March 29, 2004
What's on Tap: The No. 18 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team (10-8-2, 2-3-1 Pac-10) hosts the 2004 NCAA South Central Regional Championships on Saturday, April 3, at 6 p.m. in McKale Center. The Wildcats will compete in their 18th consecutive postseason, and are looking for their first NCAA Championship berth since 2002.
About the South Central Regional Championships: Arizona will compete for one of two qualifying berths to the NCAA Championships against No. 5 Utah, No. 8 Florida, No. 25 Arkansas, Illinois-Chicago, and Illinois. Also competing for an individual bid to the NCAA Championships are all-arounders Tara Boldt and Ashley Godwin of Southeast Missouri State, Dannielle Dacey and Kristina Campos of Northern Illinois, and Whitney Albright of Illinois State. Individual event specialists include Kelly Kramer (vault) and Katie Willett (bars) of Northern Illinois, Lisa Klein (beam) of Illinois State, and Southeast Missouri State's Alexis Traylor (floor). All-around competitor Whitney Albright of Illinois State will rotate with Arizona.
About the NCAA Regionals: The top-18 ranked teams in the nation, based on their RQS, are placed into six regional championship meets around the nation (three per region). The top-two finishing teams in each of the six regional meets will receive automatic bids to the NCAA Championship meet in Los Angeles hosted by UCLA, April 15-17. The top-two all-around competitors and the individual event winners not on qualifying teams will also earn automatic bids to the national championship.
Live Stats: If you can't make it to McKale Center for the meet, follow the action online. Live scoring for the South Central Regional Championship meet WILL be available at the official Arizona website, www.arizonaathletics.com.
Rotation Order: Vault Bye Bars Beam Bye Floor I UIC Florida Ariz Utah Illinois Ark II Ark UIC Florida Ariz Utah Illinois III Illinois Ark UIC Florida Ariz Utah IV Utah Illinois Ark UIC Florida Ariz V Ariz Utah Illinois Ark UIC Florida VI Florida Ariz Utah Illinois Ark UIC
The Rankings: Arizona enters the South Central Regional Championships with a season-low No. 18 ranking, but a season-high RQS of 196.785. Arizona scored its season high 197.300 on Friday, Feb. 20 at home against the Washington Huskies. The Wildcats rank No. 11 in the nation on vault (49.340), No. 18 on bars (49.215), No. 19 on beam (49.200), and No. 15 on floor (49.410). Senior Andi McCabe ranks No. 16 on vault (9.935), and junior Katie Johnson ranks in at No. 13 on floor (9.940). Junior Monica Bisordi shares a No. 13 ranking with Johnson on floor (9.940), and ranks No. 16 in the all-around (39.565).
About the Rankings: Unlike other collegiate athletic rankings, collegiate gymnastic rankings are not based on wins, losses, or votes. Gymnastics teams are ranked by their meet scores alone. Since Feb. 23, teams and gymnasts are ranked by Regional Qualifying Score (RQS). A Regional Qualifying Score is based on a team's top-six regular-season scores, with three scores coming from away meets. To obtain the regional qualifying score, the team's or gymnast's highest score is dropped and the remaining five scores are averaged. Complete rankings can be viewed at www.troester.com.
Arizona Head Coach Bill Ryden... is in his sixth season at the helm of the Arizona gymnastics program and holds a school and career record of 66-90-3. Ryden leads Arizona into 2004 after making his first appearance as a head coach at a NCAA Championship (2002), the program's first appearance since 1996. In 2002, Ryden earned Pac-10 Conference Coach of the Year honors as well as South Central Regional Coach of the Year honors, becoming the first head coach in Arizona history to have earned Regional Coach of the year honors.
Last Time Out: The No. 15 University of Arizona women's gymnastics tied for fourth place with a score of 196.775 at the 2004 Pacific-10 Conference Championships on Saturday before a McKale Center crowd of 2031. Arizona tied for fourth with Arizona State (196.775), behind Pac-10 Champion Stanford (197.900), second-place UCLA (197.875), and third-place Oregon State (197.075). Washington (196.425) and California (195.625) finished sixth and seventh respectively.
Arizona's team mark of 196.775 is the seventh-best score in team history, and extends the Wildcats' record streak of scoring 196 points or better to nine-consecutive meets. The Wildcats posted marks of 49.250 on vault, 49.075 on bars, 49.175 on beam, the ninth-best score in team history, and 49.275 on floor. Arizona posted 49 points or better in every team event in a meet for the fourth time this season, and only the sixth time in school history.
Individually for the Wildcats, three Arizona gymnasts finished in the top-10. Junior Monica Bisordi finished sixth on vault (9.900), and seventh in the all-around (39.500). Senior Andi McCabe placed sixth on vault (9.900), and finished seventh on floor (9.900) with junior Katie Johnson.
Junior Jamie Schell returned to the Arizona lineup for the first time since Jan. 31, and posted a 9.825 on beam.
Arizona's fourth place finish is its highest finish at the Pac-10 Championships since placing second in 2002 (197.050). The Wildcats had finished fourth at the Pac-10 Championships just two other times (1988, 1999) before Saturday, and placed fifth the last time the competition was held in McKale Center in 1997 (194.950).
Arizona at the NCAA Regionals: Arizona has qualified for the postseason Regional Championships for 18-consecutive seasons. Last season, Arizona competed in the South Central Regional Championships in Columbia, Mo., where the Wildcats placed fourth with a score of 195.450. Arizona is looking to qualify for the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2002, when the Wildcats finished second (194.950) at the South Central Regional Championships in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona's highest regional finish is second, which has been accomplished five times ('91, '92, '93, '96, '02). Arizona has never won a NCAA Regional Championship. Arizona's highest regional meet score stands at 195.750, which was posted in 1996.
About the competition:
Arkansas: The Arkansas Lady Razorbacks (9-11) enter their first regional championships in school history as the No. 25 team in the country, owning a RQS of 196.235, and a season-high score of 196.625. The Lady Razorbacks average 48.930 on vault, 49.140 on bars, 49.210 on beam, and 49.325 on floor. Co-head coaches Mark and Rene Cook enter their second season at the helm of the Lady Razorback program and own a 14-25-1 record. The Arkansas women's gymnastics program is in only its second year of existence.
Florida: The No. 8 Florida Gators (15-9) enter Saturday's competition with a RQS of 197.355, and a season high of 198.225. The Gators rank No. 14 in the nation on vault (49.290), No. 5 on bars (49.405), No. 3 on beam (49.495), and No. 23 on floor (49.335). Junior Erinn Dooley leads the Gators' bite with a No. 21 ranking in the all-around (39.505). Florida has posted scores 197 points or better in five of its last six meets, including a then-school-record 198.025 against Arizona on March 5. Head coach Rhonda Faehn is in her second season at the helm of the Gator program and owns a career record of 43-14.
Illinois-Chicago: The University Illinois-Chicago Flames (11-13) enter the South Central Regional Championships with a RQS of 194.975 and a season-high 196.050. The Flames average 48.950 on vault, 48.975 on bars, 48.320 on beam, and 49.060 on floor. Head coach Peter Jansson enters his 14th year at the helm of the Flames program and owns a career record of 176-142-1. The Flames will compete in their third-consecutive regional championship, a program first.
Illinois: The University of Illinois Fighting Illini (11-12) enter regional meet action with a RQS of 195.245 and a season-high score of 196.300. The Illini average 48.565 on vault, 48.865 on bars, 48.930 on beam, and 49.165 on floor. Head coach Bob Starkell begins his fifth year at the helm of the Fighting Illini women's gymnastics team and owns a career record of 34-63. Illinois is making its first NCAA regional appearance since 1999.
Utah: The No. 5 University of Utah Utes (13-1) enter Saturday's meet with a RQS of 197.575 and a season-high 198.600. The Utes rank No. 2 in the nation on vault (49.555), No. 2 on bars (49.465), No. 7 on beam (49.325), and No. 5 on floor (49.545). Senior Melissa Vituj and junior Annabeth Eberle lead the Utah attack, and rank No. 5 (39.660) and No. 6 (39.650) in the all-around respectively. Head coach Greg Marsden is in his 29th year at the helm of the Utah program and owns a career record of 793-131-5. Utah is the only school in the nation to qualify for all 22 regional championships and NCAA championships. In that 22-year span, Utah has finished first at the Regional Championships 18 times, second four times, including first-place finishes in 15 of the last 16 years.
Against the South Central Regional field: During the regular season, Arizona posted a 2-1 record against the South Central Regional Championship field; recording wins over Illinois-Chicago and Arkansas, and a loss at Florida. Arizona did not compete against Utah during the regular season, but is 0-48 all-time versus the Utes. The Wildcats have not competed against the Fighting Illini of Illinois since the 1999 NCAA Region III Championships on April 10 in Lincoln, Neb., where the Cats finished third (193.625) ahead of fifth-place Illinois (193.100).
Since '99: Under head coach Bill Ryden, Arizona is 13-22 in five Regional Championship meets. Arizona's top finish during that span was a second-place finish in 2002.
Best Ever: Some might argue differently, but on paper, the 2004 Arizona Wildcats look like the best team in school history. So far this season, Arizona has posted 10 scores in 12 meets that rank on the school's top-20 all-time list. The Wildcats have already posted two scores of 197 or better this season, as Arizona only had two scores of 197 or better in the program's entire history before this year. The Wildcats have also posted 16 team-event scores that rank on the top-10 all-time list. Here's a look at how Arizona has demolished its record books so far this season:
All-Time Meet Totals: 2. 197.300 Feb. 20 vs. Washington 3. 197.050 Feb. 23 at Texas Woman's & LSU 7. 196.775 March 20 Pac-10 Championships 8. 196.750 Feb. 6 vs. California 9. 196.725 Jan. 16 vs. UCLA 10. 196.700 Feb. 13 at Oregon State 12. 196.650 March 5 at Florida 13. 196.525 Jan. 31 at Illinois-Chicago March 12 vs. Arkansas 16. 196.225 Feb. 27 at Arizona State
Hottest in History: Arizona is on a current streak that has never been accomplished before in school history. Arizona has posted scores of 196 or better in nine-consecutive meets, a program first. Arizona's 10 scores of 196 or better is season (and counting), is a school record for the number of times 196 has been scored in a season.
The Number 49: For the Arizona gymnastics team, 49 equals success. In 12 meets, Arizona has scored 49 points or better in team events 35 times in 48 attempts. The 35 scores of 49 points or better is a school record, breaking the old record of 28 team event scores of 49 or better in a season, which was set in 2002. Arizona has also scored 49 points or better in every team event in a meet four times this season (at Illinois-Chicago, vs. Washington, at Texas Woman's, Pac-10 Championships), a feat only accomplished twice before this year.
Perfect Cats: Arizona received two perfect scores during the regular season on Feb. 23, as senior Andi McCabe and junior Katie Johnson became the seventh and eighth Wildcat gymnasts in school history to record perfect 10s. McCabe posted her first-career 10.000 on vault, becoming the fourth gymnast in Arizona history to do so in the event. Johnson landed her first-career perfect 10 on floor, becoming the third Arizona gymnast to accomplish such a feat on floor.
All-Around Bisordi: Junior Monica Bisordi is steadily etching her name among the best gymnasts in Arizona's history. So far this season, Bisordi has earned 14 individual titles (2 V, 2 UB, 1 BB, 5 FX, 4 AA), and has tallied a team-high 41 top-five finishes. She has also competed as an all-arounder in 35 of 40 career meets, including a streak of 27 all-around appearances that ended Jan. 31 at Illinois-Chicago.
Top-Senior: Andi McCabe is enjoying the best season of her career this year as a senior. The Bensenville, Ill., native has tallied four vault individual titles and 23 top-five finishes during the regular season, emerging as an all-around force for the first time since her freshman year. On top of that, McCabe has posted four career-highs (vault, beam, floor, all-around) this season including her perfect-10 on vault. McCabe owns the school record on vault with a perfect 10, ranks fifth in the school record books on floor (9.925), ninth on beam (9.900), and fourth in school history with an all-around career-high of 39.575.
Floor Queen: Junior Katie Johnson has been impressive all-season-long on floor, and looks to continue her dominance on the mat in the Pac-10 Championships. So far this season, Johnson has earned five floor titles, 15 top-five finishes, and has posted a career-high and school record 10.000 on floor. In her career, Johnson has earned 12 floor titles, including 20 scores of 9.9 or better. Johnson has also posted marks of 9.9 or better the last eight-consecutive meets.
Against Opponents: Arizona's 10-8-2, 2-3-1 Pac-10 record possesses some trend-setting details. So far this season, the Wildcats are 4-7-2 versus ranked opponents, 4-4-1 in dual-meet competition, and are 5-3-2 at home. Arizona is also 7-7-2 when scoring 196 or better in a meet, and is 6-1 versus unranked opponents.
Up Next: If Arizona finishes in first or second place as a team on Saturday, the Wildcats will earn a spot at the 2004 NCAA Championships in Los Angeles, April 15-17.