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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Gymcats bring two-meet

    Arizona senior Aubrey Kelly performs on balance beam in Arizonas win against Minnesota Feb. 2. Kelly and juniors Danielle Hicks and Rachelle Silberg - all Canadian natives - will compete against acquaintances from Canada this weekend at Washington.
    Arizona senior Aubrey Kelly performs on balance beam in Arizona’s win against Minnesota Feb. 2. Kelly and juniors Danielle Hicks and Rachelle Silberg – all Canadian natives – will compete against acquaintances from Canada this weekend at Washington.

    After two home wins, the No. 14 Arizona gymnastics team will try for a third successful performance tonight against Washington in Seattle.

    But Arizona (3-1, 1-1 Pacific 10 Conference) has been inconsistent on the road this season, putting up a 194.975 at Michigan State Jan. 12, followed by a season-low 193.075 at UCLA Jan. 21 that Arizona head coach Bill Ryden called “”the disaster of our year.””

    Ryden said the gymnasts have gained maturity from consecutive home wins against Oregon State Jan. 26 and Friday against Minnesota.

    “”I honestly believe that we can do the same routines that we’ve been doing in any venue in the country,”” Ryden said. “”My expectation is that we’ll go up there and do a good job.””

    The gymnasts are more prepared to compete away from home now that they’ve seen the kind of scores they can put up, said Arizona junior Danielle Hicks.

    “”I feel like we’re more ready than we were at the beginning of the season now that we have a couple of meets under our belts,”” Hicks said. “”Everyone’s starting to feel more consistent and more comfortable with the routines … and the lineups.””

    Now the team has been able to work on refining skills and routines in practice, said junior Rachelle Silberg.

    “”The energy’s been really high lately, and if we just keep that energy up I think we’ll be set,”” she said.

    Under a new coaching staff, No. 34 Washington (1-3, 0-2) has had a rough season so far, capped by a 194.000-188.175 loss at UCLA Jan. 6 – season-low scores for both teams. The Huskies’ season high was a 193.850 posted in their loss at Utah Jan. 19.

    But Washington is coming off a bye week, and Ryden said he expects the Huskies to be well-rested.

    “”They’re going to be waiting for us,”” he said. “”If it’s a Pac-10 meet, we have to produce if we want to be successful at all.

    “”There’s not a single team that we ever compete against where we can just go in there (with) halfway (effort) and expect to be successful.””

    The meet will be a reunion of sorts for Hicks, Silberg and senior Aubrey Kelly, who will compete against fellow Canadians Ashley Houghting and Darcee Schiller.

    Although none of the athletes ever trained together, they have seen each other in competition before.

    “”With Canada, the gymnastics world is so small, so everyone … basically knows each other,”” Kelly said. “”It’s always cool to go to a different school and see your fellow Canadians.””

    Hicks, Kelly and Houghting all competed at the 2002 Canadian National Championships, where Hicks finished first in the all-around. Silberg and Schiller both competed at the 2003 Canadian National Championships.

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