Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Raining Cats and Pioneers in This Week's Quad Meet
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 08, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Related Links

March 8, 2011


What's Up:

No. 24 Arizona hosts its last home gymnastics meet of the season in its annual “Senior Meet”. The Wildcats welcome No. 28 BYU, No. 32 New Hampshire, and No. 1 (Division II) Texas Women’s.


The meet will take place this Friday, March 11 at 7 p.m. in the McKale Center. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the meet will conclude with the honoring of senior Miranda Russell in her final home meet of her career.


Last Week:

Arizona competed against some of the top gymnasts in the country in Los Angeles, Calif. The meet was hosted by then ranked No. 8 UCLA, and also featured then ranked No. 6 Georgia.


Georgia won the meet with a score of 196.175, UCLA took second with a 195.750, and Arizona captured the bronze with a 194.125.


The Cats had a difficult first three events, but ended the meet on a high note – posting a new season high vault team score of 49.300. Sophomore Molly Quirk started the rotation off with a strong 9.850, followed by freshman Jordan Williams with a 9.825. Sophomore Mykle Douglas then posted a career high 9.875. Sophomore Aubree Cristello earned a 9.850, and RS senior Miranda Russell scored a 9.775.


The highlight of vault went to Deanna Graham, who earned a score of 9.90 to wrap up the lineup, and secure the vault score. This score was Graham’s fourth score of 9.90 on the event in her career, and her third score of 9.90 total this season.




Cats in the Pac:

Last week yet another Arizona gymnast was recognized for weekly honors by the Pacific 10 Conference.


Junior Katie Matusik was named Special Performance of the Week (the week of Feb. 21 – 27) for her beam performance against BYU. Matusik posted a career high score of 9.925 to earn the honor, as well as secure Arizona’s fourth winner in this category.


Matusik joins three other Wildcats in her recognition this season: junior Deanna Graham (Gymnast of the Week Feb. 7 – 13), sophomore Aubree Cristello (Gymnast of the Week Jan. 31-Feb.6), and senior Miranda Russell (Special Performance of the Week Jan. 24-30).


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. 28 BYU had a difficult loss last week, taking third place with a 194.250 to Southern Utah (195.475) and Auburn (1945.425). Highlights of the meet included posting the second highest vault total of the year – 49.075. Cougars to watch include Haylee Rollins, who led vault with a 9.875, as well as Jennifer Lezeu who posted an all-around score of 38.975.




No. 32 New Hampshire earned a season high team total of 195.225 to take second place in their last home meet against Central Michigan and Brown University. The team also earned a season high 49.225 on bars, and 49.125 on floor. Chelsea Steinberg is the Wildcat to watch, posting an all-around score of 39.300. Austyn Fobes was another leader for the team, posting a 9.90 on bars.




No. 1 Texas Women’s earned fourth place this past weekend in a quad meet against then No. 7 Oklahoma (197.050), No. 13 Ohio State (196.100), and No. 18 Illinois (195.400). The team posted its season high score of 193.425 thanks to sophomores Brittany Johnson and Amy Winczura. Johnson took third place all-around in the meet, earning a score of 39.150. Winczura competed all-around as well, tallying a score of 38.800.




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 170-167-3 after meeting Georgia and UCLA.


What's Coming Up:

The Wildcats head into the post season, travelling once again to Los Angeles to compete in the Pac-10 Championships. The meet will take place Saturday, March 19 at 4 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.


Bear Down Challenge Gymnastics