Dec. 1, 2011
TUCSON, Ariz. - For the second consecutive year the Arizona gymnastics team is set to enter the season ranked No. 19 in the nation according to the 2011/12 national preseason coaches poll released today.
"Our ranking is understandable based on last year's finish, but I know we are so much better. In a way this makes this easy motivation because we all want and expect to be ranked higher come season." Head coach Bill Ryden said.
The Wildcats are one of six Pac-12 schools to place within the top 25, with UCLA currently ranked No. 1, Utah ranked No. 5, Oregon State at No. 7, Stanford at No. 8, and Washington falling in at No. 16.
"We're really proud of the conference; we've done some remarkable things in the sport of gymnastics. We know we are going to see quality gymnastics every single week and we can never let down our guard. It is both the benefit and the curse of being in such a highly touted conference like the Pac-12." commented Ryden.
Upon the conclusion of last season, the Cats were ranked No. 20 in the nation, after a fifth place finish at the Denver Regional Championships. The team hopes to use this finish as motivation for increased performance, as well as upward movement in the rankings this coming season.
"We expected to be ranked No. 19, we know why, and there isn't a single person outside of the freshmen class who doesn't feel it every day. It is this kind of affirmation that we've felt during each practice since coming back to town, and everyone has been working hard to show the country and ourselves that we're a far different and better team than how we left it last season." Ryden said.
The Wildcats are to begin the season on Friday, Jan. 6 in Cancun, Mex. followed by the first home meet against No. 7 Oregon State on Friday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m.
2012 Pre-Season Coaches Poll1. UCLA - 932 points 2. Alabama - 926 (17) 3. Florida - 903 (8) 4. Oklahoma - 879 (2) 5. Utah - 806 (1) 6. Nebraska - 741 7. Oregon State - 725 (1) 8. Stanford - 702 (1) 9. Georgia - 687 10. Michigan - 641 (2) 11. Arkansas - 617 12. L.S.U. - 539 13. Penn State - 496 14. Boise State - 449 15. Illinois-Champaign - 371 16. Washington - 343 17. Auburn - 324 18. Ohio State - 246 19. Arizona - 233 20. Denver - 214 21. Kent State - 202 22. Minnesota - 154 23. Kentucky - 144 24. Iowa State - 122 25. Iowa - 120