Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Cardinal to Come to McKale
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 15, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 15, 2011

What's Up:

The Arizona Women’s Gymnastics team has made its way back into the top 25, holding the No. 24 spot as they prepare to play host for the second to last time this season.

The meet will take place at 7 p.m. this Friday, February 18 against No. 2 Stanford.

Last Week:

The Wildcats had their first complete victory on the road, overtaking then No. 18 North Carolina State (194.250) as well as William and Mary (187.575) with a score of 195.550.

Highlights of the meet included another solid week for the Cats on bars, including a total team score of 49.125 as well as senior Miranda Russell’s stellar performance to earn yet another score of 9.90.

Despite a few mistakes here and there, floor was another strong event for Arizona. The floor team posted a score of 48.925, led by Russell with a 9.850, junior Deanna Graham with a 9.825, and junior Becca Cardenas who posted a 9.775.


The Very-Nearly Perfect Club:

Senior Miranda Russell seems to be a regular of the club as of late, scoring yet another 9.90 this past weekend on bars at North Carolina State.

Coming into the 2011 season, Russell had posted one score of 9.90 on beam (2008 season). She now has three other 9.9’s or better to add to her achievements: two on bars, and one 9.925 on floor.

Pac-10 Performances:

The Wildcats have been recognized by the Pac-10 for two outstanding gymnasts in the last two weeks; Miranda Russell and Aubree Cristello.

Russell was recognized as Pac-10 Special Performance of the week for the week of Jan. 24 through Jan. 30 for her routines against Boise State.

Cristello was named the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week for the week of Jan. 31 through Feb. 6 due to her all-around performance against the University of Illinois-Chicago.

By the Numbers:

In the past meet, a number of accomplishments were achieved:


  • 1 scores of 9.90
  • 7 scores of 9.80 or better
  • 2 season high all-around scores were posted
  • 1 score of 49 or better was given
  • 1 team season high total score was earned

Questions for Coach:

Each week, head gymnastics coach Bill Ryden sits down to talk with us to analyze the previous week's meet. This Coach's Show is available for free via the All-Access tab on the website. 

This season Ryden is entertaining questions from the public. If you have any questions you would like to ask Coach Ryden - from the type of grips the girl's like to use to different coaching decisions - e-mail them to the gymnastics SID Valery Meusburger at Then, watch for your questions in the weekly Coach's Show!

Scouting the Opposition:

No. 2 Stanford continues to prove itself as one of the best teams in the Pac-10, as well as in the nation. Last week, the Cardinal bested then No. 8 Michigan and No. 10 Nebraska with a record breaking team total of 196.800. In total, Stanford earned seven scores of 9.90 throughout the meet, including closing with three scores of 9.90 on bars from Allyse Ishino, Alyssa Brown, and Nicole Pechanec.




2010 Review:


The Wildcats completed the 2010 season with an overall record of 12-12 and were able to make their 24th consecutive NCAA post-season appearance. Finishing fourth at the Pac-10 Championships, and third at the NCAA Regional Championships, Arizona completed the season ranked No. 20 in the nation. Then sophomore Deanna Graham stepped up throughout the season to be a major contributor to the team, as well as the lone Wildcat to qualify for the NCAA National Championships. Graham also earned 1st team All-Conference Honors in the all-around for her performances.


Other break out performances included then freshmen Aubree Cristello and Molly Quirk. 


Cristello earned her place as one of the Wildcats' most consistent gymnasts; competing 12 out of 13 meets in the all-around, and hitting 49 of 51 total routines. Cristello also earned Pac-10 1st team All-Conference Honors for the all-around, with a career best score of 39.175.


Quirk rose to the challenge of becoming beam star, earning a score of 9.90 against Washington, and posting seven scores of 9.80 or above on the event. Hitting 51 of 52 routines competed as well as a high all-around score of 39.100, Quirk was yet another Wildcat to be honored with a spot on the Pac-10 All-Conference 1st team.


Look Out for New GymCats:


Arizona added a number of new faces this season, including Barbara Donaldson out of Bakersfield, Calif., Chelsea Perna hailing from Middletown, Del., Phoenix native Shana Sangston, Ali Stakem from Gaithersburg, Md., and Jordan Williams from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.


Pre-season Rankings:


The Arizona Gymcats head into the season ranked No. 19 in the 2010 Women's Pre-Season Coaches poll. They are one of six Pac-10 schools to be rated. The others include No. 1 UCLA, No. 6 Stanford, No. 8 Oregon State, No. 21 Washington, and No. 25 Arizona State.


Stacked Schedule:


Arizona faces a stacked schedule this season, competing against six schools ranked in the pre-season poll. This includes some tough meets early on, including opening the season against a powerfully ranked Pac-10, and meeting up with these teams to conclude the regular season in the Pac-10 Championships. Other ranked meets include facing No. 25 Arizona State early on in the season, and a dual meet against No. 18 Boise State. The Gymcats must also go head to head with No. 1 UCLA, and No. 6 Stanford.


Ryden's Record:


Head Coach Bill Ryden earned a total record of 169-164-3 after Arizona's fourth and fifth consecutive victory at NC State this past weekend.


What's Coming Up:


Next week Arizona heads back to Utah, this time to Provo to compete once again against BYU. The meet will take place at 7 p.m. in Smith Fieldhouse.



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