as well. Doors open at 6p.m. and the meet will begin at 7p.m. Live stats and a live video feed will also be available for those unable to make it to McKale.
Flipping for the Fight:
Breast Cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women, and affects over 2 million women in the United States every year. In fact, in 2011 alone, an estimated 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 57,650 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer. Arizona Women's Gymnastics is showing their support by hosting their annual Flip for the Fight - a meet dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness. The team is encouraging supports to participate in a "pink-out" at the meet this Friday to help spread the word about this life threatening illness.
Scouting the Opposition:
After last week's victory against Utah State, ASU broke the top 25 rankings, coming in at No. 25. The team currently bolsters a 4-0 record (2-0 Pac-12) thanks to team members such as senior Beate Jones (who posted an all-around score of 39.175), sophomore Samantha Seaman (who posted an all-around score of 39.075) and junior Amelia Rew (who posted new career highs on bars and beam).
The last meeting with ASU resulted in a loss for the Cats, so the upcoming meet should be an action packed sequel.
The Cats got back onto the right track, earning a victory over Texas Woman's with a season best 195.875.
The team earned several season highs that night, including a bar total of 48.925, a vault total of 49.025, and a floor total of 49.250.
High after High:
Last week's meet was the second week straight in which a number of new career highs were posted, aiding in the team's success in Denton.
On bars, sophomore Jordan Williams competed her debut routine, posting a stellar lead-off score of 9.750. Senior Rebecca Cardenas took her momentum and ran with it, posting her second straight new career high 9.850 to tie for first on the event.
Vault marked the debut for freshman Amber Wobma, who - despite being thrown into the line-up minutes before - drilled her vault for a career high 9.850 to take first on the event.
Finally, Aubree Cristello earned yet another score of 9.90 or better on floor to round out the rotation with a first place victory.
The Wildcats completed the 2011 season with an overall record of 13-12 and were able to make their 25th consecutive NCAA post-season appearance. Finishing fifth at the Pac-10 Championships and the NCAA Regional Championships, Arizona rounded out the season ranked No. 20 in the nation.
Russell, who had spent her RS junior season competing only on bars, returned to vault and floor in 2011, making a huge impact on the team totals with high scores of 9.875 on vault, two scores 9.90 on bars, and a career high 9.925 on floor. Russell also took fifth place on vault at the Pac-10 Championships, and sixth place on both bars and floor at the NCAA Regional Championships.
Graham was one of the team's top all-around athletes, posting a season high AA score of 39.100 at the Pac-10 Championships. Graham also tallied high scores of 9.925 on vault, 9.850 on bars, 9.90 on beam, and 9.90 on floor. Her performance throughout the season earned conference recognition as she was named to the first-team All-Pac-10 All-Around.
Matusik had a break out junior season as well, taking the title of "beam queen" for the season. Matusik earned three scores of 9.90 or better on the event, with a career high 9.925 at BYU (2/26). She also earned second place on beam at the NCAA Regional Championships with a score of 9.875, and was named to the first-team All-Pac-10 Beam Team. Lastly, Matusik was one of two conference athletes to be honored with the Pac-10 Sportsmanship Award for 2011.
A number of Wildcats were recognized by the conference throughout the season, including Matusik (Special Performance of the Week Feb. 21 - 27), Graham (Gymnast of the Week Feb. 7 - 13, and Mar. 7-13), then junior Aubree Cristello (Gymnast of the Week Jan. 31-Feb.6, and first-team All-Pac-10 All-Around), and Russell (Special Performance of the Week Jan. 24-30).
Look Out for New GymCats:
Arizona added a number of new faces this season, including Danielle Buchanan out of Lancaster, Calif., Allison Flores hailing from Addison, Ill., Edmonton, Alberta native Kristin Klarenbach, and Amber Wobma from Rockford, Mich.
Questions for Coach:
Each week, head gymnastics coach Bill Ryden sits down to talk with us to analyze the previous week's meet. This Coach's Show is available for free via the All-Access tab on the website.
This season Ryden is entertaining questions from the public. If you have any questions you would like to ask Coach Ryden - from the type of grips the girl's like to use to different coaching decisions - e-mail them to the gymnastics SID Valery Meusburger at email@example.com. Then, watch for your questions in the weekly Coach's Show!
The Arizona gymnastics team headed into the season ranked No. 19 in the 2012 Women's Pre-Season Coaches poll. The Wildcats were one of six Pac-12 schools to place within the top 25 in the prelim poll, with UCLA ranked No. 1, Utah ranked No. 5, Oregon State at No. 7, Stanford at No. 8, and Washington falling in at No. 16.
After the competition with Texas Woman's, head coach Bill Ryden bolsters a career record of 179-177-3.
What's Coming Up:
The Cats continue the home season, hosting Brigham Young University on Friday, February 17 at 7p.m.