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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Gymcats fall in regionals

The Arizona gymnastics team put up a valiant effort in Los Angeles Saturday night, but it was not enough to propel them into the next round of the NCAA Regionals.

The Gymcats needed to secure one of the top two places as a team to move on to the next round of competition, but they placed third, falling to UCLA and Arkansas.

“”It wasn’t our night; we didn’t compete as well as we would have liked,”” said head coach Bill Ryden. “”But, like always, our girls put up a fight and never gave up.””

The coaching staff has been satisfied with the team’s ability to fight back all year. Even with slow starts, the Gymcats have been able to claw their way back into contention.

“”Our team did very well; they held their own,”” said assistant coach Colleen Johnson. “”They didn’t give up, they fought ‘til they end. In all honesty, they competed like they practiced.””

The Gymcats went into the meet knowing the scoring would be tight. Unlike the regular season that has two judges for each event, post-season meets have four judges.

Going into Saturday’s competition, the Gymcats were ranked 21st in the nation and were ranked behind three of their opponents. They were able to leap past the then-ranked 17th Iowa State and attain third place in the meet.

“”Overall, I thought it went pretty good,”” said assistant coach John Court. “”They used the momentum from the meets in early March to have a good post-season meet. This is the best post-season meet we have had in two years.””

After the meet, Ryden describes the team’s state of mind: “”We all had an empty feeling inside. I just thanked them for everything they did and put up with this season.””

Ryden is referring to the rocky start the team had involving multiple injuries and an inexperienced team.

“”I think that if people look at the problems we had initially, I don’t think that people would have thought that we would have got as far as we did,”” Ryden said. “”We outperformed many completely healthy programs. We were 75 percent underclassmen this year.

“”We had two freshmen and a sophomore that made first-team all-conference. Like I said before, the future looks bright. We are working hard to add depth to the team and come back stronger.””

The Gymcats will lose senior Sarah Tomczyk, but the rest of the team will return next year, adding four incoming freshman. Tomczyk’s departure will be a big loss for the Gymcats, but the team had several underclassmen carrying huge responsibilities for the team.

“”Even with all our troubles, we are still one of the top 20 gymnastics programs in the nation, and we will only get better than that,”” Ryden said.

 

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