Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Flipping for the Fight Against Flames
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 01, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 1, 2011

What’s Up:

This week, No. 29 Arizona hosts its annual Flipping for the Fight meet in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. The meet will take place Friday, February 4 at 7 p.m. against the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Each gymnast will wear a special pink leotard in honor of Breast Cancer victims and survivors, as well as to promote awareness of the life threatening illness. Fans may show their support as well, by wearing pink and receiving $1 off of admission.

Last Week:

The Wildcats scored a season high total of 195.375 to beat the Boise State Broncos (194.400).

The Cats began the meet on vault, earning a score of 48.825 despite the absence of scores from their top two vaulters. The team’s score allowed them to pull ahead after the first rotation by 0.275.

On bars the team continued to hold strong, earning a score of 48.775. Senior Miranda Russell led the team for the second week straight, winning the meet with a score of 9.825. Junior Deanna Graham followed with a 9.800. Sophomore Molly Quirk continued to prove herself on the event as well, tying her career high of 9.775.

Katie Matusik was the highlight for the Cats on beam, earning a meet high score of 9.850 to contribute to the team total of 48.725. This score enabled Arizona to lead the meet by 0.2 after the third rotation.

The Cats sealed the win on floor, however, returning to true form with a total of 49.050. This was Arizona’s second score above 49.000 for the season, and was made possible by junior Rebecca Cardenas (9.800), Quirk (9.775), sophomore Aubree Cristello (9.800), Graham (9.825) and Russell (9.850).

Questions for Coach:

Each week, head gymnastics coach 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. Bill Ryden

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 UIC Flames competed in a quad meet against then No. 8 Michigan, No. 11 Kent State and the University of Maryland. The team posted a total score of 189.875. The Flame to watch is freshman Cynthia Lemieux-Guillemette, who earned an all-around of 38.025. Lemieux-Guillemette also led the team on beam and bars with scores of 9.675 and 9.850 respectively.

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 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.Deanna Graham

Other break out performances included then freshmen and . Molly QuirkAubree Cristello

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 out of Bakersfield, Calif., hailing from Middletown, Del., Phoenix native , Ali Stakem from Gaithersburg, Md., and from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.Jordan WilliamsShana SangstonChelsea PernaBarbara Donaldson

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 earned a total record of 166-164-3 after the dual meet against Boise State.Bill Ryden

What’s Coming Up:

Next week Arizona hits the road to compete against North Carolina State.



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