Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Cats Regroup and get set for Texas
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 01, 2012
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 1, 2012

What's Up:

No. 18 Arizona is set to head down south to Denton, Texas to take on Texas Women's. The meet is set to take place on Friday at 7:00p.m. central time. The meet will be streamed live the day of the competition, and a link will be available the morning of the meet.

Scouting the Opposition:

Last week, Texas Women's earned a season high total 192.925 to beat the previously undefeated squad from Central Michigan University. The team scored a season best 48.775 on bars thanks to senior Rashanda Cannie with a score of 9.800 and junior Bethany Larimer and sophomore Courtney Cochefski with twin scores of 9.775.

The team has a lot of freshman talent - with three freshmen acting as main contributors in the win. Kayla Jones had the top mark for the team on vault (9.775) and the second highest beam score (9.750), Spencer Jones was the highest floor score for the team with a 9.800 and posted a beam score of 9.70, while Stephanie Repp had the second highest floor score with a 9.700, and took the beam title with a 9.775.

Full Recap

Last Week:

Arizona traveled to Tempe for an unfortunate loss to the devils 195.875-194.350.

The Wildcats started off counting a fall on bars, only posting a team total of 48.075 on the event.

The Cats kicked up the intensity on vault, however, and posted a season high vault total of 49.175.

The momentum continued on floor, with the team earning a combined score of 48.900.

In the final rotation (beam) Arizona had some difficulties, counting yet another fall to total a 48.200.

Full Recap

Event Titles and Career Highs and Debuts, Oh My!

Despite the overall loss, Arizona had a number of highlight performances in Tempe in the form of event titles, new career highs, and debut routines.

The Wildcat gymnastics team swept the podium by the end of the night taking first in every event except for all-around.

Vault went to junior Aubree Cristello, who tied her career high 9.875. Sophomore Jordan Williams tied for second with a new career high 9.850, and senior Rebecca Cardenas posted a new career high 9.825 to take third place.

Seniors Katie Matusik and Cardenas tied for first place on bars with a score of 9.825 (a tied career high score for Cardenas). Senior Deanna Graham tied for second on the event with a score of 9.800.

Matusik earned her second event title of the night on beam, with a stuck landing and score of 9.875.

Cristello shone on the floor, earning a new career high and joining the near-perfection club with a 9.925. This score marked the fourth score of 9.90 or better for the Wildcats this season (Graham 9.925 on vault and 9.925 on floor (1/20), Matusik 9.90 on beam (1/6).)

Another highlight was the debut of Kristin Klarenbach on floor. The freshman was put in the lineup minutes before the event, and posted a 9.800 - the second highest score for the Wildcats that night.


5 first place finishes (including tie)
2 second place finishes
1 third place finish
3 new career high scores
2 tied career high scores
1 debut

Out for the Count:

On the third rotation of the night (floor) senior Deanna Graham went down after her first pass - a double Arabian. She could not finish the routine, and had to walk off the floor. Whether or not Graham will be able to finish the season or compete again is currently questionable, pending information on a knee injury. Graham will not be competing in Friday's meet against Texas Women's.

2011 Review:

The Wildcats completed the 2011 season with an overall record of 13-12 and were able to make their 25th consecutive NCAA post-season appearance. Finishing fifth at the Pac-10 Championships and the NCAA Regional Championships, Arizona rounded out the season ranked No. 20 in the nation.

Major contributors included then RS senior Miranda Russell, and then-juniors Deanna Graham and Katie Matusik.

Russell, who had spent her RS junior season competing only on bars, returned to vault and floor in 2011, making a huge impact on the team totals with high scores of 9.875 on vault, two scores 9.90 on bars, and a career high 9.925 on floor. Russell also took fifth place on vault at the Pac-10 Championships, and sixth place on both bars and floor at the NCAA Regional Championships.

Graham was one of the team's top all-around athletes, posting a season high AA score of 39.100 at the Pac-10 Championships. Graham also tallied high scores of 9.925 on vault, 9.850 on bars, 9.90 on beam, and 9.90 on floor. Her performance throughout the season earned conference recognition as she was named to the first-team All-Pac-10 All-Around.

Matusik had a break out junior season as well, taking the title of "beam queen" for the season. Matusik earned three scores of 9.90 or better on the event, with a career high 9.925 at BYU (2/26). She also earned second place on beam at the NCAA Regional Championships with a score of 9.875, and was named to the first-team All-Pac-10 Beam Team. Lastly, Matusik was one of two conference athletes to be honored with the Pac-10 Sportsmanship Award for 2011.

A number of Wildcats were recognized by the conference throughout the season, including Matusik (Special Performance of the Week Feb. 21 - 27), Graham (Gymnast of the Week Feb. 7 - 13, and Mar. 7-13), then junior Aubree Cristello (Gymnast of the Week Jan. 31-Feb.6, and first-team All-Pac-10 All-Around), and Russell (Special Performance of the Week Jan. 24-30).

Look Out for New GymCats:

Arizona added a number of new faces this season, including Danielle Buchanan out of Lancaster, Calif., Allison Flores hailing from Addison, Ill., Edmonton, Alberta native Kristin Klarenbach, and Amber Wobma from Rockford, Mich.

Questions for Coach:

Each week, head gymnastics coach Bill Ryden 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. 

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!

Pre-season Rankings:

The Arizona gymnastics team headed into the season ranked No. 19 in the 2012 Women's Pre-Season Coaches poll. The Wildcats were one of six Pac-12 schools to place within the top 25 in the prelim poll, with UCLA ranked No. 1, Utah ranked No. 5, Oregon State at No. 7, Stanford at No. 8, and Washington falling in at No. 16.

Ryden's Record:

After the competition with ASU, head coach Bill Ryden bolsters a career record of 178-177-3.

What's Coming Up:

The Cats come back home to host the annual "Flipping for the Fight" breast cancer awareness meet. The meet will also feature a tribute to Mary Roby - a huge contributor to the gymnastics program, as well as athletics across the University. The meet is scheduled to take place Friday, February 10 at 7p.m. The meet will also be the second of two duel meets against ASU.

Bear Down Challenge Gymnastics