No. 7 Arizona Gymnastics Battles No. 4 Utah Friday

Jan. 14, 2002

What's Coming Up - The No. 7 Arizona women's gymnastics team (5-0, 0-0 Pac-10) travels to Salt Lake City, Utah, to face the No. 4 Utah Utes Friday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. The Wildcats fell to the Utes last season 193.925-196.400 on Jan. 27, 200, the McKale Center. The Wildcats take to the road for its first dual meet of the season at Utah's Huntsman Center. Arizona was victorious in its first home meet of the year on Jan. 11 by defeating Boise State and Brown University. The Wildcats won all four team events and all five individual events to finish in first-place with a score of 195.400. The Cats gained two victories to improve their regular season record to 5-0. Arizona's 5-0 mark to open the season is the best regular-season start since 1996 when the Wildcats started out 9-0.

Last Time Out - The No. 17 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team defeated Boise State and Brown University in its first home meet on Jan. 11 in McKale Center. The Wildcats finished in first place with a score of 195.400, beating second-place Boise State (189.250) and third-place Brown (186.000).

Arizona placed first in all four team events, posting season-highs of 48.725 on bars and 48.275 on beam. Arizona's 49.125 on vault became the new No.5 team-high mark in school history, while the Wildcat's score of 49.275 on floor tied the sixth-best team mark in school history. The Wildcats also took top individual honors in all four team events.

Individually, senior Randi Liljenquist scored a 39.250 to win the all-around title and finished in first place on beam (9.900). Liljenquist took first place on vault, tying a career-high 9.900. Freshman Katie Johnson scored a 9.900 to win her second straight floor event and tied for third place on beam with a career-high 9.775. Freshman Monica Bisordi had a solid performance for the Wildcats, finishing in second place on beam (9.875), third place on vault (9.825) and third-place on bars (9.750). Freshman Jamie Duce took first place on bars, scoring a personal-best 9.850.

Sophomore Andi McCabe helped pace the Wildcats with a second-place finish on vault (9.875). Junior Nikki Beyschau finished in second on bars with a 9.775 and tied for fifth on vault (9.725). Andi McCabe, Jamie Duce and freshman Jamie Schell shared second-place honors on floor, with each gymnast scoring a 9.850.

Scouting Utah - The Utah Utes are regarded as one of the premier women's gymnastics programs in the country. Last season, Utah finished the season with a 13-1-1 mark. The Utes finished first at the NCAA North Central Regional Championship and tied for fifth at the NCAA Championship (196.025). Utah opened the 2002 season with a home win over No.16 Ohio State 196.20-193.80 on Jan. 11. Utah returns nine gymnasts from last season's squad, including seven returning All-Americans and two freshman newcomers. Head Coach Greg Marsden is in his 27th year at the helm of the Utah gymnastics program and has posted a career record of 744-113-5. Under Marsden, the Utes have won 10 national championships. At home, Utah has not lost a regular season event in Huntsman Center in 22 years.

Wildcats in the Rankings - Arizona began the 2002 season ranked No. 17 in the preseason coaches poll. After posting team scores of 194.650 (Jan. 4) and 195.400 (Jan. 11), the Wildcats have earned a No. 7 national ranking and a No. 2 South Central Regional behind No. 1 Nebraska. Arizona is No. 4 in the national rankings on vault and No. 5 on floor. Individually for the Cats, senior Randi Liljenquist is the No. 6 nationally in the all-around. Liljenquist is also ranked No. 12 on vault, No. 7 on floor and No. 6 on beam. Sophomore Andi McCabe is ranked No. 5 nationally on vault, freshman Jamie Duce is No. 20 on bars, and freshman Katie Johnson is No. 7 on floor. Freshman Monica Bisordi is ranked No. 24 nationally on vault and No. 10 on beam.

Ryden's Weekly Analysis - 'Friday's meet against Utah will be the biggest test for our team so far this season. Utah is a quality team and competes in an environment found nowhere else in collegiate gymnastics. How we handle the pressure of a large crowd will determine our performance during the meet. Our freshmen have been a pleasant surprise so far this season and have proven their abilities. Our plan is to go out there and compete and limit our mistakes.'

A Look Ahead - Arizona will next play host the No. 2 UCLA Bruins on Friday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m. MST in McKale Center. Arizona's meet against UCLA will be the first Pac-10 encounter for the Wildcats this season.


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