Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcats to Spend the Weekend with the Wolfpack
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 08, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 8, 2011

What's Up:

This week No. 26 Arizona heads to Raleigh, N.C. to compete against No. 24 North Carolina State. The meet will take place at 7:00 pm on Saturday, February 12 in Reynolds Coliseum.

 Live Stats and video feed will be available the day of the meet via NC State and will be posted on Saturday.

Last Week:

The Wildcats increased their winning streak to three in a row, earning a season high score of 195.400 against UIC (193.450) at home.

The team had its best vault performance yet, posting a score of 49.025 to start the meet off strong. Junior Deanna Graham and sophomore Aubree Cristello tied for first on the event with the score of 9.850.

Arizona continued its bests, posting a season high bar score of 49.300 - only .025 away from ranking the performance in the Arizona Gymnastics All-Time Scores.

Aubree Cristello proved once again to be one of the Cats' most consistent gymnasts, posting an all-around score of 39.400. This score was Cristello's career high all-around, and boosted her into the rankings as one of Arizona's All-Time All-Around performances.


The Very-Nearly Perfect Club:

It is always a celebration when a gymnast achieves that nearly perfect score of 9.90, and this past week the Cats had three reasons to celebrate.

Junior Katie Matusik started the team off with her first score of 9.90 on the beam, followed by Cristello with her first score of 9.90 on floor. Senior Miranda Russell then added more excitement to the team, finishing the meet with a 9.925 on the floor.

By the Numbers:

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

  • 3 scores of 9.90 or above
  • 9 career highs were posted
  • 1 season high was posted
  • 2 scores of 49 or better were given
  • 3 team season high scores were 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:

Last week the then No. 18 Wolfpack earned a come-from-behind victory against then No. 23 Iowa (194.850-194.375). The team earned a season high vault score of 49.000, thanks to Brittany Vontz with a 9.825, Stephanie Ouellette with a 9.75, and Hannah Fallanca with a 9.725. Other gymnasts to watch include Jess Panza, who was the leader for the team on beam and floor with twin scores of 9.850.

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 167-164-3 after Arizona's third consecutive win against UIC.

What's Coming Up:

Next week Arizona hosts Stanford in the McKale Center at 7:00 pm on Friday, February 18.

Bear Down Challenge Gymnastics