Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Gymnastics Looks to Remain Unbeaten at Home Against Stanford
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 12, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Arizona Gymnastics Meet Notes


What’s on Tap: The Arizona women’s gymnastics team (9-4, 2-1) returns home this week to compete in a dual meet against Stanford (1-2, 0-2) Friday, at 7:30 p.m. in McKale Center.


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Last Time Out: The No. 22 Arizona women’s gymnastics team (194.900) defeated California (189.850) Friday, Feb. 4, at Haas pavilion. The Wildcats dominated the team competition with their highest total of the year and largest margin of victory. The Wildcats put together their most complete and consistent performance of the season as senior Katie Johnson captured the individual titles on the vault and floor exercise, while fellow senior Monica Bisordi claimed the beam and all-around titles.

The Wildcats began the first rotation on the uneven parallel bars and got off to a steady start paced by senior Stevie Fanning (9.700) and freshman Karin Wurm (9.750). Wurm’s score was good enough for second place overall on the event behind California’s My-Lan Dodd (9.775). Senior Jamie Duce pitched in her best performance of the season for the Wildcats with a mark of 9.725. The Wildcats posted a team score of 48.600 on the event and took a 48.600-47.450 advantage to the second rotation, a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the night.


The Wildcats extended their overall lead in the second rotation as they claimed the top five individual scores on the vault and a team score of 48.600. Johnson won her fourth straight vault title of the season with a season best vault of 9.850. Senior Jamie Schell also posted a season best score with a 9.800 vault. Bisordi’s 9.700 placed her third in the event, and teammates Wurm and junior Erin Muirhead tied for fourth with 9.625 scores respectively.


The Wildcats third rotation in the floor exercise was their most impressive rotation of the season. Arizona’s team score of 49.050 was a season high, and three Wildcats set season best marks. Muirhead scored a 9.800 in her first floor performance of the season, while Bisordi earned her highest score on the year as well (9.875). Johnson once again brought home the floor title for the fourth week in a row and tied her season high score of 9.900.


The Wildcats closed out the night with a solid balance beam rotation (48.650), once again claiming the top five spots in the individual standings. Bisordi won the event with her season best mark of 9.900. Johnson again was in contention for the individual title, placing second (9.9800). Freshman Danielle Hicks posted a 9.700 score, while Schell and Fanning tied for fourth individually with 9.625 scores each.


Bisordi was the only Wildcat to compete in all four events and won the all-around with her season best total of 39.175.

“The team really came together tonight,” head coach Bill Ryden said. “It was nice to finally have a meet where we didn’t have to count a fall. I wish it didn't take us five meets for that to happen, but we are getting better.”


“Katie (Johnson) and Monica (Bisordi) were phenomenal,” Ryden said. “We had to tweak our lineups some because of injuries, but the team responded well. Erin (Muirhead) came up huge for us in the floor exercise. It will be nice to be back home for the next two weeks.”


The Rankings: The Wildcats jumped to No. 20 in this week’s GymInfo national rankings with an average team score 194.080. The Wildcats are also ranked nationally in all four individual events. The Wildcats increased their average total in the floor exercise to 48.750 and rank No. 18 after posting their highest total of the year last week against California (49.050). On the balance beam the Wildcats are tied with Oklahoma at No. 21 with an average of 48.295. The Wildcats highest ranking in an event is on the uneven parallel bars where the team ranks No. 17 with an average of 48.410. On the vault the Wildcats hold an average score of 48.625 and a national ranking of No. 22. Currently there are no Wildcat gymnasts ranked in the Top 25 for any individual event.


Complete Top 25:


Team Name

Team Ave


Utah, U. of



Michigan, U. of






Alabama, U. of






Florida, U. of



Georgia, U. of



Nebraska, U. of



Oklahoma, U. of



Iowa State



Denver, U. of



Arkansas, U. of



Brigham Young Univ.



Central Michigan



Auburn Univ.



Penn State



Kentucky, U. of



Southern Utah Univ.



Washington, U. of



Arizona, U. of



Oregon State



Arizona State



Ohio State Univ.



Michigan State



Minnesota, U. of


Bold Indicates Arizona Opponents


About the Rankings: Unlike other collegiate athletic rankings, collegiate gymnastic rankings are not based on wins and losses or votes. Gymnastic teams are ranked by their meet scores alone. Teams are ranked by their highest score from Jan. 10-17. From Jan. 24-Feb. 14, teams will be ranked by their season average. Starting Feb. 21, teams and gymnasts will be ranked by a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS). An RQS is based on a team's top six regular-season scores, with three scores coming from away meets. To obtain the RQS, the team's or gymnast’s highest score is dropped and the remaining five scores are averaged.


Arizona Head Coach Bill Ryden: Is in his seventh season at the helm of the Arizona gymnastics program, owning a school and career record of 78-96-3. Ryden made his first appearance as a head coach at the NCAA Championships in 2002, the program’s first appearance since 1996. In 2002, Ryden also 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.


About the Cardinal: Stanford enters the week unranked, but is coming off their highest team total of the season (194.675). The Cardinal are ranked, however, on two individual events. In the floor exercise the Cardinal are ranked No. 23 with a team average of 48.583. The Cardinal are also ranked on the balance beam at No. 18, tied with Oregon State with a team average of 48.325. The Cardinal have no seniors on their roster, and are led by a number of impressive freshmen.


Stanford is led by one of the best all-around gymnasts in the conference, Liz Tricase. Tricase was named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week after leading the Cardinal to their first dual meet win of the season against Oregon State on Jan. 28. The freshman posted meet best scores on the vault (9.900) and the bars (9.950). She finished second to teammate Alex Pintchouk in the all-around with a score of 38.525. Tricase is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation on the uneven parallel bars with an average of 9.900 on the season. She is also ranked No. 25 on the vault with an average of 9.842.


Another freshman leading the Cardinal is Tabitha Yim. Yim is currently ranked No. 15 in the nation on the balance beam (9.825) and No. 11 on the uneven parallel bars (9.850). Yim and teammate Pintchouk join fellow freshman Tricase as the only three Cardinal gymnasts to compete in all-around this season.


The Cardinal are coached by Kristen Smyth. Smyth owns a career and school record of 44-11-2. Last season Smyth and the Cardinal defeated the Wildcats in Stanford, Calif., as Arizona posted a season low team score of 194.625. The Cardinal would go on to win the Pac-10 title.


Stacked Pac: Once again the Pac-10 is one of the toughest conferences in the country. For the second consecutive season, all seven programs in the Pac-10 were ranked in the preseason Coaches Poll. After five weeks of competition, two-time defending National Champion UCLA is fifth in the national rankings. The Bruins are followed by No. 19 Washington, No. 20 Arizona, No. 21 Oregon State and No. 22 Arizona State. The Wildcats have defeated Arizona State and lost to Washington.


It’s not about Rankings: The Wildcats know as well as anyone in the country that rankings mean little once the competition starts. The Wildcats are 6-4 against ranked opponents this season, including back-to-back victories over Top 10 opponents Michigan State and Arizona State earlier in the year. Arizona lost to a Washington team that had been ranked two spots lower. This week will mark the second week in a row the Wildcats will not face a ranked team. Arizona is unbeaten against teams not ranked at the time of the competition.


The Streak Continues: For the fourth straight week, senior Katie Johnson paced the Wildcats with individual titles on the vault and floor. Against California, Johnson led all competitors with a 9.850 on the vault and tied her season best score of 9.900 in the floor exercise. Two weeks ago, Johnson scored 9.850 in the floor exercise as she tied Washington’s Carly Dockendorf, and earned a 9.850 mark to win the vault title. The week before, Johnson opened up the meet with a 9.825 vault to share the title with Arizona State’s Ashley Kelly. Later in the meet, Johnson captured her second individual title of the season in the floor exercise (9.825) as she capped off the Wildcats first conference victory of the year. Katie now has won four individual titles on both the vault and floor this season.


Freshmen Experience: Coming into the season, all of the talk was about Arizona’s super six seniors. However, it is the freshmen that are raising the coaching staff’s eyes at this point in the season. On Jan. 28, freshman Karin Wurm tied or set three career bests. Wurm posted scores of 9.800 on the vault, 9.750 in the floor exercise and 9.750 on the vault. Fellow freshmen Danielle Hicks and Rachelle Silberg also set career bests, with Hicks posting a 9.725 on the beam and Silberg scoring a 9.825.


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