Arizona Gymnastics Signs Five New Recruits

Nov. 13, 2008

Tucson, Ariz.-  The Arizona women’s gymnastics team has signed five new recruits, one in which will be competing come January, and four who will be joining in the 2009-2010 season. 

Among the new athletes include Britnie Jones of Phoenix, Ariz., Ellen Pitluck of Chicago, Ill., Mykle Douglas of Plano, TX., Molly Quirk of Albany, NY., and Aubree Cristello of Schenectady, NY.

“All of these gymnasts are truly a perfect fit for our program, and will help take us to the next level,” said head coach Bill Ryden. “They all agree with our philosophy of gymnastics and it will be an exciting season.”

Britnie Jones, the latest newcomer, will be graduating high school one semester early and enrolling in the University of Arizona in January.  She will then begin competing with the team at that time. 

“She will make an immediate impact on beam, floor, and bars, along with complementing those who are already here,” said Ryden. “It is a great time for her to come in, especially in a year that we are lacking depth.  With her skill level, she will certainly distinguish herself, but she will not have the one semester to adjust as the other freshmen have.”

Next come two gymnasts from New York who are already training partners at their club World Class Gymnastics.  Aubree Cristello and Molly Quirks will join the team in the fall of 2009.

“These girls are true all-arounders,” Ryden said, “they will challenge for competing time on all of the events and both have very different styles.  Aubree has a very powerful style and Molly has a more classical style.  They will raise the skill level of our team.”

Mykle Douglas will also join this talented group, coming from the club of WOGA in Texas, a gym who has coached gymnasts like recent Olympic champion Nastia Luikin.

“Mykle is an exciting gymnast to watch, and she will definitely be a crowd pleaser,” Ryden said, “She is a very skilled and powerful gymnast on vault, floor, and beam, while her bars are developing to those levels now.  Her family is athletic, and so she is a natural athlete.”

The final gymnast of the ‘09-’10 recruiting class is Ellen Pitluck.  She comes from Chicago, Ill. and will no doubt bring a lot of experience from another distinguished club, IGI.

“Her current club is one of the top in the nation and her best event is bars,” coach Ryden stated. “She is a powerful bar swinger and is capable and wants to do big routines. She is really like a toy and is willing to try anything.”

Overall, the tradition of high level Arizona gymnastics will most certainly continue in the upcoming years.

“When these athletes are with us, the seniors will be Miranda Russell and Sarah Tomczyk (Specht) which says a lot.  Many of these girls already know each other because they have competed with each other at nationals and have come to our high skills camp and so the comfort level is already there and it feels like a very good fit. It is one of the greatest recruiting classes we have had.”

The 2009-2010 season will begin in January of 2010 with these newly signed recruits in action.

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