Jan. 10, 2009
The No. 18 Arizona gymnastics team beat host No. 22 Minnesota in two of the four events, but struggled in the bars and fell 194.375 -192.575 in Minnesota Saturday night, aided by six faults.
“It was not what we wanted or expected,” Arizona head coach Bill Ryden said. “You can’t fall. When you fall that many times, it’s tough to overcome.”
Arizona also struggled with 18 new routines out of the 24 they competed in and the team’s youth showed.
“It was such a mental issue,” Ryden said. “We have some very difficult routines, but that is not an excuse.”
Sophomore Colleen Fisher led the way for the Gymcats, finishing second in the meet’s all-around at 38.650 in her first meet competing in all four events.
“She did a pretty good job tonight,” said Ryden. “She wishes she had a better bar and beam, but she was good on the floor and vault.”
Senior Bree Workman contributed a great deal, leading the team in both events she performed and Arizona also debuted five new faces, when freshmen Rebecca Cardenas, Talyn Curry, Deanna Graham, Britnie Jones and Katie Matusik. The local Tucson-product Graham put up an inpressive 9.800 on the vault, while Cardenas had a team-high 9.700 on the bars.
“We have a very young team, but that’s not an excuse,” said Ryden. “We’ll learn a lot from this and we’ll fix it.”
On the vault, the Wildcats outscored the Gophers 48.700 - 48.250, led by Workman, who posted a 9.800.
Arizona outperformed the Gophers in the floor with its highest score in any event 48.750 compared to MInnesota’s 48.725. Workman also led the Wildcats on the floor with a 9.850.
Arizona struggled on bars, finishing behind Minnesota 48.900 - 47.425 and all six Gopher gymnasts finished ahead of all six Wildcat performers.
On the beam, Arizona was outscored 48.525 - 47.700, but was highlighted by a 9.775 by junior Miranda Russell.
Arizona continues its tough early season schedule when it travels to take on No. 4 UCLA next weekend in Los Angeles.
“That’s such a quality program, but if we don’t beat our selves, we’ll see how it goes,” said Ryden. “It won’t be about winning and losing, but it’ll be about us getting better.”