April 6, 2002
Tempe, Ariz. - The No. 12 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team finished in second place (194.950) at the 2002 South Central Regional Championship on Saturday, April 6, to earn a berth to the 2002 National Championship in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on April 18-20. Arizona and South Central Regional Champions UCLA will advance to the National Championship. UCLA finished first with a score of 197.425, Arizona State placed third (194.875), Brigham Young took fourth place (194.000), Cal State Fullerton finished fifth (192.000) and Illinois-Chicago placed sixth (191.925). Arizona qualifies as a team for the National Championship for the first time since 1996.
The Wildcats were in third place trailing Arizona State after four rotations, but jumped ahead of the Sun Devils after posting a 49.125 on beam. The Wildcats mark of 49.125 was the second-highest beam score of the meet. Arizona also posted scores of 48.625 on vault, 48.600 on bars, and 48.600 on floor.
Individually for the Wildcats, senior Randi Liljenquist tied for first place honors on beam with a score of 9.925. She also tied for seventh on vault (9.775) and finished eighth in the all-around (38.775).
Freshman Monica Bisordi placed fourth in the all-around (38.950) and tied for ninth place on beam (9.800) with fellow freshmen Jamie Duce, Stevie Fanning and Katie Johnson. Bisordi and junior Nikki Beyschau both tied for ninth place on vault (9.750).
For Arizona, head coach Bill Ryden was named the 2002 South Central Regional Coach of the Year, and Randi Liljenquist was named the 2002 South Central Regional Gymnast of the Year. Ryden becomes the first Arizona head coach to be named Regional Coach of the Year. He was named the Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 1992. Arizona has had two gymnasts named South Central Gymnast of the Year in consecutive years: Randi Liljenquist in 2002 and Kara Fry in 2001.
"I am very ecstatic about our team's accomplishment," Ryden said. "This is the culmination of all the hard work our gymnasts have done all year. We didn't have our very best meet tonight, but if anything defines the character of this team, it is how our gymnasts performed on beam. I couldn't be prouder of my team."