March 27, 2012
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – Three Arizona gymnasts have been named to the All Pac-12 Gymnastics Conference Team, commissioner Larry Scott announced today.
The All Pac-12 team is determined by a combination of 50 percent RQS (calculated throughout the entire season) and 50 percent based on the Pac-12 Championship score. First team is made up of the top six all-around athletes, as well as the top three competitors in each individual event who are not among the all-around winners.
The second team consists of the top two all-around athletes and top event competitors not to be listed on the first team.
For Arizona, junior Aubree Cristello made first-team all-around for her third consecutive year, and senior Katie Matusik was named to the first team for balance beam for the second consecutive year. Junior Molly Quirk earned her second all-conference recognition, making second-team all-around.
“I’m incredibly proud. It’s great that we were able to get three athletes named, especially when there are so few spots available in such a top notch conference.” Head coach Bill Ryden said, “This is a great recognition for all the work they’ve put in. As our three veterans, these girls put out 11 of 24 routines per meet, so this is an incredible honor for the them, the program, and the athletic department.”
As the only athlete to earn the conference title of “Gymnast of the Week” (for the week of Mar. 12-18), Cristello has proven herself to be a force for the Wildcats this season. The New York native has competed all-around twelve out of twelve meets this season, posting 10 scores of 39.000 or better. Cristello has notched high event scores of 9.875 on vault, 9.875 on bars, 9.850 on beam, and 9.950 on floor this season. She also has earned two all-around scores of 39.475, earning a spot in the Arizona All-Time record books for the ninth best all-around score. Cristello is also one of the most successful juniors in the nation at the moment, with national rankings of No. 18 in the all-around and No. 9 on floor.
“What can you say? Aubree has been first team all-conference in all-around 3 years in a row. She has cemented her name as an all around competitor. She is only getting better, and she’s more than just a standout competitor; she is a competitive leader for our team and force out on the competition floor,” Ryden said.
Matusik has established herself as Arizona’s top beam worker this season, posting four scores of 9.90 and proving she is one of the Wildcats’ most consistent athletes on the event. She has earned eight scores of 9.800 or better, and eleven scores of 9.700 or better on beam this season. The senior’s excellence on the four-inch wide event has placed her No. 14 in the nation, and No. 3 in the conference – the only other Arizona gymnast to break the top 25.
“Katie is one of the best beam workers in nation without a doubt. Considering the struggles she had the first two years of her career, it is wonderful to see her finish her last two years with such success. I’m proud for her and our team that she is being recognized,” Ryden said.
With the 43rd best all-around RQS and a national ranking of No. 55, Quirk is another Cat who has made some major contributions this season. In her junior campaign, Quirk has competed all-around ten times, posting five scores of 39.000 or better, with a season and career high 39.200 overall. Quirk has posted highs of 9.800 on vault, 9.850 on bars, 9.90 on beam and 9.850 on floor in 2012.
“This recognition and season is a great comeback for Molly. She struggled a little bit last year, but she is definitely maturing as a competitor. This just shows you how her ‘never give up attitude,’ internal desire and hard work has allowed her to reclaim one of those conference spots,” Ryden said.
The Wildcats hope to capitalize on these three gymnasts, as well as the talent from the rest of the team, on April 4th, when they travel to Seattle, Wash. to compete in the 2012 NCAA Regional Championships.