BATON ROUGE, La. – The No. 21 Arizona women’s gymnastics team concluded its season at the Baton Rouge Regional on Saturday, April 5 with a final score of 194.825 for sixth place. Despite strong performances from multiple individuals and from the team, the Wildcats did not qualify for the 2014 Championships.
LSU, the regional host, earned the first place finish with a total of 198.325, which was also a school record and tied the nation’s highest score this season. Fellow Pac-12 opponent Stanford took second place with a score of 197.275. Iowa State and Kent State followed with totals of 196.350 and 195.125, respectively. Auburn took the fifth place spot with a score of 195.050.
“The meet itself was a synopsis of what has been plaguing us this year,” head coach Bill Ryden said. “We started off well. I was happy with the scores we earned in the first two rotations. Obviously, we have a very young team. We’ll have to review and see where the simple errors were. It’s unfortunate. As much as this team has pushed and struggled with this year, they deserved to go out hitting. This will sting for a while. It was a tale of two meets. Beam didn’t go as well as I had hopes. I was very happy with floor and vault. Bars was a disaster.”
It’s unfortunate that they had some many problems on bars. I’ll give credit to the last three girls for trying to hit their routines but we still had some errors. Bars simply didn’t work for us.
To start the meet, the Wildcats began on floor where they were off to a good start with a 49.050.
Junior Kristin Klarenbach led the group with a score of 9.900. Her score marks the ninth score of 9.900 or better – a career high number for her on floor and also good enough for a fifth place tie overall. Allie Flores was behind her with a 9.850 and was followed by one of Valentin’s best performances, which earned her a 9.825. Shana Sangston, who started off the Wildcats, earned a 9.750. Both Shay Fox and Amber Wobma earned twin scores of 9.725 to round out Arizona scoring.
“We had some great athletes show up today,” Ryden said. “Our floor team did an incredible job. Kristin Klarenbach has been in so much pain, and she went out and did everything she could for the team. She got an injury coming back from the Pac-12 meet, and today she went out and got a great score. Mackenzie did everything in her power. You have to give up the kudos to all of the girls in the lineup.”
Moving to the second rotation, Arizona went to vault where they continued their success with a vault score of 49.100.
Sophomore Shelby Edwards was only .025 away from tying her career as she earned the team’s best score of 9.925. She earned the second best score of the meet and finished in fourth place behind three LSU gymnasts who scored 9.950. Valentin came up in the third spot with a score of 9.850. Following her were scores of 9.800 and 9.775 from Flores and Wobma, respectively. Freshman Gabby Laub finished Arizona scores with a 9.750.
“Vault did a great job tonight,” Ryden said. “Shelby and Allie kept fighting for their scores. There were some simple tenths of points that cost us, but our effort was there. There were definitely some highlight moments for our team tonight.”
Halfway through the meet, Arizona had a running score of 98.150 and was sitting in fourth place. Unfortunately, the first three of the bars lineup counted falls. As a result, the Wildcats were unable to score better than a 47.650.
On a positive note, the last three of the lineup were able to help Arizona finish strong. Felix-Terrazas earned the team’s high score of 9.850. Flores and Edwards earned scores of 9.825 and 9.725, respectively. Although they counted falls, Laub’s score of 9.225 and Krysten Howard’s 9.025 were both counted.
Moving into the final rotation for the Wildcats, Arizona took to the beam where they earned a 49.025.
Coming through were all six Wildcats who were able to prevent themselves from counting a fall. Both sophomores Jessie Sisler and Edwards earned duplicate scores of 9.850. Despite a fall on bars, Mills was able to come back and earn a valuable 9.825. Wobma and Sangston also earned twin scores of 9.750.
“I thought we did beam pretty well,” Ryden said. “The girls came back and tried their best after an upsetting bars. But when you count bad routines, especially falls, in the NCAA post-season, it’s never going to work well. “
Flores competed in the all-around competition and earned a 39.200 for her effort. This season, Flores has participated in nine total all-around competitions for the first time since become an all-around competitor.
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