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No. 15 Gymnastics Gears Up For Pac-10 Championships
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/24/2006
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Arizona Gymnastics Meet Notes ?- at Pac-10 Championships (3/25/06)

 

What’s on Tap: The No. 15 Arizona women’s gymnastics team (10-9) will travel to Corvallis, Ore., to compete in the 2006 Pac-10 Championships. The meet, which will feature all seven conference teams, is set to begin at 6 p.m. (PST) in Gill Coliseum. Live scoring will be available at OSUBeavers.com.

 

On the Air: Gymnastics fans will be able to watch the 2006 Pac-10 Championships on television, albeit on a delayed basis. Fox Sports Net will air the meet next week, with Jim Watson and Judy Corwin calling the action.

 

About the Pac-10 Championships: The Wildcats are looking to win their first ever Pac-10 Championship. Last year, the Wildcats finished in second place, equaling their highest finish in program history. Only three teams have won the Pac-10 Championships, however, with UCLA claiming an amazing 12 of the 19 titles. Oregon State, who is hosting this year’s meet, has won four titles, while Stanford has captured the other three. Conference awards for Gymnast of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Coach of the Year will be handed out at the conclusion of the meet.

 

Championship Rotation Order: The Wildcats will begin the competition on bars, and then move to beam, floor and vault with bye’s coming before floor and vault. Stanford, which receives a bye in the first rotation, and Arizona State are the two teams that will compete in Olympic order, starting on vault.

 

Rotation

Bye

Vault

Bye

Bars

Beam

Bye

Floor

1

Stanford

Arizona St.

Washington

Arizona

California

Oregon St.

UCLA

2

UCLA

Stanford

Arizona St.

Washington

Arizona

California

Oregon St.

3

Oregon St.

UCLA

Stanford

Arizona St.

Washington

Arizona

California

4

California

Oregon St.

UCLA

Stanford

Arizona St.

Washington

Arizona

5

Arizona

California

Oregon St.

UCLA

Stanford

Arizona St.

Washington

6

Washington

Arizona

California

Oregon St.

UCLA

Stanford

Arizona St.

7

Arizona St.

Washington

Arizona

California

Oregon St.

UCLA

Stanford

 

The Rankings: The Wildcats remained ranked No. 15 in this week’s Gym Info rankings, while their RQS jumped up to 195.615. As a team, the Wildcats rank in the Top 20 in all four individual events, including No. 13 in the floor exercise, No. 17 on the beam, No. 9 on the uneven bars and No. 18 on the vault. Individually, Aubrey Taylor is ranked No. 9 in the nation on bars. The Wildcats began the year ranked No. 17 in the preseason coaches’ poll, and were ranked as high as No. 10 for the week of Jan. 30. Arizona has been ranked in 70 of the last 71 polls, including 23 straight.

 

About the Rankings: Unlike other collegiate athletic rankings, collegiate gymnastic rankings are not based on wins and losses or votes. Gymnastic teams are ranked by their meet scores alone.  Teams are ranked by their highest score from Jan. 9-15.  From Jan. 16-Feb. 16, teams were ranked by their total season average.  Starting Feb. 20, teams and gymnasts are ranked by a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS).  An RQS is based on a team's top six regular-season scores, with three scores coming from away meets. To obtain the RQS, the team's or gymnast’s highest score is dropped and the remaining five scores are averaged. 

 

Arizona Head Coach: Bill Ryden is in his eighth season at the helm of the Arizona gymnastics program, owning a school and career record of 103-112-3. Ryden made his head coaching debut at Arizona in 1998 and made his first appearance as a head coach at the NCAA Championships in 2002, the program’s first appearance since 1996.  In 2002, Ryden earned Pac-10 Conference Coach of the Year honors as well as South Central Regional Coach of the Year honors, becoming the first head coach in Arizona gymnastics history to have earned Regional Coach of the Year honors. Additionally, Ryden has coached in 15 Pac-10 Championships, 12 NCAA Championships and 15 NCAA Regional meets. Ryden has also trained 12 All-Americans and 18 All-Pac-10 gymnasts in his tenure at Arizona.

 

Scouting the Beavers: Oregon State is the host school for the 2006 Pac-10 Championships. The Beavers are ranked No. 17 in this week’s poll, following their best performance of the season last week. The team posted season-high marks of 49.325 on vault, 49.1 on beam and 49.45 on floor. The Beavers held off No. 18 Kentucky by receiving three scores of 9.9 or better on floor to close out the meet.  As a team, Oregon State is ranked No. 17 in the nation on floor, No. 11 on beam, No. 18 on bars and No. 23 on beam. In the conference, the Beavers are ranked No. 5 on vault, bars and floor, and No. 2 on beam. The Beavers are led by all-arounders Jami Lanz and Chrissy Lamun. Lanz is ranked No. 6 in the Pac-10 in the all-around, while Lamun is ranked No. 13. Lamun, a senior, also ranks No. 9 on bars and beam. The Beavers are coached by Tanya Chaplin, who is in her ninth season in charge of the program.

 

Scouting the Bruins: UCLA enters the week ranked tied for No. 11 in the nation with Nebraska. The Bruins also rank No. 5 on bars, No. 8 on vault, No. 10 on floor and No. 14 on beam. Individually, senior Kate Richardson ranks third in the all-around, and is ranked no lower than No. 11 on any individual event. Freshman Kristina Comforte is ranked No. 10 in the nation in the all-around as well. In the conference, the Bruins rank No. 3 overall, No. 2 on floor, bars and vault, and No. 3 on beam. The two previously mentioned all-arounders rank No. 2 and 3, respectively, in the conference, and freshman Ariana Berlin ranks No. 10.  The Bruins, who won the 2005 Pac-10 Championships and have won 12 total, are coached by Valorie Kondos Field, who is in her 16th year with the program.

 

Scouting the Cardinal: Stanford enters the week ranked No. 10 in the country. The Cardinal also rank No. 3 on bars, No. 8 on floor, No. 10 on vault and No. 15 on beam. Individually, sophomore Liz Tricase is nation’s top bar-worker and she has earned two perfect 10s in the event. Tricase also ranks No 6 on the vault. Freshman Nicole Ourada ranks No. 18 on floor, while sophomore Tabitha Yim ranks in the Top 25 in all four individual events. In the conference, the Cardinal ranks first on beam and floor, fourth on beam and third on vault. The Cardinal is coached by Kristen Smythe, the 2004 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, who is in her fourth year at the school.

 

Scouting the Golden Bears: Cal heads into the Pac-10 Championships unranked, coming off back-to-back victories, over San Jose State and George Washington, for the first time since 2004. Last week, the team posted a strong score of 194.275 to gain some momentum heading into the conference championships. The Bears will be looking to break a streak of 13 consecutive losses to Pac-10 foes, including six this season. Cal wil also be looking to rebound from last year’s Pac-10’s, when the team hosted and finished seventh overall. Cal features three all-arounders, including Jessica Kelly, Britani Pitullo and Siobhan Luce. Joanna Bennett is one of the Bears’ top specialists, ranking No. 20 in the conference on bars. As a team, the Bears rank last on vault, beam and floor, while ranking No. 6 on bars in the conference. Cal is coached by Cari DuBois, who is in her fourth season.

 

Scouting the Huskies: Washington enters the week unranked and seeking to make a final push to receive a bid to the NCAA regionals, something it has done every year in the program’s history. Senior Kelly McDonald has come on strong as of late, including a season-best performance last week. McDonald tied for first on beam with a season-best 9.9 and was second in the all-around out of 14 competitors, scoring a Husky season-high 39.325 at the Salbasgeon Suites Invitational in Corvallis. Junior Chelsea Bakken has been the team’s top all-arounder this season, owning an RQS of 39.495. As a team, the Huskies rank sixth in the conference on floor, beam and vault, while raking last on bars. The Huskies are coached by Bob Levesque, who is in his 14th year with the program.

 

Scouting the Sun Devils: Arizona State enters the week tabbed as the No. 9 team in the nation, tops in the Pac-10. The Sun Devils rank in the Top 15 in all four individual events, including seventh on vault and beam, 10th on bars and 15th on floor. Senior Ashley Kelly is ranked No. 2 nationally in the all-around, while junior April Boone is No. 14, and freshman Nicole Harris is No. 25. Kelly also ranks No. 4 on beam, No. 6 on bars and No. 11 on vault, while Boone ranks No. 10 on floor and No. 21 on vault. In the conference, Arizona State is ranked No.1 on beam and vault, and No. 4 on floor and bars. All three previously mentioned all-arounders rank in the Top 5 in the conference. Lauren Powell is one of the Sun Devils’ top specialists, as she ranks No. 14 on vault, No. 25 on beam and No. 20 on bars in the conference. The Sun Devils are coach by John Spini, who is in his 26th year with the school.

 

Destination Corvallis: If all goes well, this week’s trip to the Beaver State could be the second of three for the Wildcats this season.  Arizona’s Feb. 10 trip to Corvallis, Ore., could end up being the first of three to the Beaver State this year. At that meet, the Wildcats picked up a regular-season Pac-10 conference victory with their team score of 195.400. Arizona could make a return trip to Corvallis for the NCAA Championships to be played April if it advances from the NCAA Regionals in two weeks.

 

Road Warriors: Arizona wrapped up the regular season with two road victories last week in Denton, Texas, over Texas Women’s University and No. 23 BYU.  Arizona began the season with three straight away meets, including trips to Cancun, Mexico, and State College, Pa., and spent five of the first six weeks away from McKale Center. The club will remain on the road for the rest of the season, with the Pac-10 Championships being held in Corvallis, Ore., this week. Arizona is 3-8 on the road this season, but has scored a 195 or better three times this season, including in the squad’s regular season victory over Oregon State on Feb. 10 in Corvallis. The Wildcats highest road score, and highest team score of the year (196.575), came last week.

 

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