Gymcats to Compete Against the Sundevils in the Duel in the Desert

Jan. 19, 2010

This Week:

No. 24 Arizona heads up the road to compete in the third meet of the season against the Arizona State Sundevils for the annual Duel in the Desert. The meet will take place on Sunday, January 24 at 2 p.m. in Tempe, Ariz.

Last Week:

Arizona took on No. 8 Stanford in its second meet of the season. The Gymcats lost to the Cardinal 196.025 to 194.675. Despite this loss, however, Arizona was pleased to have improved its overall score by over two points.

'I think we did a great job this meet. It was a really good competition, especially in the first three events; Overall we had a much better effort.' said Head Coach Bill Ryden.

Other highlights of the meet included a number of new career highs. On vault Sophomore Talyn Curry tied her career high with a 9.775, and Freshmen Molly Quirk and Aubree Cristello earned career highs of 9.7 and 9.825 repectively.

Senior Sarah Tomczyk earned a new career high on bars with a score of 9.875 which also earned her first place overall on the event. Aubree Cristello had a successful bar routine as well, earning her a career high of a 9.825.

'Sarah had a great set, she is really turning into a confident worker.' Ryden said, 'She has a very difficult routine and she performs it extremely well. Her routine tonight is exactly how I like bars to be competed.'

To add to the first places, Britnie Jones hit her beam routine winning the event with a 9.825.

The Gymcats had four all-around performances again last week, including Freshmen Aubree Cristello and Molly Quirk, in addition to Senior Sarah Tomczyk and Sophomore Deanna Graham. Graham earned a career high score of 39.025, allowing her to take third place in the meet.

'Overall I am really happy with this meet. Three out of four all-arounders hit their sets on every event, and as a team we were a lot more confident.' Ryden said, 'We really improved from Arkansas and grew as a team.'

Scouting the Opposition:

The Arizona State Sundevils are coming off of a win against California 192.825 to 191.800. Junior Mary Atkinson took second in the all-around with a career high of 38.775, in addition to taking first place on vault with a 9.825, as well as winning bars with a 9.775 and floor with a 9.875.

Vaulting to the top:

Arizona proved its vaulting strength again this week with a total team score of 49.075. Sophomore Deanna Graham led the event, earning a 9.85. The rest of the lineup posted high scores as well, including 9.825’s from both Senior Sarah Tomczyk and Freshman Aubree Cristello. Arizona’s high vault score enabled the Gymcats to earn a No. 19 ranking on the event.

Season Debuts:

The Gymcats debuted several new routines this week, including a bar performance from returning Junior Miranda Russell. Russell hit the ground running, earning a score of 9.8 and helping to boost the Arizona team bar score. Freshman Mykle Douglas also competed for the first time, wetting her feet on the floor exercise.

What’s Coming Up:

The Gymcats will spend their first weekend playing host to California. The meet will take place January 29 in the McCale Center at 7 p.m. Last year Arizona proved to be difficult to beat at home, with a record of 4-2. The Gymcats should improve this record this year, beginning with this home opener.

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, NY, Mykle Douglas from Plano, TX, Ellen Pitluck from Chicago, IL, and Molly Quirk from Glenmont, NY.

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 150-153-3 with the conclusion of the Stanford 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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