TUCSON, Ariz. – Despite a solid performance by the Arizona women’s gymnastics team, the Wildcats fell to No. 9 UCLA, 196.250-197.500, on Saturday.
“Overall, it was a good experience,” head coach Bill Ryden said. “We had been in a three week slump. This will help us get out of that. To go 196.250, counting a fall, shows how good the team could be. We needed something to shake us back into reality. Even though we fell to UCLA, it was a great competition with a lot of great gymnastics.”
In the first rotation of the night, the Wildcats earned a team total of 49.125 on vault. Junior Kristin Klarenbach led the team with a score of 9.875. Kalrenbach’s score earned her a third place title. Shelby Edwards contributed a score of 9.850 and Allie Flores added 9.825. Junior Amber Wobma added a score of 9.800 and freshmen Mackenzie Valentin rounded out the event with a 9.775.
“Vault was a solid start,” Ryden said. “However, we had a couple vaults that left some tenths. Vault is the event that we did the most lineup changes this week, but our score proves that our changes worked. A 49.125 is a very solid start. We fought hard. It was a good start to the meet.”
Moving onto bars, the Wildcats had a rough start with a fall but made a huge comeback effort with five solid routines earning the team a 49.275.
Arizona was led by both freshman Selynna Felix- Terrazas and Flores who both earned scores of 9.900. This score marks a career high for Felix-Terrazas and ties the one that Flores set this season against Oklahoma. Both tied for the first place title. The Cats also received solid scores from freshman Gabby Laub and sophomores Lexi Mills and Edwards who each earned scores of 9.825.
“You have to hand it to the five girls after the first fall,” Ryden said. “Talk about rocking hard. I finally allowed Allie to do a bigger dismount and it worked out really well for her. Selynna continues to improve. She’s having a great time while she’s competing and you can tell. She’s been working so hard to stick her bar dismount. It was great to see two 9.900s in the bar rotation.”
From bars, the Wildcats moved to balance beam and were led by Edwards who tied her career high score of 9.875, which was set her freshman year and good enough for a third place finish. Wobma and Mills contributed with scores of 9.850 and 9.825 respectively. Wobma’s score also tied her career high. Sisler added a score of 9.725, and Flores rounded out the event with a 9.300 despite counting a fall.
“We had three really nice routines, a solid routine and unfortunately two falls,” Ryden said. “They’re fighting hard but we need to figure that out to get to our ultimate goals of where we want to be. We have three more meets before we head to the Pac-12 Championships so we have time.”
Entering the fourth rotation Arizona was ready to finish the meet on a strong note and they accomplished that with their score of 49.275. Both Klarenbach and Flores tied their career highs with scores of 9.925 and 9.900, respectively. Klarenbach tied for the second place finish. Valentin earned a 9.850 followed by Sangston who earned a 9.825, her second highest score of her career. Wobma rounded out the rotation with a 9.775.
“At first, floor was a little concerning coming off a fall,” Ryden said. “But the girls rose to the occasion. The judges were really looking at landings and for two routines they saw those deductions. The four girls did a great job. It was nice to see Allie and Kristin do so well at the end of the lineup and both being able to tie their career highs at home.”
Flores was one of four all-around competitors for the meet and earned a 38.925.
Looking forward, Arizona will continue their home stand against Oregon State on Sunday, March 9 at 12 p.m. MST. The competition will air live on the Pac-12 Networks. For continued coverage of Arizona women’s gymnastics, follow @AZGymnastics on Twitter and Facebook.com/ArizonaGymnastics.