Arizona Gymnastics Opens Official Practice for 2002-03 Season

Sept. 24, 2002

Tucson, Ariz. (Sept. 24) - The University of Arizona women's gymnastics teamheld its first official team practice on Tuesday, in preparation for theupcoming 2002-03 season.

'Today is the process of finding out where we sit on each event,' head coachBill Ryden said. 'We will be making coaching decisions on the best pathfor each athlete and on what's going to be the best for our program in general.'

The Wildcats will begin workouts geared toward developing the individualskills of the gymnasts in each event.

'We have a lot of great talent on this team,' Ryden said. 'We just needto get it pointed to the best direction for us to be successful. We wantto build our depth with quality routines in all four events, so we are notlimited to six athletes on an event.'

Arizona enjoyed one of its most successful seasons in school history in 2002.With a team composed mainly of underclassmen, Arizona made its 16th consecutivepostseason appearance and its first trip to the National Championships since1996. The Wildcats finished the year with a No. 11 national ranking and anoverall record of 19-13.

This year's team will return 13 gymnasts from last year's squad and willhave three freshman newcomers.

'Obviously our goal early on is to make it to the national championship,' sophomoreJamie Duce said. 'Right now we are trying to work hard individually andwork together as a team so we can be successful when the season starts.'

Arizona will open its 2003 season in Minneapolis, Minn., against the MinnesotaGolden Gophers on Saturday, Jan. 11, at 7 p.m. CST.

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