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Wildcats To Host Three Schools on Senior Night
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/15/2007
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Arizona Gymnastics Meet Notes

Vs. No. 16 Penn State, Kentucky, Texas Women’s University

March 16, 2007

 

What’s on Tap: The No. 15 Arizona women’s gymnastics team (9-2) will host No. 22 Penn State, Kentucky and Texas Women’s University in the Wildcats’ final regular season home meet. The quadrangular meet is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. (MST) in McKale Center.

 

Watch it Live: ArizonaAthletics.com will provide live statistics and a live video webcast of the event (video is mostly of Wildcat gymnasts only). As always, the live stats are free, while the live webcast will be available to All-Access subscribers only. Links will be provided in this article prior to the meet beginning on Friday. For more information, please log onto www.arizonaathletics.com and click on ?'multimedia’.

 

An Eventful Night: Friday’s meet will be an eventful one for fans in attendance. Not only will the Wildcats host the first and only home quadrangular meet, but several pre and post meet ceremonies will be held. Fans are encouraged to arrive a bit early for the 7:30 p.m. start, as the program will honor former Wildcat legend Heidi Hornbeek in a pre-meet ceremony, which is set to begin at approximately 7:20 p.m. She will become the first Wildcat gymnast to have her leotard retired inside McKale Center. Following the meet, Arizona will honor a handful of Wildcat alumni who will be attending the meet and will be recognized on the floor prior to the award ceremonies. And lastly, after the award ceremonies, the program will honor its two senior members, Jamie Holton and Aubrey Kelly. The first 500 fans in attendence will receive an Arizona Gymnastics jump rope.

 

The Rankings: Arizona enters competition this week ranked No. 14 in the country, with a RQS of 195.665. In individual events, UA ranks tied for No. 8 on floor (49.135), No. 18 on beam (48.745), No. 19 on bars (48.870) and No. 16 on vault (49.010). The Wildcats were tabbed as the No. 16 team in the nation according to the preseason coaches’ poll. Arizona has been ranked in the Top 25 in 82 of the last 83 polls, including 33 straight. Individually, Karin Wurm ranks No. 10 in the nation on bars, with an RQS of 9.890. Additionally, Danielle Hicks ranks No. 17 on beam (9.860).

 

About the Rankings: Unlike other collegiate athletic rankings, collegiate gymnastic rankings are not based on wins and losses or votes. Gymnastic teams are ranked by their meet scores alone.  From Jan. 15-Feb. 12, teams were ranked by their total season average.  Since Feb. 19, teams and gymnasts are being ranked by a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS).  An RQS is based on a team's top six regular-season scores, with three scores coming from away meets. To obtain the RQS, the team's or gymnast’s highest score is dropped and the remaining five scores are averaged. 

 

This Week’s Rotations:

 

 

Rotation I

Rotation II

Rotation III

Rotation IV

Arizona

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

TWU

Bars

Beam

Floor

Vault

Kentucky

Beam

Floor

Vault

Bars

Penn State

Floor

Vault

Bars

Beam

 

 

A Look at the Nittany Lions: Penn State enters competition this week ranked No. 16 in the nation overall with an RQS of 195.630, averaging a total of 194.952 per meet. In individual events, PSU ranks No. 13 on floor with an RQS of 49.035, No. 10 on beam (48.910), No. 13 on bars (49.00) and No. 18 on vault (48.965). The Nittany Lions saw their 10-meet winning streak snapped last week at No. 6 LSU, but PSU posted its second highest score of the season, with a 196.275. Individually, PSU is led by senior all-arounder Corissa Pirkl, who is averaging a 38.888 in the all-around. Last week, she notched a season and career-high 9.875 on bars to win the individual title. Brandi Personett currently ranks No. 9 in the nation on floor, with an RQS of 9.890, and Stephanie Sullivan ranks No. 21 on beam (9.850). The Nittany Lions are coached by Steve Shepard, who is in his 15th year with the school.

 

A Look at the Wildcats: Kentucky enters competition this week with plenty of momentum, as it comes off the third highest score in school history, a 196.200. Kentucky ranks among the nation’s Top 25 teams in all four events. The Wildcats hold their highest ranking on vault (No. 20) where the team has posted the top two scores of head coach Mo Mitchell’s tenure in the past two weeks. UK ranks No. 22 on floor, led by freshman Hillary Ferguson, who posted a career high 9.925 last week, her fifth straight meet of 9.85 or better.The Wildcats moved to No. 24 in the rankings on beam, after notching a 49.000 mast week, just the fifth such mark in school history. Mitchell is in his fourth year with the school.

 

A Look at the Pioneers: Texas Women’s university comes to Tucson after posting its top score of 2007 last week. The Pioneers wrapped up the home portion of their 2007 schedule last week by recording a season-high 194.825 team score and a second place overall finish in a quadrangular meet versus Bowling Green State University, the University of Kentucky, and Southeast Missouri State University. Senior Courtney Arno equaled her own TWU school record with a 9.925 score on the uneven bars. The Pioneers are coached by Frank Kudlac, who is in his 29th year in charge of the program in Denton, Texas.

 

Side-by-Side: Arizona and this week’s opponents event-by-event comparison based on 2007 season averages:

 

 

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Total

Arizona

49.025

48.656

48.619

49.000

195.300

Penn State

48.803

48.785

48.650

48.715

194.953

Kentucky

48.792

48.533

48.272

48.614

194.211

TWU

47.939

47.428

48.008

47.731

191.106

 

Arizona and this week’s opponents event-by-event comparison by season high score:

 

 

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Total

Arizona

49.450

49.100

49.150

49.300

196.325

Penn State

49.075

49.150

49.150

49.275

196.450

Kentucky

49.200

48.925

49.000

49.250

196.200

TWU

48.600

48.600

48.800

48.850

194.825

 

Arizona Head Coach: Bill Ryden is in his ninth season at the helm of the Arizona gymnastics program, owning a school and career record of 117-120-3. Last season, he joined Jim Gault as the second coach to surpass 100 career coaching victories at Arizona. Ryden made his first appearance as a head coach at the NCAA Championships in 2002, the program’s first appearance since 1996.  In 2002, Ryden also earned Pac-10 Conference Coach of the Year honors as well as South Central Regional Coach of the Year honors, becoming the first head coach in Arizona history to have earned Regional Coach of the Year honors. Additionally, Ryden has coached in 16 Pac-10 Championships, 14 NCAA Championships and 16 NCAA Regional meets. Ryden has also trained 12 All-Americans and 18 All-Pac-10 gymnasts in his tenure at Arizona.

 

Ryden Closing in on .500: Bill Ryden is closing in on the .500 mark as a head coach for the first time since his second year as head coach in 2000. In his first season, he guided the Wildcats to a 14-10-1 record, but UA struggled to a 7-19 record the following season. If the Wildcats sweep the quad meet this week, Ryden will reach the .500 plateau once again, with a career record of 120-120-3. Currently, he holds a record of 117-120-3.

 

Where was the Deduction? Freshman Brittney Morgan nearly became a member of the exclusive 10.0 club last week, when she earned a 9.975 on vault. Morgan received a 10.0 from one judge, but the second judge found a small flaw, worthy of awarding a 9.95. Even so, Morgan scored a 9.975, the fifth highest mark in UA history on vault. The score ranks behind previous 10.0 scores from Anna Balsadua, Heidi Hornbeek, Andi McCabe and Abby Pearson.

 

Seniors Say Goodbye: Seniors Jamie Holton and Aubrey Kelly will march out and compete in front of the Wildcat faithful for one last time during the regular season. Holton is enjoying one of her finest season in the Cardinal and Navy. Last week, she totaled 29.575 in her three events, the highest three-event total of her career. In her senior campaign, she has in the Top 5 on vault five times, winning three individual titles, and has placed in the Top 5 on floor six times, claiming the individual title four times. Kelly continues recover from a broken bone in her foot, which she suffered earlier in the season. She will likely be out for another two weeks.

 

Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week: University of Arizona gymnast Brittney Morgan has been named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week for March 6-12, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced on Tuesday. Morgan, a 5-2 freshman, led Arizona in its thrilling comeback victory last week in a quadrangular meet hosted by No. 22 North Carolina State.  Morgan totaled a career-best 39.350 in the all-around, a season high for a UA gymnast, helping Arizona to its top road score of the year (196.150), while defeating the Wolfpack (196.125), William & Mary (189.650) and James Madison (186.200). Arizona trailed the Wolfpack by 0.275 points heading to vault in the final rotation, but Morgan helped lead the Wildcats to their best vault score since 2004. Morgan turned in a 9.975, capturing the vault title, as the Wildcats scored a 49.450 as a team to overtake the Wolfpack. A native of Charlottesville, Va., Morgan tallied the second-highest mark of her career on beam, earning a share of second place with a 9.825. She added a 9.775 on bars to share fifth-place honors, and chipped in a 9.775 on floor to help lead UA to a 49.150 in the event. On the season, Morgan leads Arizona on vault with an average score of 9.833, and has placed in the top five in the event seven times, claiming the individual title three times. Additionally, she is second on the team with a 9.758 average on beam.

 

Vaulting into the Record Books: Arizona needed every bit of its 49.450 team score on vault last week in the final rotation to overtake the Wolfpack. But, the score not only earned UA a Top 25 victory, it ranked fifth all-time in school history. Below are the four highest scores:

 

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