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Cat Scratches Gymnastics Newsletter - December 2006
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/10/2007
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Dear Friends, Alumni & Boosters,

 

As we head into the holiday break and onto the new season, I want to wish each and every one of you a very joyous holiday season! It has been a busy time around the gym as the team tries feverously to get ready for opening night in Lansing, MI. I will try and catch you up on the happenings but as always, I want to personally invite you and implore you to come out and root on the team. They really respond to it and I know you will like what you see.

 

Team Halloween Party The annual Halloween party was a good time as usual. (I am not sure this team knows how to have a bad time!)


 

Hall-of-Fame The Friday before Homecoming, our program had our next Alumni receive one of the University’s highest honors, induction into the Hall-of-Fame. Kristi Gunning became the eighth member of the GymCat family to have this honor bestowed on them, joining Kelly Chaplin, Mary Kay Brown, Diane Monty, Anna Basaldua, Stacy Fowlkes, Jim Gault, and Heidi Hornbeek. Congratulations to Kristi, her family, and her GymCat family.

 

Newest Members of the Family I am very pleased to announce the newest member of the family. Colleen Fisher from Murietta, CA will be joining the team next fall. She is a former JO National All-Around Champion and will be a great addition to the team. She trains at SCEGA in Temecula, CA which has produced many great gymnasts. I am really looking forward to having her in the gym but for right now, she is training hard to finish her club career with a bang. If you are at a club meet and you see her ?- cheer her on!

 

Intrasquads Our first intrasquad was held on Friday, December 1st. It is hard to believe that it is already here and the time is now. Before we know it, we will be in Lansing, MI for our first competition. This was our Vault & Beam intrasquad and our first time in front of judges for this team. The scoring was tight but this is just what I wanted for the team. We needed to learn from each and every error.

 

Vault For the first time in a number of years, we really have depth on vaulting and it is quality depth. In this intrasquad, there were 21 vaults from 11 athletes performed. 18 of those vaults had a 10.0 SV with the other three having a 9.9. And this is without having Jamie Custer and Karin vaulting, both very capable vaulters with 10.0 vaults. It is a nice feeling to know that we have the quality and depth to have a great vault team. Of these


 

21 vaults, there was only one fall. I definitely expect a .1 to .2 increase on every vault by January which will be a very strong vault effort.

Red Team

Vault 1

Vault 2

Brittney

9.55

9.65

Sarah

9.7

9.1

Aubrey

9.575

9.675

Suzanne

9.2

9.1

Rachelle

9.75

9.75

 

Blue Team

Vault 1

Vault 2

Miranda

9.425

9.625

Jamie H.

9.65

9.55

Danielle

9.55

9.6

Alexis

9.625

9.55

Bree

9.75

9.7

 

Beam I was similarly pleased with the beam routines that the team performed. The blue team went first and did a great job, hitting four-for-five routines. Alexis, who was the one fall, quickly wanted another shot and Danielle, who wasn’t happy with anything less than an excellent routine, chose to give up a 9.6. They both hit the second routine and sat down satisfied. The red team hit every one of their routines the first time up. Some of the routines had some missed bonus, balance checks, or form deductions or some combination of all three. Because each competitor had an opportunity to drop their score and perform again, everyone but Rachelle decided to repeat their routines in a great effort to win the team competition. To their credit, they all hit the second time around but couldn’t come back enough to overtake the blue team.

 

There were obvious errors that we need to work on before the beginning of the season along with some retooling but the fact that the team hit 17 of 18 routines. It gives me confidence that we have the potential of a very strong beam team that will even be stronger when Karin returns. I expect the better routines to improve .1 to .2 by January and some of the weaker routines to improve as much as .5.

 

 

 

Blue Team

 

Beam 1

Beam 2

 

Beamer

9.40

9.675

Brittney

9.225

9.575

Sarah

8.85

9.05

Aubrey

9.675

9.725

Suzanne

8.90

9.05

Rachelle

9.275

 

Red Team

 

Beam 1

Beam 2

Miranda

9.50

 

Jamie H.

9.60

 

Danielle

9.60

9.80

Alexis

8.925

9.525

Bree

9.425

 


 

Our second intrasquad was held on Friday, December 15th. The team was once again divided into two teams but I decided to not emphasize the competition between the squads. Besides introducing the latest Bar and Floor routines, we were going to have a number of athletes perform on Vault and Beam. We started on floor where twelve of the team performed. Overall it was a success. We have upgraded our tumbling quite a bit and the choreography of the new routines is coming together nicely. Our biggest deduction seemed to come from landing our last passes. We have six of the team dismounting with double saltos and we aren’t quite there with sticking those landings. We have very high level opening passes to go along with them and as the floor team matures, I am confident that we will be very strong. Alexis tied with Jamie Holton for the title in this little competition. They both scored 9.8 with excellent tumbling, high difficulty and great performances. Following floor, six athletes performed on vault. This was a great effort as all six improved on their scores from two weeks earlier. This group by itself would have scored a 49.0 and this is with Bree, Jamie H. and Karin sitting on the sidelines. Pretty good stuff. The competition for the vault team is going to tight. When all was said and done, Alexis tied Brittney for the top spot with 9.85’s. Karin performed on beam next and was able to coax a 9.8 out of the judge. Not too surprising as she was .025 away from 1st team All-American on this event last season. As the newcomers get comfortable, the beam team will be good. For the final event, we had nine athletes perform on bars. I was very pleased as all of the hard work over the past four months has seemed to pay off. Losing Danielle from bars was a pretty big hit but the freshman are steeping up and the sophomores are much more polished after a year of experience. There were some very solid routines and with another month of polishing, the bar team should be ready to go. Aubrey claimed the top spot with a 9.925. She is definitely one of the top bar workers in the nation.

 

Overall I was very pleased with the outcome of both this and the earlier intrasquad. Karin is still not 100% but I am hopeful that by January 12th, we will be at full strength.

 


Towards the end of the intrasquad, we had a visit from a pretty famous GymCat alumnus. Denise Austin of television and fitness fame stopped in the gym to say hello and see the team and the gym. She was in town as the keynote speaker for the Fall Commencement at the University. The team enjoyed speaking with her and as a serious blast from the past ?- Denise brought back the leotard that she wore while competing when she was on the team. The leo came complete with a zipper on the front which was absolutely the fashion back then. Serious Retro. It was great to see her and spend a few moments talking about the team. You can keep up with her by either tuning into to her shows on the Lifetime Network or on her website at www.DeniseAustin.com .

 

During the very busy month of December, the team used up the one last free weekend for the team Holiday party. It is always a good time when the team gets to spend time together without the pressures of gymnastics. It was a really fun time (I’ve never known this team not to have a good time).


 

A Fond Farewell It is with much thanks and appreciation that I announce that our trainer, Matt Radelet, is leaving the program and the university. Matt has been at the U of A almost as long as I have and has been involved with the gymnastics program for a majority of the years. He has been our team trainer for the past four years and has worked with our other trainers as a supervisor before that. I will personally really miss having him around as he was the one person left in the Department who could remember some of the stories/alumni from the 90’s. Matt won’t be too far away as he has accepted a position as a Clinical Director at ProActive Performance Institute. I want to thank him on behalf of the current team and the many, many former University of Arizona gymnasts that he helped during his time here.

 

Alumni Sightings Nicci (Filchner) Goodman emailed me to see how things were going and to let me that she will be making the trip from her home in Erie, PA to see the team compete at Michigan St. in Lansing, MI. Diane (Monty) Bell emailed me to let me know that she will coming to Tucson with her daughter to see our last regular season meet in March. There were a whole slew of alumni around during Homecoming. It was great to see them all and we actually had enough to field another team (and with the credentials, a pretty darn good one!) Of course, Kristi Gunning was here to be inducted into the U of A Hall-of-Fame. The class of six that entered in the fall of 2001 were all back: Katie Johnson (living in Minneapolis, MN and working as a Marketing Development Rep), Monica Bisordi (living in San Mateo, CA and working at a Pilates Studio), Jamie Schell (living in Laytonsville, MD and working as a Executive Assistant/Project Manager), Stevie Fanning (living in Las Vegas, NV, and working as a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep), Kristine Harper (living in Houston, TX, working as a Software Designer), and Jamie Duce (living here in Tucson and working as a Sales Rep of materials to home contractors). Cami Banholzer flew in from Los Angeles (where she performs private contract physical therapy for children), and she was with Lisa Heckel (who lives in Scottsdale and serves as a Regional Sales Rep for Calvin Klein). Jessamyn Salter, Aimee Estella, Danyra Varela and Kara (Fry) Meyer all live here in Tucson and stopped by to say hello. Jessamyn is the Head Coach at a local Gymnastics Club. Aimee will soon be leaving for Chicago to enter graduate school, Danyra is finishing up her degree program and will graduate in December, and Kara works for a Physical Therapy/Rehabilitation Firm here in town

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