Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Arizona Gymnastics Battles No. 5 Stanford Friday Night in McKale Center
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: June 22, 2004
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    What's Coming Up - The Arizona women's gymnastics team (4-12, 1-5 Pac-10) opens a two-meet homestand this week, as the Wildcats prepare to battle the fifth-ranked Stanford Cardinal (8-3, 3-1 Pac-10) on Friday, Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m. MST, in McKale Center... Arizona is looking for its first win since defeating both Oregon State and Denver at home on Feb. 2, in McKale Center... Stanford has notched five straight wins after suffering a disappointing loss to No. 1 UCLA in the second meet of the season on Jan. 19... Stanford is one of five Pac-10 teams ranked in the national top-25 poll this week... Three of Arizona's last four meets of the regular season are at home... This week's meet marks the second of five dual meets that Arizona will compete in prior to the Pac-10 Championship meet on March 24... Last season, Stanford defeated Arizona, 194.275-191.275, on Jan. 21, 2000, in Burnham Pavilion, and the Cardinal also finished in sixth place at the 2000 Pac-10 Championships, while the Wildcats finished in seventh place.

    Head Coach Bill Ryden's Weekly Analysis - "It was very disappointing to lose such a close meet. We had so many positives, but it was heartbreaking to be that close. Even though we lost the meet, we had our highest score of the season on the road. We are starting to solidify our vault and bars teams, and our floor team is doing a great job. We just need to keep improving every week, and we need to rectify our beam problems before Friday. Overall, we are competing much better as a team, and we are starting to move up in the rankings. Stanford is a very good program, and I think this weekend's meet is going to be a good competition. We are definitely better now than we were last year at this point, and I feel good about where we are going at this point in the season."

    Arizona's Last Time Out - The University of Arizona women's gymnastics team fell to the Washington Huskies, 195.500-195.575, on Feb. 18, in front of a crowd of 814, in Washington's Bank of America Arena. Although Arizona lost by only .075, the Wildcats posted a season-high team total (195.500) that now ranks as the seventh-highest team score in school history. Arizona dropped to 4-12 overall and 1-5 in the Pac-10 Conference, while Washington improved to 8-5 on the season and 3-4 in the conference.

    In addition to its season-high team total, Arizona also set a season-high 48.900 on vault and tied a season-high 48.700 on bars. UA's floor score of 49.175 is the squad's second-highest floor rotation mark of the season. Eight Wildcat gymnasts - Lindsay Compitello, Nicci Filchner, Kara Fry, Randi Liljenquist, Andi McCabe, Cori Messina, Mary Reiss and Heather Straccia - each set or tied season-high and career-high marks in the meet.

    Arizona won the team vault event and tied Washington for the team beam event title. Washington won the team bars and floor events. The Wildcats swept top individual event honors on vault and beam, while the Huskies took top individual event honors on bars and floor. Arizona's Randi Liljenquist and Washington's Lanna Apisukh tied for first place in the all-around.

    Individually for the Wildcats, junior All-American Randi Liljenquist won the beam title and set a season-high 9.900 in the event. Liljenquist also tied for first-place honors in the all-around with a 39.275 - her second-highest mark of the season. She tied for fifth on vault (9.750), landed in fifth on bars (9.775) and tied for fourth on floor (9.850). Liljenquist now holds eight individual event titles and 23 top-five performances for the season.

    Senior Kara Fry set a career-high 9.850 on vault and tied for first-place honors in the event. Fry also tied for fourth on floor (9.850) and finished fifth overall in the all-around (38.900). Fry now holds six individual event titles and 18 top-five performances for the year.

    Freshman Andi McCabe earned a share of first-place honors on vault, as she posted a career-high 9.850 in her third collegiate vault competition. McCabe also set a career-high 9.825 on beam and finished fifth in the event. Senior Heather Straccia scored a career-high 9.725 on bars and landed in third place on floor with a career-high 9.875. Senior Mary Reiss matched a career-high 9.750 on beam and tied for fourth on floor with a 9.850.

    Senior Nicci Filchner tied for third on bars after posting a season-high 9.800 in her only event of the afternoon. Sophomore Nikki Beyschau tied for fifth on vault with a 9.750, while junior Lindsay Compitello set a career-high 9.775 on beam. Freshman Cori Messina posted a career-high 9.750 on floor.

    Scouting Stanford - The Stanford Cardinal (8-3, 3-1 Pac-10) enter this weekend's competition after topping the California Golden Bears, 196.950-196.025, on Feb. 18... Stanford has notched five straight wins since the squad suffered a disappointing loss to No. 1 UCLA on Jan. 19 in the second meet of the season... The Cardinal rank second in the West Region behind top-ranked UCLA, and the team's season-high total for the year is a 197.425... Stanford ranks first on beam, fourth on both vault and bars and 22nd on floor in the national poll... Cardinal freshman Lindsay Wing ranks fifth in the all-around and fourth on beam in the national poll... Freshman Caroline Fluhrer checks in at eighth on bars and 15th on vault... Freshman Lisa Leveille is ranked No. 6 on beam, and senior Jen Exaltacion is ranked No. 7 nationally on beam... Stanford opened the season with a third-place finish at the Super Six Challenge behind No. 2 Alabama and No. 4 Georgia... The Cardinal have tallied wins over Michigan, Florida, Penn State, Washington, Seattle Pacific, Minnesota, Arizona State and California... Stanford head coach Mark Cook (Chico State, '77) is in his fourth year at the helm of the Cardinal program and holds a 57-27-2 overall school and career record.

    Wildcats in the Rankings - After beginning the 2001 season ranked No. 20 in the preseason coaches' poll, Arizona has since dropped out of the top-25 rankings... Arizona, however, is climbing its way back into the rankings, as the Wildcats moved up two spots to No. 29 in the Feb. 19 national poll... This week, nine of Arizona's 2001 opponents - UCLA, Utah, Stanford, Arizona State, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Denver and California - are ranked in the Feb. 19 national gymnastics poll... UA is ranked No. 10 nationally on floor - up one spot from last week's poll - and No. 23 on beam... Junior Randi Liljenquist is the only Wildcat ranked nationally, coming in at No. 15 on floor and No. 14 on beam... Arizona moved up one spot in the regional rankings to No. 5 in the South Central Region... The Cats are second on floor, third on vault, fourth on beam and eighth on bars... In the individual regional rankings, Liljenquist is first on floor and beam, eighth on vault and fourth in the all-around... Senior Kara Fry is seventh in the all-around, 10th on floor, 19th on bars and tied for 18th on vault... Freshman Aimee Estella is ranked 13th on vault... Freshman Andi McCabe is 10th in the region on beam, while senior Mary Reiss is 11th on floor... Senior Heather Straccia broke into the regional rankings this week, checking in at No. 25 on floor... In terms of schedule strength, 10 of Arizona's 2001 opponents were ranked in the preseason coaches' poll... Six Pac-10 teams - UCLA (1), Stanford (7), Arizona State (11), Oregon State (12), Washington (16) and Arizona (20) - were ranked in the preseason poll... Women's gymnastics rankings are posted every Monday at:

    Arizona in the Record Books - Arizona's season-high team total of 195.500, which was set in the Washington meet on Feb. 18, now ranks as the seventh-highest team score in school history... Arizona's 195.500 mark was only .800 from breaking the current team record of 196.300, which was set on March 26, 1999, against Arizona State... UA posted a season-high 49.300 floor score on Feb. 11 against UCLA, Washington and Cal State Fullerton in the UCLA Invitational... The floor score tied the second-highest floor rotation mark in school history and was only .075 from matching Arizona's school record of 49.375, which was set last year against Minnesota... UA's season-high beam score of 48.875, which the team scored in the Denver-Oregon State meet on Feb. 2, currently ranks as the 10th-best beam rotation mark in school history... The score was a stark improvement from the 47.575 mark that the Wildcats posted in the first meet of the season against North Carolina State, New Hampshire and James Madison.

    UA's Top-10 Performers - Senior Kara Fry and freshman Andi McCabe each posted career-high marks of 9.850 on vault against Washington on Feb. 18... Both Fry and McCabe vaulted into the Arizona record books by matching UA's No. 8 all-time individual vault score... Fry has broken into four of the five individual event categories thus far in her stellar gymnastics career... In addition to her vault mark, Fry is No. 6 all-time in the all-around (39.325), tied for No. 6 on beam (9.900) and tied for No. 5 on floor (9.900)... Fry tied her career-high 9.900 on beam in the UCLA Invitational on Feb. 11, as she defeated three U.S. Olympians en route to the beam event title... McCabe posted her career-high 9.850 in only her third collegiate vault competition... Previously, McCabe scored a 9.000 in her collegiate vault debut against Denver and Oregon State on Feb. 2, and she posted a 9.700 at the UCLA Invitational.

    Cat Scratches - Arizona head coach Bill Ryden is in his third year at the helm of the program (11th overall at Arizona) and holds a 25-41-1 career and school record... Arizona notched two victories over North Carolina State and James Madison on the road in the first meet of the 2001 season... UA is 1-7 in neutral contests, 1-4 in away meets and 2-1 at home this season... Six of Arizona's eight freshman have competed in the first five meets of the season... So far this year, 13 Wildcat gymnasts have set or tied season-high and career-high marks... Junior Randi Liljenquist leads the team with eight individual event titles, including two all-around titles... Liljenquist also has 23 top-five finishes... Senior Kara Fry has six individual event titles and 18 top-five finishes... Freshman Aimee Estella has a vault title and two top-five finishes... Senior Mary Reiss has posted four top-five finishes... Sophomore Nikki Beyschau has four top-five performances... Senior Heather Straccia and freshman Andi McCabe each have two top-five finishes... Freshmen Cori Messina and Sheehan Lemley and senior Nicci Filchner each have one top-five finish entering this weekend's meet.

    Injury Update - Freshmen Aimee Estella and Meagan Killpack will sit out the remainder of the season after suffering ACL injuries... Estella, who won a vault title in the first meet of the season at North Carolina State, tore her ACL on the landing of her bar dismount during practice on Feb. 8... Killpack, a walk-on, suffered the same injury on the first tumbling pass in a floor exercise exhibition at the UCLA Invitational on Feb. 11... Estella competed in five meets in her first season, and Killpack competed in three meets... Estella posted career-high marks on vault (9.800), bars (9.175) and beam (9.750), and Killpack set career-high marks on bars (9.100), beam (9.325) and floor (9.650).

    A Look Ahead - Arizona closes out a two-meet homestand next week when the Wildcats face intra-state rival Arizona State on Friday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m. MST, in McKale Center... Arizona then travels to Minneapolis, Minn., to face the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Friday, March 10, at 8 p.m. MST.

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