Gymcats Head to Palo Alto to take on Stanford Cardinal

Jan. 14, 2010

This Week:

Arizona hits the road again for its second meet of the season to take on No. 7 Stanford. The meet will take place on Sunday, January 17 at 2 p.m. in Palo Alto, Calif.

Last Week:

Arizona fell to No. 8 Arkansas in the Gymbacks’ home territory 195.4 to 192.65. Despite the loss, however, the talent of this young team prevailed – allowing the Gymcats to win the vault rotation 48.5 to 48.45. There were other bright moments in the meet as well, as Britnie Jones had a solid beam performance earning a 9.85 and tying for first despite almost two months off due to an injury.

It was amazing to see Britnie go out and perform so well this meet.” Coach Ryden said, “It really speaks to her potential for this season.”

The Gymcats also had four all-around appearances this meet, including freshmen Molly Quirk and Aubree Cristello, who responded well to the pressure to join returners Deanna Graham and Sarah Tomcyzk.

Scouting the Opposition:

The Stanford Cardinal look to be a tough upcoming opponent for the Gymcats. In its season opener, the No. 7 Stanford Gymnastics team came within an eighth of a point of No. 1 Georgia. Freshman Ashley Morgan came out of the woodwork to surprise fans with a scoring average of 9.83 overall to aid Senior star Carly Jeniga who earned an all-around of 39.3.

Vaulting to the top:

Arizona continued its streak of being a strong vaulting team against Arkansas with several strong vaulters. Despite competing four new vaults, the team showed its consistent strength with returners Colleen Fisher and Deanna Graham scoring a 9.7 and a 9.675. Newcomers Aubree Cristello and Molly Quirk also stepped up and performed earning a 9.7 and a 9.65. From this point forward it can only be expected that the Gymcats will hit the event running, and improve to potentially become one of the best vault teams in the nation.

College Debuts:

Arizona debuted two freshmen in the All-Around line-up. Both Aubree Cristello and Molly Quirk responded well to the pressure, earning a 38.225 and a 37.775 respectively. Returner Deanna Graham also took her turn for the first time in the official beam line-up as well as the all-around, earning a 38.550 and coming close to one of the best all-around scores of the meet.

What’s Coming Up:

The Gymcats will spend yet another week on the road, heading up to Tempe, Ariz. to take on the Arizona State Sundevils. The meet will take place at 2 p.m. on January 24, 2010. Arizona looks to continue its two year winning streak against the team after beating ASU 195.925 to 195.725 in the 2008 season, and 195.75 to 195.25 in the 2009 season.

2009 Review:

The Wildcats completed the 2009 season with an overall record of 12-12 and were able to make their 23rd consecutive NCAA post-season appearance. Thanks to a pristine floor exercise performance, then Junior Sarah Tomcyzk was able to take it one step further and competed floor at the NCAA National Championships. In addition, three Gymcats earned All-Conference accolades, including freshman Deanna Graham (2nd Team Vault), freshman Rebecca Cardenas (2nd Team Floor), and redshirt junior Sarah Tomczyk (1st Team Floor).

Look Out for New Gymcats:

Arizona bolsters a fairly young team, including four fresh new faces. These include: Aubree Cristello from Glenville, N.Y., Mykle Douglas from Plano, Texas, Ellen Pitluck from Chicago, Ill., and Molly Quirk from Glenmont, N.Y.

Pre-season Rankings:

The Arizona Gymcats head into the season ranked No. 20 in the 2010 Women’s Pre-Season Coaches poll. They are one of only five Pac-10 schools to be rated. The others include No. 4 UCLA, No. 7 Stanford, No 10 Oregon State, and No. 25 Washington. Arizona State was listed as another team receiving votes for consideration.

Stacked Schedule:

Arizona faces an extremely stacked schedule this season, competing against nine schools ranked in the pre-season poll. This includes some tough meets early on, including opening the season against No. 8 Arkansas, then No. 7 Stanford immediately after. The Gymcats must also take on No. 5 UCLA, No. 10 Oregon State, No. 3 Alabama, No. 15 Nebraska, No. 21 West Virginia, No. 22 Minnesota, and No. 25 Washington.

Ryden’s Record:

Head Coach Bill Ryden earned his 150th win last season, totaling his career and school record to become 150-152-3 with the conclusion of the Arkansas meet.

Pac-10 Championships in the Desert:

Arizona will have the honor of hosting the Pac-10 Championships on March 27 at 4 p.m. The last time the Wildcats hosted the championships was in 2004. Tickets are available for purchase through the McKale Center Ticket Office.


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