April 22, 2010
Arizona sophomore Deanna Graham scored an all-around score of 37.925 to earn 16th place at the NCAA National Gymnastics Championships Thursday, April 22 in Gainesville, Fla. to finish out the season for the GymCats.
Graham was the only GymCat to compete in the National Championships, qualifying through earning a top all-around score in the Los Angeles Regional two weekends ago.
“For her first time at Nationals, especially as an underclassman she did very well. Her first three events she did great; she had some issues on floor but hung in with a great score, she had an excellent vault, and exceptional bars – probably some of the strongest she has done all season.” Head Coach Bill Ryden said.
Graham began the meet on floor, rotating with LSU. There she earned 32nd place posting a score of 9.775. She then continued to vault earning a score of 9.875 to take 12th place with the 4th highest score in the session. On bars she scored a 9.750 for 36th place, one of her best bar scores of the season, and then finished the meet on beam. with a score of 8.525 to place 43rd.
“Deanna grew so much as a competitor and a gymnast this season and this meet it is remarkable. We are nothing but proud of her. She did a great job today.” Ryden said.
As a sophomore, this was Graham’s first appearance in the Nationals Meet, showing promise for great things to come.
Throughout the season Graham has been a leader for the Wildcats, posting high scores of 9.95 on vault and 9.925 on floor, as well as earning a high all-around score of 39.400.
The meet will continue throughout the weekend, with team finals tomorrow April 23, and individual event finals on Saturday, April 24.
“This meet was the last step in a learning process, and has really turned Deanna into a stronger gymnast and a stronger leader. Her next task will be to take this experience back to her teammates.” Ryden said, “Obviously she is going to be one of our name gymnasts in the years to come, and next time she gets to Nationals she will be much stronger.”