Sept. 24, 2002
Tucson, Ariz. (Sept. 24) - The University of Arizona women's gymnastics team held its first official team practice on Tuesday, in preparation for the upcoming 2002-03 season.
"Today is the process of finding out where we sit on each event," head coach Bill Ryden said. "We will be making coaching decisions on the best path for each athlete and on what's going to be the best for our program in general."
The Wildcats will begin workouts geared toward developing the individual skills of the gymnasts in each event.
"We have a lot of great talent on this team," Ryden said. "We just need to get it pointed to the best direction for us to be successful. We want to build our depth with quality routines in all four events, so we are not limited to six athletes on an event."
Arizona enjoyed one of its most successful seasons in school history in 2002. With a team composed mainly of underclassmen, Arizona made its 16th consecutive postseason appearance and its first trip to the National Championships since 1996. The Wildcats finished the year with a No. 11 national ranking and an overall record of 19-13.
This year's team will return 13 gymnasts from last year's squad and will have three freshman newcomers.
"Obviously our goal early on is to make it to the national championship," sophomore Jamie Duce said. "Right now we are trying to work hard individually and work together as a team so we can be successful when the season starts."
Arizona will open its 2003 season in Minneapolis, Minn., against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday, Jan. 11, at 7 p.m. CST.