TUCSON, Ariz.The 16th-ranked University of Arizona women's gymnastics team topped Central Michigan and Iowa, finishing in second place in its 2000 season home-opener tonight in front of a crowd of 720, in the McKale Center. Arizona (2-1 overall, 0-1 Pac-10) scored a 192.675, while Central Michigan (4-2 overall, 1-0 Mid-American) recorded a 191.850, and Iowa (0-3 overall, 0-0 Big 10) ended the meet with a 190.775. Third-ranked UCLA (4-4 overall, 1-0 Pac-10) took the meet title with a score of 196.300, sweeping all four events and the all-around.
Arizona trailed UCLA and Iowa for three rotations, and the Cats were in third place with a score of 143.750 heading into the final rotation. Although Arizona experienced some falls on beam, the Cats roared back in the final rotation on floor with a team score of 48.925, which tied the 10th-highest floor score in Arizona history. Five UA gymnasts set or tied new career-high marks during the meet. UCLA gymnasts captured the top individual spots in all four events and the all- around, while two Arizona gymnasts tied for top honors on floor.
Individually for the Wildcats, sophomore Randi Liljenquist lifted the Cats on beam with a third- place score of 9.800a new career-highand she also tied senior Kiernan Andrews for first- place honors on floor, each with a score of 9.850. Andrews set a new career-high mark on floor, and she set a career-high 9.675 on beam.
In her official collegiate debut, freshman Nikki Beyschau tied for fifth on both vault (9.775) and bars (9.750) and was the highest UA finisher in the all-around with a score of 38.425. Beyschau also scored a career-high 9.250 on beam and a career-high 9.650 on floor. Senior Lisa Heckel set a career-high 9.725 on bars, and junior Heather Straccia set a career-high 9.700 in the same event.
"The meet was a very good starting point for us as a team," Arizona head coach Bill Ryden said. "We had some uncharacteristic falls on beam, and we still have some changes to make in each event. Some of the gymnasts who had never been tested really came through for us tonight. But, we really need to make some strides and improve on tonight's overall performance."
The Wildcats head to the Bay Area next week to battle the Stanford Cardinal in Palo Alto, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 21, at 7:30 p.m. (PST). Arizona returns to the McKale Center for a dual meet when the Cats square off against the San Jose State Spartans on Friday, Jan. 28, at 7:30 p.m.
UCLA, Central Michigan, Iowa at Arizona
January 14, 2000
Top-three scorers Vault 1. Mohini Bhardwaj UCLA 9.875 2. Lena Degteva UCLA 9.825 3. Heidi Moneymaker UCLA 9.800 3. Onnie Willis UCLA 9.800 Uneven Bars 1. Mohini Bhardwaj UCLA 9.925 2. Lena Degteva UCLA 9.850 3. Sarah Nelson C. Michigan 9.775 3. Giselle Boniforti Iowa 9.775 Balance Beam 1. Heidi Moneymaker UCLA 9.900 2. Lena Degteva UCLA 9.850 3. Randi Liljenquist Arizona 9.800 3. Kristin Parker UCLA 9.800 3. Mohini Bhardwaj UCLA 9.800 3. Doni Thompson UCLA 9.800 Floor Exercise 1. Kiernan Andrews Arizona 9.850 1. Randi Liljenquist Arizona 9.850 1. Mohini Bhardwaj UCLA 9.850 1. Onnie Willis UCLA 9.850 All-Around 1. Mohini Bhardwaj UCLA 39.450 2. Lena Degteva UCLA 39.350 3. Kristin Parker UCLA 38.975