April 22, 2012
DULUTH, Ga. – Katie Matusik went all out for her final routine of her career, performing flawlessly on beam to take third place in the 2012 NCAA National Championship Individual Event Finals. Matusik was one of two individual competitors to qualify to the finals, and the only one to podium.
“I’m incredibly proud of Katie – what a way to cap off her career. Katie made it here the hard way; she had to win the Regional meet against Alabama’s beam workers in order to even make it to this meet, which is something that is incredibly difficult. She just ran with it, so I can’t be happier for her success. Kudos to her and her talent and state of mind to be able to actually pull this off,” head coach Bill Ryden said.
Matusik was slated to perform tenth on the event, following the afternoon’s top competitors. Compared by ESPN3 commentators to Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin, the senior had such a beautiful routine that she earned a score of 9.8875 to surpass all but two. In fact, today’s competition’s six judges gave her scores of 9.800, 9.900, 9.900, 9.850, 9.900 and 9.900 – a solid way to end an already successful career.
“I don’t know that Katie could’ve done her routine any better. She has been training incredibly hard, and we added a lot of difficulty to her routine with the aerial-scale, and she performed it like she had been doing it her entire career.” Ryden said, “She’s been on a roll on beam for the last few weeks. She did two routines that were incredible this weekend, and she certainly deserves this honor. She really is that good.”
Despite the fact that her competition career is now finished, Matusik will still play an active role with the Arizona gymnastics team next year, coming back as an undergraduate assistant coach.