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Three Gymnasts Named First Team All-Conference
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/23/2011
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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March 23, 2011

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – Three Arizona gymnasts have been named to the All Pac-10 Gymnastics Conference Team, commissioner Larry Scott announced today.

The All Pac-10 team is determined by a combination of 50 percent RQS (calculated throughout the entire season) and 50 percent based on the Pac-10 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 Deanna Graham, sophomore Aubree Cristello earned first team all-around honors, and junior Katie Matusik was named to the first team for balance beam.

“It’s nice to have three girls on the first team; certainly not every school gets that. They have been significant contributors for us all year and they are showing once again they are some of the best gymnasts in the entire conference.  It is great that they are being honored as such,” said head coach Bill Ryden.

Graham has been a major contributor for the Cats, competing at least three events in all eleven meets in the regular season, and competing all-around in ten of them. She has made a huge dent in the vault and floor rotations, posting high scores of 9.925 and 9.90 respectively. This is not her first time being recognized by the conference; as a freshman she was named to the 2nd All Pac-10 Vault team, and was 1st Team All Pac-10 All-Around in 2010. Graham has also been named Gymnast of the Week by the Pac-10 Conference twice this season (Feb. 7-13 and Mar. 7-13).

“Deanna had her all-around break out last year. This year, with improved routines, she is proving she is still a national level all-arounder, and her gymnastics sort of speaks for itself. It’s nice that even with the few bobbles that she has had, she is still one of the best gymnasts in the nation,” Ryden said. “It certainly makes us a stronger team.”

Another athlete to be named Gymnast of the Week this season is Cristello (Jan. 31-Feb. 6). This will be Cristello’s second consecutive year being named to the All Pac-10 1st All-Around Team. In her sophomore year, Cristello has solidified herself as a top competitor for the Wildcats, competing all-around in eleven out of twelve meets this season. With high event scores of 9.875 on vault, 9.875 on bars, 9.775 on beam, and 9.90 on floor, Cristello has proven to be a huge contributor to each event for the Cats.

“Aubree has really had to fight through some issues this year with injuries, and new routines, so I’m so impressed with how well she has done for herself. To be named to the 1st team twice in a row is quite the accomplishment – especially in this conference,” Ryden said.

Matusik has established herself as Arizona’s top beam worker this season, posting three scores of 9.90 or better and a high score of 9.925. Matusik is one of the Wildcats’ most consistent athletes on the event. She has posted seven scores of 9.800 or better, and ten scores of 9.700 or better this season. Matusik has also been honored by the Pac-10 as Special Performance of the Week for her beam performance against BYU (Feb. 21-27).

“This is a special award for her, simply because the first two years were so injury ridden for her. She constantly has a positive attitude, and she never gave up, and look what she has to show for it. Her beam work is exemplary, and with all that she has overcome this is a great thing to have happen this year,” Ryden said.

The Wildcats hope to capitalize on these three gymnasts, as well as the talent from the rest of the team, on April 2nd, when they travel to Denver to compete in the 2011 NCAA Regional Championships.

 

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