No. 12 Arizona Gymnastics Hosts Final Home Meet of the Season Thursday

March 11, 2002

What's Coming Up - The No. 12 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team (8-5, 3-3 Pac-10) will host the No. 11 Minnesota Golden Gophers (10-5), the Northern Illinois Huskies (2-11) and the Washington Huskies (4-7) on Thursday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. (MST). Arizona looks to finish the regular season undefeated at home, after coming off a loss to No. 6 Oklahoma, 195.500-196.700, on March 10, in the Lloyd Noble Center.

Last Time Out - The No. 12 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team dropped a close road meet to the No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners, 195.500-196.700, on Sunday, March 10.

Arizona led Oklahoma by 0.275 following the vault and bars events, but the Sooners came back to score a 49.375 on beam and a 49.325 on floor the seal the win. Arizona won the team vault event with a 49.500 - the new No. 2 score on the Wildcat all-time top-10 list - and won the bars team event (48.775).

Individually for the Wildcats, junior Nikki Beyschau won the vault title with a career-high 9.950 to earn her first individual event win of the season. Sophomore Andi McCabe and senior Randi Liljenquist tied for third on vault (9.900). Liljenquist ended the meet as Arizona's top performer on beam, as she tied for fourth place with a 9.850. She also tied for third on floor with a 9.850 and finished third in the all-around with an overall score of 39.425.

Freshman Katie Johnson posted a career-high 9.875 on vault and tied fellow freshman Monica Bisordi (9.825) for fifth place in the event. Bisordi recorded a career-high 9.825 on bars and tied Liljenquist for third place in the event and finished fifth in the all-around (38.775). Freshman Stevie Fanning posted a career-high 9.750 in her first collegiate floor performance.

Scouting Minnesota - The No. 11 Minnesota Golden Gophers enter Thursday's meet with a 10-5 overall record. This season, the Golden Gophers rank third in the North Central Region, and the team's season-high total for the year is 196.725. Minnesota's regional qualifying score (RQS) is 195.955. The Golden Gophers rank No. 11 nationally on vault, No. 12 on bars, No. 11 on beam and No. 16 on floor. Minnesota has posted wins over No. 8 Stanford, Illinois, Ohio State, No. 10 Iowa State, No. 18 Iowa, No. 21 North Carolina, Cal State Fullerton, Winona State, Hamline and Gustavus Adolphus. The Golden Gophers have record loses to No. 5 Michigan (twice), No. 4 UCLA and No. 10 Iowa State. Minnesota has 10 returning letterwinners and two freshman newcomers. 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.

Scouting Northern Illinois - The Northern Illinois Huskies enter Thursday's meet with a 2-11 overall record. This season, the Huskies rank No. 11 in the South Central Region, and the team's season-high total for the year is 192.525. Northern Illinois owns an RQS of 189.320. The Huskies have posted victories over UW La Crosse and UW Whitewater. Northern Illinois has six returning letterwinners and nine freshman newcomers. Head Coach Mark Sontag (Southeast Missouri State, 1997) is in his third season at the helm of the Northern Illinois program and has a career and school record of 8-38.

Scouting Washington - The Washington Huskies return to Tucson after losing to the Wildcats on Feb. 22, 195.550- 193.225, in McKale Center. Washington owns a 4-7 overall record, and the team's season-high score for the year is 196.575. The Huskies rank No. 4 in the West Region with a RQS of 194.225. The Huskies have posted victories over Boise State, California, Seattle Pacific and No. 13 Arizona State. Washington has nine returning letterwinners and six freshman newcomers. Head Coach Bob Levesque (Fresno State, 1972) is in his 12th year at the helm of the Washington program and has a school and career record of 131-107-1.

Wildcats in the Rankings - Arizona began the 2002 season ranked No. 17 in the preseason coaches' poll. After posting a 195.550 against No. 6 Oklahoma (3/10), the Cats remain the No. 12-ranked team in the nation. The Wildcat's regional qualifying score is 195.635. Arizona remains third in the South Central Region behind No. 2 Nebraska and No. 1 Oklahoma. Arizona is the No. 2 team in the nation on vault, No. 11 on floor, No. 20 on bars and No. 21 on beam. Individually for the Wildcats, senior Randi Liljenquist is ranked No. 7 in the all-around, No. 14 on vault and No. 11 on beam. Liljenquist and freshman Katie Johnson are tied at No. 4 in the nation on floor, and sophomore Andi McCabe is No. 5 in the nation on vault. Freshman Monica Bisordi is No. 20 in the nation on vault and No. 18 on beam.

Regional Qualifying Score - Arizona has been able to hold a No. 12 national ranking due to its regional qualifying score (RQS). Since Feb. 25, all collegiate women's gymnastic teams have been ranked according to their RQS. A regional qualifying score is based on a team's top-six regular-season scores, with three scores coming from away meets. To obtain the regional qualifying score, the team's highest score is dropped and the remaining five scores are averaged.

A Look Ahead - Arizona travels to Palo Alto, Calif., for the 2002 Pac-10 Championship meet on Saturday, March 23, at 6 p.m. (PST).


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