No. 14 Gymnastics Set to "Flip for the Fight" Against No. 8 Nebraska
The No. 14 Arizona gymnastics team will compete against No. 8 Nebraska in the annual breast cancer awareness meet this Saturday, Feb. 16
Feb. 14, 2013
The No. 14 Arizona women's gymnastics team returns to McKale for the third home meet of the season. The team will be "Flipping for the Fight" in the annual breast cancer awareness competition. Donning special pink leotards, the girls will take on No. 8 Nebraska this Saturday, February 16 at 4:00 p.m. MST.
Live video action via the Pac-12 Network and live stats will be available the day of the meet. Insider updates, photos and video of the competition will be posted via the official Arizona Gymnastics Twitter page (@AZGymnastics) on meet day as well.
Scouting the Opposition:
No. 8 Nebraska: the Huskers have a lot of momentum coming in to this meet: they posted a season high 197.175 to defeat Penn State (195.150) in addition to garnering two Big Ten Conference Honors. Sophomore Jessie DeZiel was recognized as Big Ten Gymnast of the Week, and senior Janelle Giblin earned her second consecutive Big Ten Specialist of the Week honor. DeZiel will be one to watch in the all-around, earning season high scores of 9.925 on vault and floor and tying her career best 9.90 on bars for a total 39.525. After last week's meet Giblin has now posted two consecutive career high scores of 9.950 on bars and took second on beam with a 9.850.
The Wildcats went into the "Chicago Style" quad meet with a number of lineup changes after junior all-arounder Jordan Williams sustained an injury. Despite shuffling around to fill four routine gaps, Arizona came away with a 195.950 to defeat Pittsburgh (194.750), Texas Woman's (192.825) and Illinois State (191.125).
The team began on vault, where they got back on track with the event for a 49.125. From there the team earned a 48.750 on bars, a 48.975 on beam and a 49.100 on floor.
Senior Aubree Cristello earned yet another all-around title with a 39.350, and sophomore Allison Flores took third with a 38.475.
"Meet" the Freshmen:
When one hears the term "freshman" they usually associate it with a lack of maturity and the tendency to make mistakes, especially in the case of college athletics. The 2012/13 freshman gymnastics class, however, is anything but, demonstrating their strength in the past meet in Chicago.
Freshman Lexie Mills has been making a splash in the bar lineup from meet one, posting a career high 9.775 right out of the gate. Despite a score of 9.125 last week, Mills has been improving each meet from both a form and mental perspective.
Freshman Shelby Edwards has proven her passion and mental maturity for the team as well, competing no-handed beam routines for the sole reason to contribute to the team. Only weeks before season started, Edwards suffered an arm injury resulting in pulling her from the lineup on at least three events. Rather than let it stop her, Edwards made a change to her beam routine enabling her to compete without effecting the injury. This drive led Edwards to her first beam title this past weekend, thanks to a career high 9.825.
Freshman Jessie Sisler left the sidelines for the first time in Chicago, entering both the beam and floor lineups. The Sloughouse native not only hit her beam routine, but did so after suffering a profuse bloody nose as well as a fall from the routine right before her. If that doesn't speak to her abilities, then her first floor routine title (a tie with Cristello) with a score of 9.875 should.
Regardless of where they are making an impact, this past meet has proven one thing: this class is not to be messed with. The combination of Mills, Edwards and Sisler boasts strength, talent, and the potential for a lot of successful gymnastics.
Debuts, Highs and Tries, Oh My!
Deemed a "rollercoaster meet" by Bill Ryden, the Chicago Style meet was truly up and down when it came to the lineup. Very different from any meet so far, the turmoil that was deciding who would compete opened the door for some career debuts, high performances and tries at some new routines.
Junior Shana Sangston was the meet's most exciting debut (according to Ryden) as she competed bars for the first time in her career for a 9.750.
Junior Barbara Donaldson continued her streak of improving vaults, posting a career high 9.825 for a third place title.
Sophomore Amber Wobma took a crack at the all-around (sort of) performing stellar lineup routines on vault (9.850 for second place overall) and beam (9.775 for third place overall) and exhibition routines on bars and floor.
In the Rankings:
Nearing the beginning of rankings by RQS, Arizona holds steady at No. 14 with a total season average of 195.617. Consistent with last week, the Wildcats hold the No. 5 spot in the Pac-12 conference behind No. 4 UCLA, No. 6 Utah, No. 10 Stanford and No. 13 Oregon State.
Holding two top ten event rankings, the team is currently No. 25 on vault, No. 9 on bars, No. 18 on beam (up three spots from last week), and No. 10 on floor.
Individually Cristello is making her mark in the rankings: the senior is currently No. 20 in the all-around, and No. 19 on beam.
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 203-191-3 after defeating Pittsburgh, Illinois State and Texas Woman's the past weekend in Chicago.
What's Coming Up:
The Cats hit the road to Corvallis, Ore. for a head to head match up against Oregon State. The meet will take place at 7:00 p.m. PT (6:00 p.m. MST) on Friday, February 22.