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GymCats Set to Face Huskies in Seattle

Feb 3, 2022

TUCSON, Ariz. — The GymCats are ready to take on Washington on Saturday night to complete Arizona's two-week road swing. The meet is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. MST and will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.

"Last week was our best overall performance of the season," said head coach John Court. "We had 20 very good routines and we need to increase that number over the season. I was most proud of the little things that led to a great team performance and the team exceeded their meet responsibilities. This team is extremely supportive of each other from start to finish and they accepted the task of being competitive. I expect a very competitive and close meet at Washington. I have a lot of respect for their staff and both teams will be ready to compete at a high level."

Freshmen Alysen Fears and Emily Mueller, along with junior Malia Hargrove, competed in the all-around at UCLA, the first time three GymCats have competed in the all-around in the same meet since 2013. 

"Competing all-around last week at UCLA was a bit nerve-wracking, but once I got over my nerves, it was a great experience," said freshman Alysen Fears. "I hope to have the same mindset at Washington that I had at UCLA and hit all of my routines. As a team, we want to improve our team score every week and reach as many of our goals that we can. We have great potential and I'm looking forward to a competitive meet at Washington." 

A complete preview of Saturday's meet can be found below.

The GymCats are looking to pick up their first team win of the season as they take on Washington. Each week, Arizona has earned a season high on a different event and is hoping to put all the pieces together to earn a season high team score.    

LAST WEEK: Arizona took on then-No. 24 UCLA in Pauley Pavilion. The GymCats earned a 195.125 and a season high floor score of 49.050. Four GymCats earned season high scores, highlighted by Emily Mueller's 9.90 on beam. Three GymCats competed in the all-around for the first time since 2013.   

IN THE RANKINGS: Overall, Arizona is ranked No. 37 after the fourth week of competition. 

  • Vault: No. 41
  • Uneven Bars: No. 48
  • Balance Beam: No. 29 
  • Floor Exercise: No. 30

FABULOUS FRESHMEN: Freshmen Alysen Fears and Emily Mueller have made huge impacts in the lineups for the GymCats. Fears holds season highs 9.75 on vault and 9.85 on bars, beam, and floor, and 39.250 in the all-around. Mueller has hit every routine so far this season and holds season highs of 9.75 on floor, 9.775 on bars, 9.80 on vault, 9.90 on beam, and 39.150 in the all-around. 

FRESH FACES: The GymCats welcomed four newcomers to the team this season. Alysen Fears, Elizabeth LaRusso, and Emily Mueller are all freshmen. Lara Burhans transferred to the program from Utah State.

FAMILIAR FACES: Arizona returns 13 gymnasts from last season. MacKinzie Kane enters her senior year and helped the GymCats finish the 2021 season ranked No. 35 on the uneven bars. Six juniors and seven sophomores will return for the Cats. Malia Hargrove enters her junior season following her individual appearance on floor at the NCAA Championships.

G-PAC: Malia Hargrove and Sirena Linton will represent Arizona in the student-athlete driven organzation "Gymnasts for Peace, Action, and Change." G-PAC's mission is to foster diversity and inclusion. Linton was a member of G-PAC during the 2021 season. 

COACHING STAFF: The GymCats have a very accomplished coaching staff. John Court enters his fourth year as head coach and 24th year on staff in Tucson. Taylor Spears, the 2014 NCAA individual beam champion, is in her fourth season as assistant coach and has helped the beam team improve every year. Peter Jansson enters his second season as an assistant with the GymCats, bringing his nearly 30 years of coaching experience. 

PRESEASON POLLS: Arizona was picked to finish sixth in the preseason Pac-12 coaches poll. In the WGCA preseason poll, the GymCats were picked to finish 27th.