Gymcats Newsletter

Feb. 9, 2009

The Newsletter of The University of Arizona GymCats

Dear Friends, Alumni & Boosters,

Intrasquads Nickel & Dime (plus a few Quarters). That was the theme of our second intrasquad. A very grueling first semester was over and we all were excited, tired, and ready for something new - all at once. The team had worked hard to increase the difficulty of the floor routines beyond the NCAA standard and this intrasquad would be the first time the judges would let us know how we were doing. Eleven athletes performed and received scores. The judges marks were on the conservative side but were deserved I believe for this time of year. The majority of the team (seven) finishes their floor routines with double saltos and maybe it was nerves, maybe fatigue, but quite a few came up short. Besides that, a bunch of .05 & .1 execution deductions lowered the scores. Our floor team will be very good in the long run but it was obvious that we weren't quite there yet.Our second event of the day was bars where 90% of the routines performed are different from a year ago. It was the same theme as floor where we have really started to push the edge, difficulty wise, but paid a price with some falls. Follow that with a bunch of the same .05 & .1 deductions and the results were pretty average (a full-twisting double layout isn't quite as spectacular with steps). I believe that the bar team also could be special as the athletes mature and gain confidence.Katie and Miranda performed beam routines that have been changed since the first intrasquad. The athletes have really been trying to use the evaluations to make positive changes in the performances. Overall, the scores were nothing to brag about. The most important thing is the feedback and application of the information. With these two intrasquads behind us, all that is left is to train hard and get ready for January 10th in Minneapolis.

Floor Uneven Bars 1 Uneven Bars 2 BeamErica 9.325 8.8Beamer 8.575 9.65 9.75Becca 9.45 8.9 9.5Talyn 9.625 9.1Colleen 9.05 9.65Deanna 9.375 9.625Alexis 9.575 9.3 9.7Katie 9.65Miranda 9.475 9.625 9.625Kristen 9.175 9.55Sarah 9.65 9.775Bree 9.65

January 10 It some ways, the past four months of the year had gone by in a blink. With all of the training and upgrading of almost every routine in the gym, rookie & veteran alike, it definitely felt as if we could still use polishing on all the new skills. On the other hand, the team had worked very hard and was getting mentally weary. The start of the season would be a good boost to everyone's psyche and rejuvenate the energy in the gym. We all know that this team has very high potential but potential means nothing if it doesn't happen in front of the judges. Not only did we have a large number of freshmen who would have to step up and mature quickly but the veterans also are all in new leadership positions. I felt that there may be a few bumps in the road this season but the end result would be well worth it. For our first meet of the season, we traveled north to Minneapolis to meet the University of Minnesota in a dual meet. We were planning on competing 18 new routines out of the 24 (this included every bar routine). Maybe a little risky but at Arizona, this has been a teaching program ever since Mr. Gault arrived and it is what I believe in. We may have far more difficulty than we need but the team thrives on this and none of us would be happy simply performing the easiest possible routine that starts at a 10.0. Smart? Up for interpretation. But I am proud of the team for this commitment. We started out on bars and the line-up would be: Colleen, Becca, Alexis, Miranda, Beamer, Sarah and Britnie performing exhibition. We had a pretty decent warm-up considering there was so much new going on. Colleen got herself ready, saluted the head judge, and began our first routine of the 2009 season. Even though this was her first competitive bar routine in nearly two years, she did a fine job starting us off. A couple of big steps on her dismount lowered her score to a 9.575. The honor of our first freshman routine went to Becca. She may have been nervous but if so, she handled it well. She stepped up, saluted, and hit a nice routine for a 9.7. Alexis was up third with yet another bar routine to compete in her collegiate career. This one has some nice in-bar variations and is fun to watch. She hit a good set with some dismount deductions lowering her score to a 9.675. Miranda was up fourth and you definitely knew that you were up in her part of the country by the fan reaction. Unfortunately, Miranda went a little too 'big' on her Deltchev, causing her to fall. She also had a fall on her dismount and her final score was an 8.35. Beamer was up next with her completely new routine. She had a great set going until the dismount where she felt she had the full-twisting double layout but was a little short and put her knees down for a fall. Her score from the judges was a 9.275. Sarah was our final routine in the regular line-up and it was also her first time for her new, high-flying routine. She just missed regrasping her Toe-on Tkatchev falling to the mat about 11 feet below her. She finished up with a good dismount and the judges scored her at 9.225. Our final routine of bars was Britnie. She has only been with us 2 weeks so we needed to see where she stood from the judges' standpoint. She gave her routine a great try but slipped off the bar going for her dismount. The fall and loss of requirements lowered her score to an 8.9. Overall, a 47.425, 3 missed routines with 4 falls (5 if you count Britnie) was a rough way to start the season. We were ready physically for these routines but obviously need more work mentally. That will come every week with experience. We regrouped ourselves and marched to our second event. Our next event was vault where the line-up was: Talyn, Colleen, Bree, Sarah, Deanna, and Miranda. Warm-up was good, not great. We have a good vaulting team and as others on the team challenge for the line-up later in the season, I think we will be great. This being the first meet, we were just focusing on hitting. Talyn stepped up to lead off and as our second freshman exercise, she did a great job. Her vault starts at a 9.9 and she received a 9.625 from the judges. Colleen was up next and hit a very nice vault for a 9.775. Bree was up next and followed Colleen's lead for an outstanding effort and a 9.825. Sarah was up fourth but under rotated her vault and fell. Her score was a 9.15. Deanna was up next for her first collegiate performance and didn't disappoint. She did a very nice vault and a big step lowered her score to a 9.8. Miranda finished up our vaulting by landing her vault and receiving a 9.675. I was happy that the team had come back strongly after bars. We still had another fall but it only hurt us a little this time. Our event score was a 48.7 and our current total was 96.125. Our third event of the evening was floor and our line-up was: Alexis, Becca, Colleen, Miranda, Bree, Sarah and both Beamer and Deanna performing exhibition. Alexis got us off to a good start with a 9.675. Becca followed with another good routine but an out-of-bounds deduction gave her a score 9.625. Colleen debuted her new, more difficult routine next and received a 9.75 from the judges. Miranda had a few missteps but a solid routine for a 9.675. Bree was up fifth and showed that she is ready this year on more than just vault. She performed a great routine for a 9.85. Sarah finished up our regular line-up and hit a great set of her own earning the team a 9.8. Beamer saluted for the first exhibition and performed well but fell on her final tumbling pass, scoring an 8.95 from the judges. Deanna performed our final floor routine next. Even with a missed second pass she received a respectable 9.525. Our event score was a 48.75 and we had clawed our way to within .6 of Minnesota with a running score of 144.875. The team had performed very well for two events in a row but we still had a challenge ahead of us as we marched to beam. Our last event of the meet was balance beam and the line-up would be: Colleen, Alexis, Britnie, Miranda, Katie, Beamer with both Sarah and Kristen performing exhibition. Colleen started us off with a hit routine and a 9.55. Alexis was next and even though there were some balance errors, she fought for a 9.475. Britnie was up third but a rather obvious case of nerves caused her to fall on her series and score of 9.15. Miranda was up next and even though she was performing a new routine, it was her best of the evening and received a 9.775. Katie was up next and went hard for her set. She couldn't keep her acro series on the beam and scored a 9.175. Beamer was our final competition beam routine and was determined to hit beam after her previous two events. She literally tumbled sideways down the beam on her 3-acro series but somehow managed to stay on. She finished her set and scored a 9.725. Sarah was our first exhibition and she hit a nice set scoring a 9.625. Kristen was our final routine of the meet and it sort of epitomized our whole evening. She was a little off, took a fall, and scored an 8.975. Our event score was a 47.7 It certainly was not the start we thought we were going to have. We have a lot of people in new situations this year, new & experienced alike. We have increased the level of gymnastics significantly. And there were nerves all the way around. 18 of the 24 routines were brand new. None of it is an excuse. We had 7 falls in 6 routines and many of the others had a number of significant errors. If we decide to compete these routines, we are accountable for the results. We will put everything we have into taking the lessons from this meet and using them to help propel for the rest of the season.

Arizona @ Minnesota Bars Vault Floor BeamBeamer 9.275 8.95 9.725Becca 9.7 9.625Talyn 9.625Colleen 9.575 9.775 9.75 9.55Deanna 9.8 9.525Alexis 9.65 9.675 9.475Britnie 8.9 9.2Katie 9.175Miranda 8.35 9.675 9.675 9.775Kristen 8.975Sarah 9.225 9.15 9.8 9.675Bree 9.825 9.85

January 18 Our second meet of the season was also our second road trip. This time it was out west to Los Angeles to meet UCLA. We flew in on Saturday and were able to spend some time at the home of Katie (Johnson) Ranne as she had the team over for lunch. As one of our honored alumni, it was nice for the younger team members to spend time with her. Rachelle Silberg, who graduated last year, also came over to be with the team. Katie and her husband Jason have a very nice home and it was interesting to look through their 'Arizona' room which had memorabilia of both of their athletic careers at the U of A. Then it was off for a little shopping and back to the hotel. This trip was short and to the point. We were focused to improve on our performance from the week before. The team got up early and prepared for our Sunday afternoon competition. Since it was another dual meet, our order of events was just like last week: Bars, Vault, Floor, and Beam. We had really mixed things up in workout preparing for this competition but the Bar line-up was not one of them. I felt that the same individuals just had to grow and get better while taking some lumps. Our line-up was then: Colleen, Becca, Alexis, Miranda, Beamer, Sarah and Erica performing exhibition. Colleen looked good all week and took the lessons from Minnesota to heart as she started us off with a better set than last week and 9.725. Becca saluted next and although she didn't have any major breaks, she did have a number of small execution errors and steps that lowered her score to a 9.6. Alexis was up third and for the first ¾ of her routine, only a missed HS was a problem. However she had a little difficulty on her dismount the judges scored her set at a 9.65. Miranda was up next and was over-pumped for the start of her routine. Her piked back-uprise flew past the HS and from there it was 'ad-lib city'. She was able to throw in some skills and get the routine back on track but the damage was done. Her score was a 9.35. Beamer was next and other than some execution deductions in her mount sequence she had a pretty good routine, sticking her full-twisting double layout. The errors in the beginning cost her though as she received a 9.7. Sarah was up for our final scoring routine and definitely improved on her Minnesota experience, catching her big release but missed handstands and steps lowered her score to a 9.65. Erica performed our final bar routine but had the bar slip out of her hands on her Jaeger. She hit pretty hard and came up a bit woozy. She soldiered on through the rest of her set but it just wasn't there. She scored an 8.275. Our event score was a 48.325. We had made routines but had not hit routines. We had big difficulty but substandard execution. It was a very small step forward from last week and we put it behind us as we marched to our next event. On vault, the line-up was also the same as last week: Talyn, Colleen, Bree, Sarah, Deanna, and Miranda. Talyn was not feeling that well but was able to start us off with a vault to her feet and a 9.55. Colleen had a very good vault going in the air but assumed her landing a bit soon, causing the land forward and step. Her score was a 9.675. Bree was up next and really nailed her block on the table. It was huge and even with a hop she received a 9.9 from the judges. Sarah was having problems with her block all day but managed to land her vault with some steps and scored a 9.65. Deanna loves to vault and you can tell. She boomed one and even with some landing deductions, her score was a 9.825. Miranda is still working to get her vault back to her usual consistency. She had some execution deductions in the air and landing for a 9.6. Our event score was a 48.65 and our running score was a 96.975. It was not a great vault performance as a team but both Bree and Deanna had standout performances. The mental side of the competition was going better with controlled anxiety and emotion. We were 'nickel & dimeing' ourselves to death though. I was confident things would keep getting better as we marched to third and currently best event. After last week's meet and the week's training, we decided on some changes to the floor line-up: Becca, Colleen, Deanna, Miranda, Bree, Sarah and Talyn performing in exhibition. Becca started us off and she is a bouncy thing. Unfortunately it was an example of something being both a blessing and a curse. Her tumbling is very high and dynamic but she had some control problems on her landings and bounced out-of-bounds twice. Her score was a 9.45. Colleen was next and hit a nice routine but almost followed Becca off the floor on her second pass. Those deductions lowered her score to a 9.7. Deanna saluted next for her first floor performance in the official line-up. She did great job nailing her double Arabian perfectly. It was a very good routine and VERY, VERY CONSERVATIVE score of 9.825 was awarded. (If you get my drift - watch the video!) Miranda was up next and hit a very good set for a 9.775. Bree was up fifth and hit a very nice routine that I also felt was scored interestingly at 9.75. Sarah finished our scoring routines with a very nice routine. Some landing deductions on her opening full-in reduced her score to a 9.825. Talyn saluted seventh for her first floor routine of her collegiate career. She wasn't up to her best and some problems on her tumbling passes lowered her score to an 8.7. Some of the marks really made me scratch my head but overall I was pleased. The team was getting better, event by event. Our floor total was 48.875 and our running score was 145.85. Our final event for the day was also the event we had the most questions on. We spent the week working over routines and trying to figure out who would be the best on the event for the weekend. In the end, we simply had to go with who was looking the best and feeling the best in the previous week's practices. Our line-up for this week was: Colleen, Kristen, Sarah, Miranda, Katie, and Beamer. Colleen had restructured her routine over the past week and it surely helped. Even with some unwanted balance checks she received a score of 9.675 as our leadoff routine. Kristen was up next for her first time in the official line-up this season. Unfortunately, she had a fall on her 3-flight series. She finished up very well to salvage a score of 9.2. Sarah was up for her first time in the official beam line-up in her collegiate career. She was very focused and managed to stay on but execution and neutral deductions really hurt her and she received a 9.4. Miranda was up fourth and she seems to be in a groove on this event. She performed a fine set that even with some significant deductions on her dismount, received a 9.75. Katie was up fifth and was very determined to perform successfully after her shaky start the previous week. She nailed her series perfectly but then got a little tight causing some balance checks that lowered her score to a 9.625. Beamer was up in the anchor spot but had maybe the worst routine I have ever seen from her in an Arizona leotard. She aborted her series short but was able to hang on and finish her set. A very unusual routine for Beamer and one that seemed to really sting a bit from the coach's standpoint. Her score was a 9.325 and we were done for the day. Our beam event score was a 47.825, and not the way we wanted to finish the meet. Our final team total was 193.675. It was definitely a learning meet and one that will help us move forward. We shined in the difficulty battle but the execution battle was our downfall. We accomplished a few things but obviously have a ways to go. I really think this team can really shine but a lot of the gymnasts will have to become accustom to their new roles in the line-up. It will be nice to return to the comfort of home as we get ready for the first meet of the year in McKale Center.

Arizona @ UCLA Bars Vault Floor BeamErica 8.275Beamer 9.7 9.375Becca 9.6 9.45Talyn 9.55 8.7Colleen 9.725 9.675 9.7 9.675Deanna 9.825 9.825Alexis 9.65Katie 9.625Miranda 9.35 9.6 9.775 9.75Kristen 9.2Sarah 9.65 9.65 9.825 9.4Bree 9.9 9.75

January 23 After two rather rough, learning weeks, our first meet at home couldn't come soon enough. The team was very excited about performing in front of their home crowd and the coaches were looking forward to the emotional boost. We had a very good week of training that finished up with us finding out that Britnie was actually not injured as was first feared. The news came a little late for her to prepare for the competition but everyone else was healthy at the beginning of our first meet in McKale Center. Pac-10 foe Oregon St. was in town and I was sure that our fans were going to get a great show. As the home team, we competed in Olympic order which meant our first event was vault. For this meet, I changed the order but not the competitors. The line-up was: Talyn, Miranda, Colleen, Bree, Sarah, and Deanna. As the 3-minute touch before competition was ending, Sarah rolled her ankle. Quickly, I called on Alexis to take off her warm-up and take 2 touches to perform a backup vault. She hadn't been planning on vaulting at all so had not performed in the regular warm-up, this was completely cold but I felt the team needed the security of 6 vaults even if they weren't the 10.0 SV we would like. As Talyn was getting ready to salute, Sarah came to me to let me know she was ok. Because of the incident, she had not been able to warm-up her vault properly to compete so I decided to keep Alexis in the number 5 spot. Finally after the drama, Talyn saluted and started us off with a pretty good vault for a 9.55. Miranda was looking very good, back in the groove and vaulting like her old self. She performed second and a landing deduction kept her score at a 9.75. Colleen was next and hit a very good vault for a 9.775. There had been some confusion with the judges about the fact that the competitors from the team were supposed to alternate so I stopped Bree to try and get the meet back on track. By this time we had performed 3 vaults and Oregon St. had not performed a single bar routine. I assumed that we would let OSU catch up but after a single bar routine, the head judge on vault signaled for Bree to go. Although caught off guard, Bree didn't let it get to her as she hit a great effort for a 9.85. Alexis then stepped up and hit a much simpler vault than she would normally perform. She received a 9.5 for a vault that was called on only minutes before. Deanna finished off our first event with a nice vault that had a big landing deduction but scored a 9.8. Overall it was a somewhat shaky start with all the switching and confusion but the team held it together for an event score of 48.725. The immediate decisions I had to make due to Sarah's fall didn't just stop at vault. I was planning on our usual line-up: Colleen, Becca, Alexis, Miranda, Beamer, and Sarah. Because Britnie was not scheduled to perform at all, I had her go through a workout prior to the meet. But because I was not sure of Sarah's status, I had her run back up to the gym and get her grips, and do a few things in the one-touch warm-up in case we needed her. After the one touch, I decided to keep Sarah in the line-up and we all hoped that this drama was behind us. Colleen did a great job getting everybody's head back in the game as she hit a great set for a 9.775. Becca saluted next for her first routine of the meet and did a great job for a 9.8. Alexis was up third and really had a good routine going but traveled a bit on her dismount, causing some landing errors that lowered her score to a 9.75. Miranda was up next and was doing quite well for the first half of her set but her hand slipped as she transitioned from the high bar to the low bar. She was able to keep going without missing a beat but the little deductions lowered her score to a 9.725. Beamer was up fifth and in reality, had been waiting a longer time to just hit her set and show everyone her new stuff. The home court obviously agrees with her and she hit probably the best routine of her collegiate career and certainly the most difficult and received a 9.875 from the judges. Sarah was last and had a lot to overcome with all the distractions that had happened. Overcome them she did as she hit a really fine routine for a 9.8 with a step on her dismount. It was a very good bar rotation for the team. We are still very green with these routines and scoring a 49.0 was an excellent step for us. Our running team score was a 97.725 and we marched to our third event with a good energy and commitment to keep things going. We had altered the beam line-up again for this meet as we search for that perfect combination that gives us our best scoring opportunity. The line-up for this meet would be: Colleen, Alexis, Kristen, Miranda, Katie, and Beamer with Deanna performing exhibition. Colleen was saluted and mounted the beam and almost immediately had a problem with her series. She was able to stay on and her experience as a competitor showed as she adlibbed her routine, repeating her series right before her dismount and scoring a 9.7. Alexis was up next and performed a very good routine. Taking a tenth on a full turn was about her biggest single deduction and her score was a 9.75. Kristen was up third and started off very strong nailing her three-flight series. After that it was a number of balance checks and a big landing deduction to receive a 9.6 from the judges. Miranda was up next and had a pretty good routine going herself up until her dismount. She landed just a little bit under-twisted and jammed her knee. She was able to remain standing long enough to salute the judges before falling to the mat. The judges awarded her a 9.625 even with problem on the dismount. Katie was up fifth and finally put together that beam routine that all of us knew she had in her. Her new collegiate high was now a 9.8. Beamer saluted next for our final routine of the regular line-up and like Katie, hit a beam routine that made her smile. She also received a 9.8 from the judges. Deanna came up seventh for her first collegiate beam routine. She did a great job as she remained steady and poised to score a 9.725. It was a pretty good beam rotation and certainly the best one of the year so far. We had stayed on seven routines and scored 48.675 for the event. We still have some room to grow on this event but the team was competing very well. Our running meet score was 146.4 as we gathered ourselves and marched to our final event. Our final event was floor which had been our strongest event during the previous meets. We were unsure about Miranda's knee so I altered the intended line-up to: Alexis, Colleen, Deanna, Becca, Bree, and Sarah. Alexis completed her impromptu all-around competition with a very nice routine and a 9.775 to get us started. Colleen then saluted and nailed her fourth routine of the meet for a 9.8. Deanna had been very consistent on her double Arabian as of late but this night it wasn't there as she sat down her first pass. She completed her routine well but the fall and loss of bonus lowered her score to a 9.175. Becca got us back on track with her best floor routine of the year, a great routine and a 9.825. Bree fought through her set, having difficulties on all three passes but never falling. She scored a 9.575. It was up to Sarah to keep us from counting a fall and there was that issue of the rolled ankle at the beginning of the meet. Sarah was confident and it showed. She performed a great routine for a 9.875 from the judges. It was a good finish to a good meet. Our event score was a 48.85 and our final team score was a 195.25. After all the drama and confusion at the beginning of the meet, the sudden line-up changes, and watching teammates injured, I was very proud of how the team had competed. We grew some more during this meet and gained more confidence that will carry over to the rest of the season. Individually, a lot of the gymnasts began to compete like we expect them to. Colleen keeps getting better each week in her new role of all-arounder. Beamer is getting the hang of her new routines. Both Alexis and Miranda seem to be getting back in the groove little by little. All of the freshmen are making valuable contributions to the scoring and both Sarah and Bree are developing into consistent high scoring competitors. I still think we have some growing to do but it feels good to get a decent meet under our belts.

Arizona vs. Oregon St. Vault Bars Beam FloorBeamer 9.875 9.8Becca 9.8 9.825Talyn 9.55Colleen 9.775 9.775 9.7 9.8Deanna 9.8 9.725 9.175Alexis 9.5 9.75 9.75 9.775Katie 9.8Miranda 9.75 9.725 9.625Kristen 9.6Sarah 9.8 9.875Bree 9.85 9.575

January 30 Our last meet of January was a home competition against Pac-10 rival, Stanford. I felt good about the improvement the team had made the previous meet and the changes we had made over the week. The largest issue for the team was the news that Miranda had sustained a season-ending injury on beam last week. Miranda was named 2nd Team All-Conference in the all-around last year and has been a big part of our scoring punch ever since she stepped into the line-up her freshman year. After the initial shock, I was confident that the team could step up and keep our team on the proper path.Our first event was vault and Miranda's absence might have the biggest affect here. We were already struggling on vault and losing Miranda's vault wasn't going to help. Alexis performed well on vault last year until her injury at Regionals. She had been working hard to come back but we weren't sure when that would be. When Miranda went down, Alexis stepped up. A good week of practice and the line-up was set at: Talyn, Alexis, Sarah, Colleen, Bree, and Deanna. Talyn did her usual steady job starting us off with a good effort and a 9.55. Alexis saluted for her first competitive vault of the year and came through with a great effort and a 9.725. We switched Sarah's place in the line-up hoping to help her put down a vault like we see in practice. Something made a difference as Sarah performed one of her best vaults in competition and was awarded a 9.875 from the judges. Colleen followed her by matching her own personal best and a 9.85. Bree has been vaulting well all year and this night was no different as she earned us our second 9.85 in a row. The final vault was Deanna's and she blasted one for her first 9.9. It was a great start for the team with an event score of 49.2.We rotated to bars and it was decided that Britnie would be placed in the line-up in place of Miranda's absence. Erica had been working hard to come back from back problems and had been practicing well. The line-up was set at: Colleen, Becca, Britnie, Alexis, Beamer, Sarah and Erica in exhibition. Colleen has been doing a great job leading off bars and hit another set to lead us off with a 9.725. Becca saluted next and really hit a nice routine and set a new career high of 9.825. Britnie was up third and saluted for her first time in the official line-up. Unfortunately, it wasn't as she would have hoped as she fell over on a pirouette. She finished up well but the fall resulted in a score of 9.2. Alexis got the team back on track with a nice hit routine and a 9.75. Beamer was up next and immediately had a problem as she miss-timed her first skill. She managed to stay on the bar and finish her routine. The errors cost her though as she received a 9.45 from the judges. Sarah was up next and the pressure was on to salvage the event score. She went long on her release move though and fell to the mat. She finished well and scored a 9.275. Erica saluted next and even though her teammates had problems in front of her, she was confident in her routine. She had to alter her dismount but it was a good routine for a 9.525. Obviously, it wasn't the bar rotation I was hoping for. Our event score was a 48.025, basically leaving a point 'on the table'. Our running meet score was a 97.225 and as I pulled the team together, we focused on forgetting the immediate past and looking forward to a great beam rotation.Quite a few athletes had been working very hard on beam and we decided to look at a number of them. Britnie was placed in the line-up spot vacated by Miranda with both Sarah and Deanna performing exhibition. The line-up was: Colleen, Alexis, Kristen, Britnie, Katie and Beamer, with Sarah and Deanna following. Colleen saluted first and performed an adlib routine just as she had a week before. It was a different routine, but she managed to get in all her requirements and stay on. She received a 9.625 from the judges. It only tells you what she could possibly score without the 'additional' choreography. Alexis was up next and she too had some of the same problems she had had last week. She did stay on and received a 9.675 from the judges. Kristen was up third and hit a solid routine for a 9.65. So far, it was not the best beam rotation. We were staying on, but not performing really well. Britnie saluted next and changed that. She really showed her capabilities on a very difficult routine that got the judges attention. Her score was a 9.875 and it was good to get out of the '9.6' range. Katie was up next and just like Colleen, problems arose and she adlibbed the routine without falling. And just like Colleen, it definitely cost her as her score was a 9.55. Beamer was really focused as she was intent on coming back from her bar mishap and it showed. She hit her best beam routine in quite a while and received a 9.9. Sarah was up next performing in exhibition. She had a fall on her routine and the resulting score was an 8.975. Deanna was up next for our last routine of the rotation and also had a fall. Her score was a 9.175. Except for the exhibition routines, it was our best beam rotation of the season and our event score was 48.725. We all were very confident as we rotated to our best event with a running meet score of 145.95.After the let down on bars, I really felt that if we could pull back to a 195, it would be a moral victory for the team. Obviously, it was going to take and outstanding effort to score 49+ and make that possible. We decided to keep the line-up the same as last week: Alexis, Colleen, Deanna, Becca, Bree and Sarah. Alexis started us off right with a solid hit routine and a 9.7. Colleen stepped up and helped the team even further by building off of Alexis and scoring a 9.775. Deanna had something to prove in her own mind after missing her floor routine the week before. And prove it she did as she hit her best to date and received a 9.85 for her efforts. Becca was up fourth and didn't disappoint as she hit her own personal best and a 9.875. After the two freshmen, it was time for the veterans to finish off the competition. Bree saluted next and hit a very good routine scoring a 9.85. Sarah was our final routine of the night and it was great. Sarah hit a great set and scored our second 9.875. It was great floor rotation with an event score of 49.225.As the final results were tallied, we had fallen short of defeating Stanford by 4 tenths of a point. I was satisfied that we had battled back to get a badly needed 195. Individually, there were a number of outstanding performances. On vault, there was Alexis coming back to help the team along with Sarah's and Deanna's excellent efforts. On beam, both Britnie and Beamer had amazing routines. I believe our floor team is one of the best in the nation and four routines at 9.85+ is a good reason why. The team keeps showing both flashes of brilliance and the inexperience of youth. We are going to put all our efforts into putting together a complete meet. When that happens, I am sure this team will be outstanding.

Arizona vs. Stanford Vault Bars Beam FloorErica 9.525Beamer 9.45 9.9Becca 9.825 9.875Talyn 9.55Colleen 9.85 9.725 9.625 9.775Deanna 9.9 9.175 9.85Alexis 9.725 9.75 9.675 9.7Britnie 9.2 9.875Katie 9.55Kristen 9.65Sarah 9.875 9.275 8.975 9.875Bree 9.85 9.85

Next Month The first two home meets have had great fan support and I hope you have been able to watch the team in person. If not, there are three more opportunities to see the team at McKale Center this year. We have two coming up in February and then our salute to our seniors at the beginning of March. Check the competition schedule at the end of the newsletter to make sure you don't miss any action!

Alumni Sightings Stacy (Fowlkes) Huguez called to catch up. She is still in Mesa and has begun teaching again. Aubrey (Taylor) Kelly, Danielle (Hicks) McAfee, Mary Reiss, Amanda (Goins) Dziawura and Nicci (Filchner) Goodman were all in attendance at the 2nd intrasquad. Earlier that morning, Danielle had gone through graduation ceremonies in McKale. She and her husband will be moving to Missouri shortly after the holidays. Nicci has finally found a permanent home (at least for a while). Her husband was assigned to a military base in El Paso, TX. After years of hopping around the country, she is finally looking forward to being in one place for a while. Mr. Gault, Cami Banholzer, Kara (Fry) Meyer, Rose (McLaughlin) Neale, Melanie Weiser, Karin Wurm, Nicci (Filchner) Goodman and Nancy (Altmann) Jones all sent best wishes on the start of the new season. Our first meet in Minnesota started the second generation of U of A Gymnastics for Nancy as her daughter, Britnie, took the floor for the GymCats. Danielle (Hicks) McAfee emailed to let us know that she is expecting her first child. She is currently in Missouri waiting for her husband's next military assignment. The team was able to eat lunch at the home of Katie (Johnson) Ranne when we traveled to Los Angeles. Rachelle Silberg was there as well to visit with the team. Cami Banholzer along with some family and friends were in the audience at the UCLA meet. Jamie Holton and Jessamyn Salter made their debut as our webcast commentators at our first home meet. The buzz on the internet was very positive. (Maybe this could be a start of a career - FOX SPORTS are you listening?) Also at our first home meet of the season were Karin Wurm, Jamie Custer, Kara (Fry) Meyer, Aubrey (Taylor) Kelly, Nicci (Filchner) Goodman, Gina Martin-Mueller, and Nancy (Altmann) Jones. At our second home meet, Kara (Fry) Meyer, Erin Muirhead, Jamie Custer, Karin Wurm, Aubrey (Taylor) Kelly, Nicci (Filchner) Goodman, Gina Martin-Mueller, and Nancy (Altmann) Jones were all cheering at the Stanford meet with Jamie Holton behind the microphone.

Boosters Hopefully you have received the ticket mailer sent out by the Athletic Department by the time you read this. I really hope that you all can make it out and cheer on the team. We will be trying to implement some new items to the website and the competitions to make them exciting. As always, you all make it possible with your continued support.If you would like to donate, just send a check made out to 'University of Arizona / GymCats' and send it to me here at the office. I will get it to the proper people. Your donation is tax deductible and greatly appreciated.

Cyberspace The initial response to this year's webcast has been great. Check out the AllAccess on the Official University of Arizona Athletics Website ( for more information. If you would like to see the full color version of the newsletter, it will be on the main website. It will also be on the same site as the archives, ( In fact there is an entire segment of GymCat supporters who receive this newsletter electronically. Please contact me if you would like to be put on that list.

Until next month...

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