Feb. 11, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona women’s gymnastics team took first place in the rematch with Arizona State, earning half a point in the State Farm Territorial Cup competition. The Wildcats posted a season high team total 195.900 to narrowly defeat the Sun Devils with a 195.500.
“Going into this meet, I told the team, ‘if we stay on, we’ll do well. We can’t keep giving things away,’” head coach Bill Ryden said. “Even though we tried to give this one away, we fought hard, and ended up with the outcome we wanted.”
The meet couldn’t have started any better for the Cats, posting a season high 49.150. Sophomore Sangston led off the lineup with a score of 9.725, followed by junior Quirk with a 9.775. Freshman Amber Wobma proved her talent for the second week straight, earning third place with a 9.800.
“Amber did really great. Something sort of clicked up in the gym a week ago, and it’s really valuable. That’s why we brought her to Arizona – because of that type of vaulting. We’re very happy with her, especially when you lose a Deanna, you need to find someone quick, and we found her in Amber,” Ryden said.
To finish up the lineup, junior Mykle Douglas then drilled her landing with a 9.850, tying for second place with junior Aubree Cristello. In first place was sophomore Jordan Williams, who earned a new career high 9.875.
“I was very happy with how we started. We really needed to start with better landings, and we’ve really been working hard. That was a great start to the meet, because ASU looked really good on bars, and we needed a performance that was going to put us on top from the get go,” Ryden said.
After the first event, Arizona was in the lead by only .3.
Bars marked yet another season high total, with a score of 49.125. One of the most surprising highlights of the event was freshman Allie Flores, who led off the event with a 9.850 to tie for second place with senior Katie Matusik.
“Allie Flores is a competitor. That kid is not afraid to compete. When you know that someone is going to go from point a to point b and deliver, I’ll take that,” Ryden said.
Notable scores came from Cristello, who took first on the event with a 9.875, Quirk with a 9.800, and senior Rebecca Cardenas who earned a 9.750.
Upon the conclusion of the second event, Arizona had widened the gap to a .675 lead.
Led by Matusik with a score of 9.850 (to win the event), the beam team earned a score of 48.700. Other contributions came from Williams with a 9.725, Cristello with a 9.700, and Quirk with a 9.775.
“We gave up a little bit of our lead with our beam. Unfortunately we had to do beam the hard way, coming off a fall from the first person up. However, we didn’t have to count the fall and the team fought hard. After Jordan hit, I knew the experience of the rest of the lineup would work in our favor,” Ryden said.
The determination of the winner came down to the final event, with only .3 separating the two teams going into floor.
“My comments to the team going into floor were, ‘if you take pride in wearing an Arizona leo, and do the floor work that Arizona and Arizona gymnastics is known for, you will come out victorious.’ Then I just left it in their hands. If they really deserved the win, then they had to prove it, and they did,” Ryden said.
Fortunately for the Wildcats, a floor total of 48.925 was just enough to clinch the win. Cristello led the Cats for the third week straight, earning yet another score of 9.90. The second highest score of the meet came from Matusik, with a score of 9.825. Quirk and Cardenas posted twin scores of 9.750, and freshman Kristin Klarenbech earned a score of 9.700.
In the all-around, Quirk tied her career high all-around score of 39.100, and Cristello took the gold with a season high 39.325.
“I’m very happy for Aubree. She’s coming into her own. I think that Aubree was in the shadow of Deanna for a long time – she’s always been in the shadow of someone, and now it’s Aubree. It’s like, you go girl! Kudos to her, we’ll just see what happens.”
“I was very happy for the girls. I feel like they’ve practiced hard, and they worked it tonight. I think that we’re a really good team, and last time here we didn’t show it as much. This time we showed our fans that we truly are a good gymnastics team,” Ryden said.
Next week the Wildcats continue the home campaign, welcoming BYU on Friday, February 17 at 7 p.m.