The Arizona women's gymnastics team had incredible performances on the first and last events to earn third place in today's quad meet against California, Kentucky and Auburn
Jan. 6, 2013
BERKELEY, Calif. – The University of Arizona women’s gymnastics team bookended a team total 194.825 to place third in the season opener. California won the meet with a 195.425, followed by Kentucky with a 195.125. Auburn rounded out the competition with a 194.625.
“We had two great events and two very sub-par events – that's what cost us,” head coach Bill Ryden said. “At this level you can’t count falls and be successful. I was very proud of our first event and I was proud of the fight in the team through the end. It is the first meet of the season, and we learned a lot of lessons from today’s performances.”
The Cats began the afternoon on bars, earning a team total 49.100 – the highest bar total in an opening meet in school history.
“I was very impressed with our bar team tonight; we had a terrible warm-up due to some equipment issues, so our bar team basically threw cold sets and had incredible success. The girls truly rose to and above the occasion,” Ryden said.
Sophomore Allison Flores led the team with a new career high, along with senior Molly Quirk who both scored 9.850 on the event. Also making contributions were sophomore Danielle Buchanan with a new career high 9.825 and senior Aubree Cristello with a 9.800. Freshman Lexie Mills made her debut as an Arizona Wildcat with a score of 9.775.
Arizona had some troubles in the second event, posting a total score of 48.225 on beam. Despite the difficulties, Cristello and Flores both tied their career highs for the event, earning scores of 9.850 (to earn first place) and 9.700 respectively. Also with a 9.700 was freshman Jessie Sisler in her first appearance in an Arizona leotard. Junior Jordan Williams contributed as well, posting a score of 9.775.
The Cats continued on to floor for rotation number three, where they posted a score of 48.300. Sophomore Kristin Klarenbach shone for the Cats, tying her career high 9.875, followed by Cristello who earned a 9.850. Flores and Quirk made impacts as well, earning scores of 9.725 and 9.700 respectively.
The team then picked up the pace in the fourth event, earning the highest vault total in an opening meet of 49.200. Posting yet another career high was Cristello, who drilled her vault for a 9.950 for the event title. Williams tied for second overall with a 9.875, and Flores and Klarenbach made their career vaulting debuts with twin scores of 9.800. Junior Barbara Donaldson also contributed with a career high 9.775.
“We truly are a very strong vault team, and that showed in tonight’s final event,” Ryden said. “I was so impressed with both the returners in the lineup as well as Allie and Kristin’s debut vaults. I think this will continue to be a powerhouse event for us.”
The Wildcats had three all-around competitors in the meet; Cristello, who totaled a 39.450 for first place, Flores, who tied for third with her all-around debut score of 39.075, and Williams, who tallied a 37.925.
From here Arizona will open the home season, welcoming Stanford, Illinois, and San Jose State to the McKale Center on January 12 at 4:00 p.m.