No. 12 Arizona Gymnastics Finishes Sixth in the First Session of the 2002 National Championships

April 18, 2002

Tuscaloosa, Ala. (April 18) - The No. 12 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team finished sixth in the first session of the 2002 National Championships on Thursday, April 18, in front of a crowd of 5,510, in the University of Alabama's Coleman Coliseum. Arizona posted a team total of 194.975, the team's second-highest mark at the National Championship meet. No. 4 Utah placed first in afternoon session with a score of 196.775, No. 3 Georgia placed second (196.650), No. 8 Nebraska finished third (196.575), No. 5 Michigan placed fourth (196.275) and No. 6 Louisiana State finished fifth (195.850). Utah, Georgia and Nebraska earned automatic bids to the 'Super Six' championship meet on Friday, April 19 at 7 p.m. (CST). Arizona finishes the 2002 season with an overall record of 19-13.

In her final collegiate meet as a Wildcat, senior Randi Liljenquist earned second-team All-American honors on bars. Liljenquist posted a team-high 9.825 to tie for sixth place in the event. Liljenquist also posted scores of 9.825 on vault, 9.600 on beam, 9.800 on floor and 39.050 in the all-around.

The Wildcats began the meet on beam and scored a 48.475 in the first rotation. Freshman Katie Johnson led the way for Arizona, posting a team high 9.775 in the event. After a second rotation bye, Arizona posted a 48.975 on floor in the third rotation, led by Johnson's team high 9.850, which was good for 11th place in the event.

The Wildcats entered the fourth rotation on vault, posting a 48.825 in the event, led by Liljenquist's mark of 9.825. After a bye in the fifth rotation, the Wildcats scored a 48.700 on bars in the final rotation of the Championships. Arizona, the No. 12 seed in the 2002 National Championships, made its 10th championship appearance in school history.

'We had a great year,' head coach Bill Ryden said. 'Our team had a really gutsy performance. I'm very proud of the team, they hung tough the entire meet.'

'We worked so hard to get this team back here to the National Championships, Ryden said. 'I feel great about this team's future. This championship meet was a turning point for our program.'

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