No. 16 Gymnastics Heads to Norman to take on No. 2 Oklahoma
The No. 16 Arizona women's gymnastics team competes against undefeated No. 2 Oklahoma this Friday, March 8
March 7, 2013
The No. 15 Arizona women’s gymnastics team is en route to Norman, Okla. for a dual meet against No. 2 Oklahoma. The meet is set to begin Friday, March 8 at 7:00 p.m. CT (6:00 p.m. MST) and will be featured live on FOX Sports Pacific. Live stats will also be available the day of the meet in addition to complete online replays once the competition has concluded.
Scouting the Opposition:
No. 2 Oklahoma: Upon winning last week’s meet at Texas Woman’s 197.275-195.300 the Sooners moved into an undefeated record of 16-0. The team scored a slew of near perfect scores to take over the podium: Brie Olson won both vault and bars with scores of 9.975 and 9.90 respectively, Taylor Spears confirmed her No. 1 national beam ranking with a 9.950, Laura Albright tied Olson with a 9.90 to share the floor title, and Erica Brewer earned her second all-around title with a 39.300.
Gymnastics more than made up for its season low performance in Corvallis, posting a season high 196.500 to defeat in-state rival ASU (193.850). In the process, the team tied five career high event scores, earned seven new career high scores and posted two new season high event totals.
The team opened the meet with such, as the first season high came on vault thanks to a total score of 49.275. The entire vault lineup either tied or earned a new career high with the exception of senior Aubree Cristello who won the event with a 9.925.
On event number two, the bar team swung a successful 48.775 and then headed straight to beam for the second season high score of the night. Four new career highs earned the team a total 49.175.
The Cats then concluded on floor, where they engaged the audience as well as the judges with the second event score of 49.275 for the night. On the event, two new career high scores were posted in the first two routines, and freshman Jessie Sisler tied her career high for her third event title of her career.
For a full breakdown of scores and who posted what career high, please see the full recap.
Generally speaking, a team looks to its upperclassmen for leadership and consistency. While the juniors and seniors of the Arizona gymnastics team regularly succeed in these roles, this past meet against Arizona State provided a glimpse of what’s to come thanks to domination by the freshmen and sophomore classes.
Shelby Edwards – tied for third place on vault with a new career high score of 9.850 and earned her second event title on beam, tying for first place with a new career high 9.875 and was recognized as Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Week for her performances
Lexi Mills – has consistently competed on bars for the Cats, and tied Edwards in her first event title with a career high 9.875 on beam
Jessie Sisler – tied her nearly perfect career high score of 9.925 on floor for her third event title and performed on beam
Danielle Buchanan – competed for the third time in her career on vault, and posted her third consecutive score of 9.800; has posted contributing bar scores in all of her lineup appearances
Allison Flores – posted the team’s highest bar score of the meet in addition to a new career high beam score of 9.825 and a new career high 9.850 on floor, all from the leadoff position
Amber Wobma – tied her career high vault score of 9.850 and posted a new career high beam score of 9.825 contributing to both season high event totals earned in the meet
Kristin Klarenbach – tied her career high vault score of 9.850 and has consistently been ranked in the top 50 on floor
In the Rankings:
Nearing the conclusion of the regular season, Arizona dropped one place from last week with an RQS of 195.775. Consistent with last week, the Wildcats hold the No. 5 spot in the Pac-12 conference behind No. 6 UCLA, No. 7 Utah, No. 9 Stanford, and No. 10 Oregon State.
Holding one top ten event ranking, the team is currently No. 17 on vault (up one spot from last week), No. 18 on bars, No. 20 on beam, and No. 9 on floor.
Individually Cristello is making her mark in the rankings: the senior is currently No. 13 in the all-around, and No. 22 on vault.
With the gymnastics competition season past the half-way point, the team and individual rankings have switched from being based on overall score average to a team’s total RQS. But what exactly is an RQS score, and how does it work?
Given that gymnastics is a sport based on judgment, it needs to have a ranking system that can mostly eliminate scoring and performance inconsistencies. Obviously, in a perfect world, all judges would take the same deductions for the same degree of mistakes, etc. – but every judge can’t be at every competition, so deductions aren’t necessarily 100% foolproof. With that same token, in a perfect world a team would never have a bad meet – though everyone has an off day.
Because of this, RQS was born. An RQS score is made up of a team’s top three away scores plus the team’s top three other scores minus the overall top score, and average of the remaining five. This average is supposed to be an overall better indicator of a team’s performance, taking out overly bad performances (in addition to overly good performances) as well as potential judging differentials.
So what is the reason the rankings start out as an average? In the beginning of the season there are not enough scores to factor into the RQS formula. Each team needs to have at least three away meets and a total of six meets under their belt before this type of score can be calculated.
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 205-193-3 thanks to the season high win over Arizona State last weekend.
What’s Coming Up:
The GymCats return home to McKale for the conclusion of the regular season. The Cats will take on Missouri next Saturday, March 16 at 4:00p.m. MST. As the last meet in McKale for the year, the team will also be honoring the careers of seniors Aubree Cristello and Molly Quirk.