No. 12 Arizona Gymnastics Prepares for the 2002 National Championships
April 15, 2002
What's Coming Up - The No. 12 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team (19-8) travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., this week for the 2002 NCAA National Championships, on April 18-20. The Wildcats enter the National Championships as the No. 12 seed after finishing second (194.950) at the South Central Regional Championships on April 6. Arizona will take on West Regional Champion Utah, Northeast Regional Champion Nebraska, Central Regional Champion Louisiana State, North Central Regional Co-Champion Georgia and Northeast Regional runner-up Michigan, in the first of two preliminary competition sessions on April 18, at 1 p.m. (CST).Competing in the second session of the NCAA Championships on Thursday, April 18, at 7 p.m. (CST) are, South Central Regional Champion UCLA, North Central Regional Co-Champion Stanford, Southeast Regional Champion Alabama, West Regional runner-up Oregon State, Southeast Regional runner-up Minnesota and Central Regional runner-up Florida. The top three finishers from the afternoon and evening sessions will move on to the 'Super Six' NCAA National Finals on Friday, April 19, at 7 p.m. (CST).
2002 National Championship Site - Coleman Coliseum (15,043), The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Ticket Information - Individual tickets for the 2002 NCAA National Championships will go on sale Monday, April 15 at 9 a.m., on the University of Alabama Campus. Tickets will be sold on a session by session basis. Adult tickets are $12 per session and tickets for college students (with ID) and children 15 and under are $8 per session. Tickets are available through the University of Alabama Ticket Office (205-348-2262), SouthTix (800-240-2300), or online at www.rolltide.com.
Television Coverage - CBS will broadcast the 2002 National Championships on Sunday, April 28 at 12 p.m. (PST). Bonnie Bernstein and Olympic Gold Medalists Amanda Borden and Dominique Dawes will provide the color commentary. Live statistics of the each Championship session can be found at the University of Alabama athletics website www.rolltide.com.
Satellite Feeds -
Thursday, 4:45 p.m. SBS 6, tr. 5
Thursday, 9:45 p.m. SBS 6, tr. 5
Friday, 9:45 p.m. SBS 6, tr. 3
Arizona at the NCAA National Championships - Arizona enters the National Championship field as the No. 12 seed in the competition. Arizona is making its first appearance at the National Championships since 1996 and its 10th appearance in UA history. Arizona's best finish at the National Championships was in 1992 when the team placed fifth (191.950). Two Wildcat gymnasts have won individual national titles: Anna Basaldua on vault in 1992 and Co-Champion Heidi Hornbeek on floor in 1996.
NCAA National Championship Structure - The NCAA National Collegiate Women's Gymnastics Championships consist of the top 12 finishing teams from the six regional championships. The top two finishing teams from each regional earned automatic berths to the National Championships. The National Championships also consist of the top two all-around competitors from the regional championships who are not on a qualifying team. The first round of competition is April 18 and consists of two sessions of preliminary meets. The top three teams from each session will advance to the team finals on April 19. The individual championships will be held Saturday, April 20 and will field the top four finishers in each event from the two preliminary rounds.
Arizona's NCAA National Championship Rotation: Afternoon Session
Rotation I: Beam
Rotation II: Bye
Rotation III: Floor
Rotation IV: Vault
Rotation V: Bye
Rotation VI: Bars
Scouting the National Championship Field -
Alabama - The No. 2 University of Alabama Crimson Tide is the host institution for the 2002 National Championships and enters competition with a 22-4 overall record. Alabama took first place at the Southeast Regional Championships (197.900), has a RQS of 197.095 and is the top-seeded team in the National Championship competition. Alabama owns three National Championships (1988, 1991, 1996), its last coming in 1996 when Alabama was the host institution. Head coaches Sarah Patterson (Penn., 1978) and David Patterson (Alabama, 1982) are in their 24th season at the helm of the Alabama program and own a school and career record of 311-68-4.
Florida - The No. 15 Florida Gators are the No. 10 seeded team in the National Championships and have an 18-11 overall record. Florida placed second at the Central Regional Championships (195.900) and has a RQS of 195.700. Head coach Judi Markell (Springfield College, 1972) is in her 10th year at the helm of the Florida program and owns a career record 406-158-2 and a school record of 128-81-1.
Georgia - The No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs enter the National Championship as the No. 7 seeded team and holds an overall record of 26-2. Georgia tied for first at the North Central Regional Championships (196.125) with Stanford and has a RQS of 197.085. The Bulldogs have won five National Championships, including back-to-back titles in 1998 and 1999. Head Coach Suzanne Yoculan (Penn State, 1975) is in her 19th season at the helm of the Georgia program and owns a 624-82-6 overall record.
Louisiana State - The No. 6 Louisiana State Tigers, the No. 5 seed in the National Championships, enter competition with an overall record of 15-10. LSU placed first at the Central Regional Chamionships (196.450) and have a RQS of 196.630. Head coach D-D Breaux (LSU, 1976) is in her 25th season at the helm of the LSU program and owns a career and school record of 409-251-7.
Michigan - The No. 5 University of Michigan Wolverines, 29-4 overall, enter the National Championships as the No. 11 seed. The Wolverines placed second at the Northeast Regional Championships (195.600) and have a RQS of 196.830. Head coach Bev Plocki (West Virginia, 1987) begins her 13th season with Michigan and holds a career record of 257-73.
Minnesota - The No. 11 Minnesota Golden Gophers, 22-7 overall, are the No. 8 seed entering the National Championships. The Golden Gophers finished second at the Southeast Regional Championships (196.050) and have a RQS of 196.210. Co-head coaches Jim Stephenson (Iowa State, 1973) and Meg Stephenson (Iowa State, 1981) enter their fifth season at the helm of the Minnesota gymnastics program.
Nebraska - The No. 8 Nebraska Cornhuskers enter the National Championships as the No. 9 seed with an overall record of 19-2. The Cornhuskers placed first at the Northeast Regional Championships (195.925) and have a RQS of 196.600. Head coach Dan Kendig (Kentucky, 1979) is in his ninth year at the helm of the Nebraska program and owns a career record of 273-141-1 and a school record of 160-29.
Oregon State - The No. 13 Oregon State Beavers enter the National Championship as the No. 4 seed and have an overall record of 15-10. The Beavers finished second in the West Regional Championship (196.800) and have a RQS of 195.975. Head Coach Tanya Chaplin (UCLA, 1990) is in her fifth year at the helm of the Oregon State program and has a school and career record of 77-58-1.
Stanford - The No. 10 Stanford Cardinal enter the National Championships with an overall record of 17-5-1 and are the No. 6 seed. The Cardinal tied for first place at the North Central Regional Championships with Georgia (196.125) and have a RQS of 196.280. Head coach Kristen Smyth (California, 1993) is in her first year at the helm of the Stanford program and owns a school and career record of 17-5-1.
UCLA - The No. 1 UCLA Bruins enter the this year's National Championships as the defending back-to-back National Champions. The Bruins are seeded second in the National Championships and are coming off a first-place finish at the South Central Regional Championships (197.425). UCLA has an overall record of 24-5 and a RQS of 197.230. Head coach Valorie Kondos Field (UCLA, 1987) is in her 12th season at the helm of the UCLA program and has a career and school record of 249-52. Kondos has led the Bruins to three National Championships in the five years (2001, 2000, 1997).
Utah - The No. 4 Utah Utes, the third seeded team in the National Championships, are the 2002 West Regional Champions (197.310). The Utes have an overall record of 14-2 and a RQS of 196.920. Head Coach Greg Marsden (Central Arkansas, 1972) is in his 27th year at the helm of the Utah program and has a career and school record of 757-115-5. Marsden has led the Utes to 10 national titles, with the last coming in 1995.
All-Around Individual Qualifiers
Gymnast/Team Region Regional Score
Kasie Tamayo/Oklahoma West 39.525
Marina Goncalves/Oklahoma West 39.500
Alisha Robinson/Missouri North Central 39.500
Alexis Maday/Iowa Northeast 39.450
Ashley Shible/Denver North Central 39.300
Tanya Huey/Iowa State Central 39.250
TeShawne Jackson/W. Virginia Southeast 39.250
Aronda Primault/Kentucky Southeast 39.225
Heather Langham/Kent State Central 39.075
Annie Rue/Iowa Northeast 39.075
Kelly Mathiasen/ CS Fullerton South Central 39.025
Laura Moon/Arizona State South Central 38.900
Individual Event Qualifiers
Beam: Shelly Kringen/Iowa State Central 9.850
Floor: Courtney Turner/Rutgers Northeast 9.900
Arizona Versus the National Championship Field - During the 2002 regular season, Arizona competed against six of the 2002 National Championship teams. The Wildcats have faced Minnesota, Michigan, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA and Utah, and hold a 4-6 mark against the six teams. Arizona has faced UCLA three times going into the National Championship, with its only victory over the Bruins coming on Jan. 18, 195.175-195.000, in McKale Center. The Wildcats also posted a victory over Michigan at the Maui Invitational on Jan. 4. Arizona's only home loss of the season came against Minnesota on March 13. The Wildcats recorded dual meet losses on the road at Utah on Jan. 18 (196.100-197.150), at Stanford on Feb. 1 (195.175-197.250), and at Oregon State on Feb. 15 (195.625-196.475). At the Pac-10 Championships on March 23, UCLA finished in first place (197.625), Arizona placed second (197.050), Stanford finished third (196.150), and Oregon State came in fourth place (196.125).
Last Time Out - The No. 12 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team finished in second place (194.950) at the 2002 South Central Regional Championship on Saturday, April 6, to earn a berth to the 2002 National Championship. Arizona and South Central Regional Champions UCLA advanced to the National Championship. UCLA finished first with a score of 197.425, Arizona State placed third (194.875), Brigham Young took fourth place (194.000), Cal State Fullerton finished fifth (192.000), and Illinois-Chicago placed sixth (191.925).
The Wildcats were in third place trailing Arizona State after four rotations but jumped ahead of the Sun Devils after posting a 49.125 on beam. The Wildcats' mark of 49.125 was the second-highest beam score of the meet. Arizona also posted scores of 48.625 on vault, 48.600 on bars, and 48.600 on floor.
Individually for the Wildcats, senior Randi Liljenquist tied for first-place honors on beam with a score of 9.925. She also tied for seventh on vault (9.775) and finished eighth in the all-around (38.775).
Freshman Monica Bisordi placed fourth in the all-around (38.950) and tied for ninth place on beam (9.800), along with fellow freshmen Jamie Duce, Stevie Fanning and Katie Johnson. Bisordi and junior Nikki Beyschau both tied for ninth place on vault (9.750).
Head coach Bill Ryden was named the 2002 South Central Regional Coach of the Year, and Randi Liljenquist was named the 2002 South Central Regional Gymnast of the Year. Ryden becomes the first Arizona head coach to be named Regional Coach of the Year. He was named the Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 1992. Arizona has had two gymnasts named South Central Gymnast of the Year in consecutive years: Randi Liljenquist in 2002 and Kara Fry in 2001.
Changing the Record Books - Arizona has posted a top-10 team mark in each meet this season. On March 23, at the Pac-10 Championships, the Wildcats scored a 197.050, which is the highest total in team history. Arizona also set a new team record on vault, posting a 49.550 to place first at the Pac-10 Championships in the event. Arizona set a team beam record at Utah (49.325) on Jan. 18, and a team floor record (49.575) against Minnesota, Northern Illinois and Washington on Mar. 14. At the 2002 South Central Regional Championships, Arizona posted a 49.125 on beam, which is the fifth-best mark in school history. Arizona has posted 20 new top-10 team marks this season.
Top-10 Cats - So far this season, seven Wildcat gymnasts - Nikki Beyschau, Monica Bisordi, Stevie Fanning, Katie Johnson, Randi Liljenquist, Andi McCabe and Jamie Schell - have posted scores that rank among the top-10 individual scores in Arizona history. Senior Randi Liljenquist was the only Wildcat to set and tie an individual record during the 2002 regular season. Liljenquist posted a career-high and team record 10.000 on beam at Arizona State (3/1), becoming the first Wildcat to score a perfect 10.000 on beam in team history. She also tied a career-high and team-record 10.000 on floor against No. 11 Minnesota, Northern Illinois and Washington (3/14).
Leaders of the Pac - The Pacific-10 Conference is well-represented at the 2002 NCAA National Championships. Four Pac-10 teams - Arizona, Oregon State, Stanford and UCLA - have qualified for this year's NCAA meet. The Pac-10 and the SEC are tied with the most teams from one conference (4).
Wildcat Honors - Arizona gymnasts have received numerous individual awards this season. Senior Randi Liljenquist was named the 2002 South Central Regional Gymnast of the Year, and she earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors on floor and in the all-around. Freshman Katie Johnson was named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week (Jan. 29), the 2002 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and a first-team All-Pac-10 selection on floor. Freshman Monica Bisordi was named first-team All-Pac-10 on beam and in the all-around, and sophomore Andi McCabe was named first-team All-Pac-10 on vault. Senior Lindsay Compitello was named to the 2002 Pac-10 Conference All-Academic first team.
In his fourth year at the helm of the Wildcat program, head coach Bill Ryden was named the 2002 Pac-10 Coach of the Year and the 2002 South Central Regional Coach of the Year. Ryden owns a school and career record of 49-59-1.