What's Coming Up - The Arizona women's gymnastics team (4-14, 1-7 Pac-10) takes to the road this weekend, where the Wildcats will face the 15th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-7) on Saturday, March 10, at 6 p.m. MST, in Minnesota's Sports Pavilion... Arizona is looking for its first win since it defeated Oregon State and Denver on Feb. 2, while Minnesota is fighting for its first win since defeating Iowa State on Feb. 24... Arizona set a school record team total (196.900) against Arizona State last weekend, and the Wildcats also set a team record on floor with a season-high 49.475 on floor... Junior All-American Randi Liljenquist won her third all-around title of the season, as she posted a career-high 39.650 - UA's second-best all-time individual all-around mark... Liljenquist leads the team with 12 individual event titles and 32 top-five performances on the year... Eight UA gymnasts set or tied season-high and career-high marks in the Arizona State meet last weekend... This week's meet marks the fourth of five dual meets that Arizona will compete in prior to the Pac-10 Championship meet on March 24... On the opponent side, Minnesota dropped a close meet to Boise State last weekend, as the Golden Gophers scored a season-high road score of 196.050... Last season, Minnesota defeated Arizona, 195.800-195.600 in McKale Center on Feb. 20, 2001.
Head Coach Bill Ryden's Weekly Analysis - "I think we had a very good meet (against ASU). It was a great gymnastics meet because it came down to the last routine. We were all really proud of the fact that we set a new school record for the team score and the school record on floor. I really like our chances as we head into the home stretch, especially if we keep competing like we did last week. We are looking better each week. Minnesota is a good program. It is tough to beat anyone on the road, so we have to go out and hit every routine in order to have a chance of getting the win."
Arizona's Last Time Out - The University of Arizona women's gymnastics team dropped another close meet to the ninth-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils, 196.900-197.450, in front of a crowd of 542, in McKale Center on March 2. Arizona, who lost by only .550, set two new team records. Arizona set a school record with its season-high team total of 196.900, and the Wildcats tallied a season-high 49.475 on floor to set a school record in its last event of the meet. Arizona dropped to 4-14 overall and 1-7 in the Pac-10 Conference, while Arizona State improved to 7-4 on the season and 5-2 in the conference.
Arizona also posted a season-high 49.100 on vault, and the score is the fifth-best mark in school history. UA's season-high total on beam (49.000) and its bars score (49.325) each tied the No. 5 bars and beam scores, respectively, on the all-time top-10 list. Eight Wildcat gymnasts - Nikki Beyschau, Nicci Filchner, Kara Fry, Amanda Goins, Sheehan Lemley, Randi Liljenquist, Mary Reiss and Heather Straccia - each set or tied season-high and career-high marks during the meet.
UA trailed Arizona State for the entire meet, and the Sun Devils edged the Wildcats in each of the four team events. The Wildcats fell behind following the first rotation, but Arizona battled back, continuing to chip away at ASU's lead after every rotation. Arizona trailed the Sun Devils by .325 after the first rotation, but UA's strong performance on bars in the second rotation pulled the Wildcats to within .125. Arizona State, however, used an impressive 49.625 on floor to increase its lead by .750 following the third event. In the fourth and final rotation, Arizona roared back on floor with top performances from seniors Kara Fry and Mary Reiss and junior Randi Liljenquist. Even though the Wildcats shattered the previous school record of 49.375, Arizona State was able to capture the victory with a 49.275 on beam in the team's final event. Arizona State also set a new school record with its team total of 197.450.
Individually for the Wildcats, junior All-American Randi Liljenquist won the all-around title, and she set a career-high 39.650, making her score the second-best individual mark on the all-time top-10 performers' list. Liljenquist also tied for first-place honors on vault with a career-high 9.900. She tied for first on beam, as she matched her season-high 9.900 in the event. Liljenquist landed in second on bars and tied a career-high 9.925, and she tied for third on floor with a 9.925.
Senior Kara Fry finished in fourth place overall in the all-around with a 39.300. Fry tied a career-high 9.900 on floor and tied for sixth place in the event. Fry also ended the meet in sixth on vault (9.800) and beam (9.825). Sophomore Nikki Beyschau tied for first place on vault with a career-high 9.900.
Senior Mary Reiss set a career-high 9.800 on beam. Reiss also scored a career-high 9.925 on floor and tied for third place. Reiss' 9.925 on floor tied Arizona's third-best all-time individual mark. Senior Heather Straccia set a season-high 9.750 on vault, and she scored a career-high 9.800 on bars. Straccia also tied a career-high 9.875 on floor. Senior Nicci Filchner posted a career-high 9.900 on bars and tied for third place in her only event of the meet.
Freshman Amanda Goins, who competed in only her second meet of the season, posted a career-high 9.625 on vault. In her first floor performance as a collegiate gymnast, freshman Sheehan Lemley delivered a career-high 9.800 in the event. Freshman Andi McCabe finished fifth overall in the all-around with a 38.450.
"Tonight's meet was a very close competition overall. It came down to ASU hitting their last event to beat us. Like ASU, I definitely think that we are becoming one of the better teams in the nation. We are competing with more confidence, and we just need to keep doing what we are doing to help us get to the postseason. Randi (Liljenquist) and Kara (Fry) were outstanding, and I am just very proud of the way that the entire team competed," said Arizona head coach Bill Ryden following last Friday's meet.
Scouting Minnesota - The No. 15 Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-7) enter this weekend's non-conference meet after dropping a close contest on the road against Boise State on March 3... Boise State defeated Minnesota, 197.050-196.050... Minnesota scored a season-high road total, and the Golden Gophers scored at least a 49.000 in three out of four events for the first time this season... Minnesota is ranked nationally in three events - 11th on floor, 13th on vault and 16th on bars... Junior MaryAnne Kelley and sophomore Jenny Alf are ranked nationally in this week's poll... Kelley checks in at 11th in the all-around and 18th on floor, while Alf is tied for eighth on beam... Minnesota is fourth in the North Central Region, and the Golden Gophers' high score of the year is a 196.525... Minnesota is second in the region on floor, third on vault, fourth on bars and fifth on beam... Kelley is fifth in the region in the all-around... Golden Gopher co-head coach Jim Stephenson (Iowa State, '73) is in his ninth year with the program, and co-head coach Meg Stephenson (Iowa State, '81) is in her fourth year with the team... They share a 55-36-1 record in four years as co-head coaches.
Wildcats in the Rankings - Arizona continues to surge in the rankings, climbing two spots to No. 20 in this week's national top-25 poll... The squad began the 2001 season ranked No. 20 in the preseason coaches' poll... This week, nine of Arizona's 2001 opponents - UCLA, Utah, Stanford, Arizona State, Oregon State, Minnesota, California, Oklahoma and Washington - are ranked in the March 5 national gymnastics poll... UA is ranked No. 16 on vault and floor and No. 18 on beam... Junior Randi Liljenquist and senior Kara Fry are the only Wildcats ranked in this week's national poll... Liljenquist is No. 9 in the all-around, tied for 19th on floor and 20th on beam... Fry is tied for 18th in the all-around... Arizona also moved up two spots in the South Central Regional rankings, checking in this week at No. 3 in the region behind Nebraska and Arizona State... The Cats are third on vault, fourth on floor and fifth on both beam and bars... In the individual regional rankings, Liljenquist is first on floor, first in the all-around, fourth on beam, eighth on vault and tied for 25th on bars... Fry is fourth in the all-around, seventh on beam, ninth on floor, 12th on bars and 17th on vault... Sophomore Nikki Beyschau is 10th on vault and 16th on bars... Junior Lindsay Compitello checks into the regional rankings for the first time in her career at No. 23 on beam... Senior Mary Reiss is tied for sixth on floor, and senior Heather Straccia is tied for 15th on floor... In terms of schedule strength, 10 of Arizona's 2001 opponents were ranked in the preseason coaches' poll... Six Pac-10 teams - UCLA (1), Stanford (7), Arizona State (11), Oregon State (12), Washington (16) and Arizona (20) - were ranked in the preseason poll... Women's gymnastics rankings are posted every Monday at: www.troester.com/gym/WRankings.
Arizona in the Record Books - Arizona set a new school record with its season-high team total of 196.900 last Friday against Arizona State... UA's previous team record was a 196.300, which was set on March 26, 1999, against Arizona State, in McKale Center... UA posted a season-high 49.475 on floor to set a school record in the team's last event of the ASU meet... Arizona notched a season-high 49.100 on vault, and the score is the fifth-best mark in UA history... The Wildcats' season-high 49.000 on beam and its 49.325 score on bars each tied the No. 5 bars and beam scores, respectively, on the all-time top-10 list... Two weeks ago against Stanford, the Wildcats tallied a season-high 49.375 on bars, and the score tied the third-best bar rotation in school history... In comparison to the beginning of the season, Arizona has improved a great deal after nine meets, and the two team records set last weekend are an indication of the team's overall progress... Arizona scored its season-low team total of 190.775 in the second meet of the year against California, Oklahoma and San Jose State on Jan. 19... The Wildcats scored season lows on vault (48.000), bars (46.125) and floor (48.600) in the same meet... UA's season-low 47.575 on beam came in the first meet of the season against North Carolina State, New Hampshire and James Madison on Jan. 14... Overall, Arizona has improved its team total by 6.125 points, its vault score by 1.100, its bars score by 3.250, its beam score by 1.425 and its floor score by .875.
UA's Top-10 Performers - Junior All-American Randi Liljenquist posted a career-high 39.650 in the all-around on March 2, and the score is the second-best individual mark on the all-time top-10 performers' list... Liljenquist scored a career-high 9.900 on vault, landing her in a tie for sixth place on the all-time top-10 list... She also tied a career-high 9.925 on bars, as she remains tied for seventh on the all-time top-10 list... In the ASU meet, senior Kara Fry tied a career-high 9.900 on floor, and she tied the sixth-best all-time individual score... Sophomore Nikki Beyschau scored a career-high 9.900 on vault against the Sun Devils and is tied with Liljenquist for sixth place on the all-time list... Senior Mary Reiss tallied a career-high 9.925 on floor in the ASU meet, and she tied the third-best individual floor mark in school history... Senior Nicci Filchner posted a career-high 9.900 on bars last weekend and the score tied the ninth-best individual bars score in UA history... Fry and Beyschau each scored career-high marks of 9.950 on bars in the Stanford meet on Feb. 23, and they are tied for the third-best individual bars score in school history... In the Stanford meet, Fry also posted a career-high 39.525 in the all-around, which tied the second-highest score on the UA's all-time top-10 performers' list... Fry and freshman Andi McCabe each posted career-high marks of 9.850 on vault against Washington on Feb. 18... Both Fry and McCabe vaulted into the Arizona record books by matching UA's No. 10 all-time individual vault score... Fry has broken into all five of the individual event categories thus far in her stellar gymnastics career... Fry tied her career-high 9.900 on beam in the UCLA Invitational on Feb. 11, as she defeated three U.S. Olympians en route to the beam event title... Her career-high 9.900 is the sixth-best all-time individual mark... McCabe posted her career-high 9.850 in only her third collegiate vault competition.
Cat Scratches - Arizona head coach Bill Ryden is in his third year at the helm of the program (11th overall at Arizona) and holds a 25-43-1 career and school record... Arizona notched two victories over North Carolina State and James Madison on the road in the first meet of the 2001 season... UA is 1-7 in neutral contests, 1-4 in away meets and 2-3 at home this season... Six of Arizona's eight freshman have competed this season... So far this year, 13 Wildcat gymnasts have set or tied season-high and career-high marks... Junior Randi Liljenquist leads the team with 12 individual event titles, including three all-around titles... Liljenquist also has 32 top-five performances... Senior Kara Fry has eight individual event titles, including three all-around championships, and 23 top-five finishes... Freshman Aimee Estella has a vault title and two top-five finishes... Senior Mary Reiss has posted six top-five finishes... Sophomore Nikki Beyschau has seven top-five performances, including a vault and bars event title... Freshman Andi McCabe has four top-five performances... Seniors Heather Straccia and Nicci Filchner each hold two top-five finishes... Freshmen Cori Messina and Sheehan Lemley each have one top-five finish entering this weekend's meet.
Injury Update - Freshmen Aimee Estella and Meagan Killpack will sit out the remainder of the season after suffering ACL injuries... Estella, who won a vault title in the first meet of the season at North Carolina State, tore her ACL on the landing of her bar dismount during practice on Feb. 8... Killpack, a walk-on, suffered the same injury on the first tumbling pass in a floor exercise exhibition at the UCLA Invitational on Feb. 11... Estella competed in five meets in her first season, and Killpack competed in three meets... Estella posted career-high marks on vault (9.800), bars (9.175) and beam (9.750), and Killpack set career-high marks on bars (9.100), beam (9.325) and floor (9.650).
A Look Ahead - Arizona returns to McKale Center next week to close out the regular season against North Carolina State on Wednesday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. MST, before traveling to Seattle, Wash., for the Pac-10 Championship meet on Saturday, March 24.