Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Cats to Meet Cougars for Round Two
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 22, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 22, 2011

What's Up:

The No. 25 Arizona Women's Gymnastics heads to Provo, Utah to take on No. 26 BYU.

This is the second time this season the Cats have seen the Cougars; the first match-up was a tri-meet at Utah State. It was Arizona's second meet of the season, and they were bested by BYU 193.075 to 192.750. Both teams have improved significantly, with BYU boasting a season high of 195.200, and Arizona with a season high of 195.550.

The meet will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 26 at Smith Fieldhouse.

Last Week:

The Wildcats gave Stanford a run for their money, however due to some uncommon errors fell to the Cardinal 194.675 to 195.300.

Freshman Barbara Donaldson had her career debut during the meet, competing in the vault line-up to score a 9.675.

Other highlights included sophomore Aubree Cristello tying for second on vault with a score of 9.825, sophomore Molly Quirk and senior Miranda Russell tying for third on bars with the score of 9.800, junior Katie Matusik posting a 9.775 on beam to earn third place, and Russell and Cristello posting scores of 9.850 and 9.825 to earn second and third place on floor (respectively).


Pac-10 Performances:

Deanna Graham joined the Pac-10 Spotlight this past week, as she was named the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week for the week of Feb. 7 through Feb. 13. Graham is the third consecutive Wildcat to be recognized by the Pac-10 for outstanding performances, following Miranda Russell and Aubree Cristello.

Russell was recognized as Pac-10 Special Performance of the week for the week of Jan. 24 through Jan. 30 for her routines against Boise State.

Cristello was named the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week for the week of Jan. 31 through Feb. 6 due to her all-around performance against the University of Illinois-Chicago.

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!

Scouting the Opposition:

This past weekend BYU upset No. 12 Arkansas on the road, earning a score of 195.100 over the Razorbacks (195.025). With their victory BYU heads into the Arizona meet with a record of 10-2-2, thanks to Raquel Willman and Jennifer Lezeu who both posted scores of 9.800 on bars this past weekend. Other Cougars to watch include Megan Bain and Jessica Villegas, who shone for BYU on floor.


2010 Review:

The Wildcats completed the 2010 season with an overall record of 12-12 and were able to make their 24th consecutive NCAA post-season appearance. Finishing fourth at the Pac-10 Championships, and third at the NCAA Regional Championships, Arizona completed the season ranked No. 20 in the nation. Then sophomore Deanna Graham stepped up throughout the season to be a major contributor to the team, as well as the lone Wildcat to qualify for the NCAA National Championships. Graham also earned 1st team All-Conference Honors in the all-around for her performances.

Other break out performances included then freshmen Aubree Cristello and Molly Quirk. 

 Cristello earned her place as one of the Wildcats' most consistent gymnasts; competing 12 out of 13 meets in the all-around, and hitting 49 of 51 total routines. Cristello also earned Pac-10 1st team All-Conference Honors for the all-around, with a career best score of 39.175.

Quirk rose to the challenge of becoming beam star, earning a score of 9.90 against Washington, and posting seven scores of 9.80 or above on the event. Hitting 51 of 52 routines competed as well as a high all-around score of 39.100, Quirk was yet another Wildcat to be honored with a spot on the Pac-10 All-Conference 1st team.

Look Out for New GymCats:

 Arizona added a number of new faces this season, including Barbara Donaldson out of Bakersfield, Calif., Chelsea Perna hailing from Middletown, Del., Phoenix native Shana Sangston, Ali Stakem from Gaithersburg, Md., and Jordan Williams from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Pre-season Rankings:

The Arizona Gymcats head into the season ranked No. 19 in the 2010 Women's Pre-Season Coaches poll. They are one of six Pac-10 schools to be rated. The others include No. 1 UCLA, No. 6 Stanford, No. 8 Oregon State, No. 21 Washington, and No. 25 Arizona State.

Stacked Schedule:

Arizona faces a stacked schedule this season, competing against six schools ranked in the pre-season poll. This includes some tough meets early on, including opening the season against a powerfully ranked Pac-10, and meeting up with these teams to conclude the regular season in the Pac-10 Championships. Other ranked meets include facing No. 25 Arizona State early on in the season, and a dual meet against No. 18 Boise State. The Gymcats must also go head to head with No. 1 UCLA, and No. 6 Stanford.

Ryden's Record:

Head Coach Bill Ryden earned a total record of 169-165-3 after the Stanford dual meet at McKale.

What's Coming Up:

Next week Arizona hits the road for a second week straight, heading to Pauley Pavillion for the second time this season to take on No. 9 UCLA and No. 4 Georgia.



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