Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Cats to Compete Against Cougars and Aggies
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 11, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Jan. 11, 2011

What’s Up:

The Wildcats head to Logan, Utah to compete against the Utah State Aggies and the BYU Cougars. The meet will take place this Friday, January 14 at 7 p.m.

Last Week:

Arizona started the 2011 season off strong, finishing fourth in the Pac-10 Showcase. The team totaled a score of 193.825 behind Stanford, UCLA, and Oregon State and ahead of Washington, Arizona State, and California.

The team welcomed back RS senior Miranda Russell to vault and floor, as well as RS sophomore Rebecca Cardenas to bars.

The team also introduced a number of new freshmen faces, including Shana Sangston on beam, and Jordan Williams on beam and vault.

Meet highs came from Russell, who was able to post twin scores of 9.85 on vault and floor. Sophomore Deanna Graham was a major contributor for the Wildcats as well, leading the bar team with a score of 9.75, as well as topping the floor and vault teams with scores of 9.90 and 9.875 respectively. Molly Quirk was the queen of the beam for the Cats, posting a score of 9.800.

“Looking back at the meet, it was a solid start that answered more questions than it raised. This is always a good thing coming into a season from a coaching standpoint. These results bode well for the future, because they show what we’re capable of this early into a season,” said head Coach Bill Ryden. “I have good feelings about the potential of this year.”

Exercising Floor Excellence:

The Wildcats picked up right where they left off last season on floor, scoring an event total of 49.025 at the Pac-10 Showcase. Floor was one of the Wildcats’ strongest events this past season, and it looks be another great year for the Cats. Their performance earned them the No. 5 spot in the nation on the event.

Scouting the Opposition:

Utah State scored a team total of 192.800 in their season opener against No. 23 Southern Utah this past Friday. Aggies to watch include senior all-arounder Lyndsie Boone, who tied her career high all-around of 38.850 this last weekend, and junior Nicole Simoneau who won bars with a score of 9.825.

BYU took second place in their season opener, finishing in front of the University of Denver and the Air Force Academy, and behind the University of Georgia with a score of 193.225. Junior Natalie Eyre led the Cougars, posting a score of 9.800 on beam and a 9.85 on the vault.

2010 Review:

The Wildcats completed the 2010 season with an overall record of 12-12 and were able to make their 24th consecutive NCAA post-season appearance. Finishing fourth at the Pac-10 Championships, and third at the NCAA Regional Championships, Arizona completed the season ranked No. 20 in the nation. Then sophomore Deanna Graham stepped up throughout the season to be a major contributor to the team, as well as the lone Wildcat to qualify for the NCAA National Championships. Graham also earned 1st team All-Conference Honors in the all-around for her performances.

Other break out performances included then freshmen Aubree Cristello and Molly Quirk.

Cristello earned her place as one of the Wildcats’ most consistent gymnasts; competing 12 out of 13 meets in the all-around, and hitting 49 of 51 total routines. Cristello also earned Pac-10 1st team All-Conference Honors for the all-around, with a career best score of 39.175.

Quirk rose to the challenge of becoming beam star, earning a score of 9.90 against Washington, and posting seven scores of 9.80 or above on the event. Hitting 51 of 52 routines competed as well as a high all-around score of 39.100, Quirk was yet another Wildcat to be honored with a spot on the Pac-10 All-Conference 1st team.

Look Out for New GymCats:

Arizona added a number of new faces this season, including Barbara Donaldson out of Bakersfield, Calif., Chelsea Perna hailing from Middletown, Del., Phoenix native Shana Sangston, Ali Stakem from Gaithersburg, Md., and Jordan Williams from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Pre-season Rankings:

The Arizona Gymcats head into the season ranked No. 19 in the 2010 Women’s Pre-Season Coaches poll. They are one of six Pac-10 schools to be rated. The others include No. 1 UCLA, No. 6 Stanford, No. 8 Oregon State, No. 21 Washington, and No. 25 Arizona State.

Stacked Schedule:

Arizona faces a stacked schedule this season, competing against six schools ranked in the pre-season poll. This includes some tough meets early on, including opening the season against a powerfully ranked Pac-10, and meeting up with these teams to conclude the regular season in the Pac-10 Championships. Other ranked meets include facing No. 25 Arizona State early on in the season, and a dual meet against No. 18 Boise State. The Gymcats must also go head to head with No. 1 UCLA, and No. 6 Stanford.

Ryden’s Record:

Head Coach Bill Ryden earned a record of 166-166-3 upon the completion of the Pac-10 Showcase.

What’s Coming Up:

The Wildcats host their first home meet of the season, taking on in-state rival Arizona State to compete for a point in the State Farm Territorial Cup.


Bear Down Challenge Gymnastics