No. 12 Cats Ready to Travel to Dawgs' House
No. 12 Arizona gymnastics hits the road to Seattle taking on conference opponent Washington
Jan. 30, 2013
Up one ranking from last week, the No. 12 Arizona women's gymnastics team heads north to Seattle, Wash. to take on the University of Washington.
The meet will begin at 7:00p.m. in the Alaska Airlines Arena this Friday, February 1. Live stats and live video will be available the day of the meet.
Scouting the Opposition:
Washington: the GymDawgs posted a new season high in a competition that mimicked a post season meet. Despite podium equipment and competition from four ranked teams (No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 7 LSU, No. 9 Georgia and No. 16 Oregon State) the Huskies were able to earn a team 195.875. A gymnast to watch in the upcoming meet is Aliza Vaccher, who won floor with a new career high of 9.925. The bar team is also something to look out for, as the team counted a 9.875, two 9.825's, a 9.800 and a 9.700 to post a season high 49.075.
Arizona earned a 196.075 "the hard way" according to head coach Bill Ryden. The team was consistent across all four events, earning scores of 48.900 on vault, 49.150 on bars, 49.975 on beam and 49.050 on floor.
Despite the consistency, however, the team's performance made way for an even bigger upswing.
"I'm happy that we breached a 196, but we've known we are capable of that all along. We nickled an dimed ourselves out of an even better score, and when we put together a complete meet we're going to be dangerous," Ryden said. "To earn the score that we did given the small mistakes we made shows how much potential this team has, and I know we are going to live up to it."
Highs from the meet came from sophomore Allison Flores, who earned the team high vault score of 9.800, senior Aubree Cristello, who tied for first on bars with a 9.875 and took second on beam with a 9.850, and junior Jordan Williams, who posted the team high floor score of 9.850 for third place.
Completing the Meet:
For Jordan Williams there is a lot to be excited about when thinking back on last week's meet: she tied for the second highest vault score on the team, led off and contributed to the beam total, and earned a spot on the podium for a second consecutive week on floor. However, none of those accomplishments compares to that single moment on the second event where her hands re-connected with the high bar.
Many who have witnessed her swing will agree that Williams has a nearly deduction-less bar routine. She has no problem hitting her handstands and keeping her legs tight and feet pointed. What she does have problems on is her Jaeger: a D level skill that satisfies her release requirement on the event. While her form is nearly flawless, her ability to catch the bar is not - until this point. After barely missing the skill for the first three meets, Williams caught her release and caught on to the thing she had been after all season: a complete meet.
"I can honestly say I think that was the loudest the team cheered in the entire meet," Ryden commented. "We all know that when Jordan can hit, she can hit well, and the entire team wanted it just as bad as she did."
"I think that finally hitting her routine is a huge monkey off of her back. Jordan is an incredibly hard and incredibly talented bar worker. Now that she has one complete routine under her belt, there should be no stopping her," Ryden finished.
With a score like a 9.800 it will be hard to stop her. Thanks to her bar score and consistency across the events, Williams walked away with a 39.200 all-around in her first "real" complete meet in over four years, marking her as one of three incredible all-around athletes on the roster.
In the Rankings:
With an average total of 195.638, Arizona has moved one spot forward to No. 12 in the nation, and No. 4 in the conference.
From an event perspective, the team is ranked No. 19 on vault, No. 9 on bars (up two spots from last week), No. 21 on beam (two rankings up from last week), and No. 11 on floor .
Individually the Cats are making an impact as well, with two gymnasts ranked within the top 25 on different events: Cristello is currently No. 12 in the all-around, and No. 15 on beam; and Klarenbach is No. 17 on floor.
The Wildcats completed the 2012 season with a regular season record of 13-5 and were able to make their 26th consecutive NCAA post-season appearance. Finishing fourth at the Pac-12 Championships and the NCAA Regional Championships, Arizona rounded out the season ranked No. 22 in the nation.
Major contributors included then senior Katie Matusik, and then-junior Aubree Cristello who were the two qualifiers to the NCAA National Championships (Matusik for beam and Cristello for the all-around).
Matusik renewed her title of "beam queen" qualifying to the NCAA Championships event finals and taking third place overall with a score of 9.8875. Throughout the season, Matusik posted six scores of 9.90, one of which earned Matusik the title of first-team All-American. Matusik's beam excellence also earned her a second consecutive title of first-team All-Pac-12 on the event. Her contributions did not stop there, however, as she was a leading scorer for the Cats on bars and floor as well, posting high scores of 9.875 on both events.
Cristello was one of the team's top all-around athletes, posting two high scores of 39.475 garnering Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week honors as well as breaking into the top 10 all-time all-around performances for the program (No. 9). Cristello was so consistent overall that she earned her third consecutive first-team All-Pac-12 all-around honor - the only gymnast in Arizona history to earn such recognition.
A number of Wildcats were ranked within the top 100 on individual events throughout the season, the highest rankings for each girl are as follows: Matusik was No. 30 on bars (the week of 2/29), No. 13 on beam (the week of 3/7) and No. 73 on floor (the week of 3/13); Cristello was No. 38 on vault (the week of 3/7), No. 38 on bars (the week of 3/7), No. 5 on floor (the week of 3/7) and No. 14 all-around (the week of 3/13); Molly Quirk was No. 55 on beam (the week of 3/3) and No. 49 all-around (the week of 3/7); Jordan Williams was No. 58 on vault (the week of 3/7); Rebecca Cardenas was No. 87 on bars (the week of 3/13); and Kristin Klarenbach was No. 99 on floor (the week of 3/13).
Look Out for New GymCats:
Arizona added a number of new faces this season, including Shelby Edwards out of San Tan Valley, Ariz., Lexi Mills hailing from Frisco, Texas, Sloughouse California native Jessie Sisler, and Krishna Yemany from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. All of these gymnasts were top J.O. or Canadian Elite competitors and should make a dent in the lineups this season.
The Arizona gymnastics team heads into the season ranked No. 19 in the 2013 Women's Pre-Season Coaches poll. The Wildcats are one of six Pac-12 schools to place within the top 25, including No. 2 UCLA, No. 5 Utah, No. 6 Stanford, No. 9 Oregon State and No. 17 Washington.
Stacked to the Max:
The Arizona gymnastics team is going to complete an extremely difficult season in 2013. Of the 12 regular season meets and 20 regular season opponents, the Cats will face 11 ranked teams during eight meets (six of which within the top 10). Those opponents include No. 2 UCLA, No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 5 Utah, No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Nebraska, No. 9 Oregon State, No. 13 Auburn, No. 17 Washington, No. 18 Illinois, No. 21 Missouri, and No. 25 Kentucky.
Head Coach Bill Ryden bolsters an overall record of 200-190-3 after coming second to Utah this past weekend.
What's Coming Up:
The Wildcats are scheduled to make an appearance in the Windy City, traveling to Chicago to compete in the annual "Chicago Style Meet" hosted by IGI. The Cats will be taking on Pittsburgh, Texas Woman's, and Illinois State.