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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Jittery Gymcats drop first meet of season

    In the opening meet of the season, a young Arizona gymnastics team showed promise despite falling to No. 22 Minnesota, 194.375-192.575.

    The No. 18 Gymcats debuted five freshmen in the meet – Rebecca Cardenas, Talyn Curry, Deanna Graham, Britnie Jones and Katie Matusik – and the inexperience proved costly for Arizona. The Gymcats had seven falls throughout the competition and 18-of-24 routines performed in the four-event meet showed just how new this year’s squad is.

    “”We’re definitely not happy with the performance,”” said UA head coach Bill Ryden. “”We’re all a little bit upset and ticked off about it but we all know that with some effort and some focus there can still be this huge silver lining at the end.””

    One of the bright spots for the Gymcats was sophomore Colleen Fisher. She took second in the all-around with a score of 38.650 in her first time competing in all four events in one meet. Another positive to draw from was the fact Arizona was still within striking distance going into the final event despite all of the faults in the earlier routines, Ryden said.

    The squad’s performance on the uneven bars, however, was woeful. Not a single Gymcat scored higher than a member of the Golden Gophers, and three UA gymnasts recorded falls – junior Miranda Russell, redshirt junior Sarah Tomcyzk and senior Briana Bergeson. The balance beam was also a trouble spot as only two Arizona competitors finished in the top-seven spots. After winning the floor and the vault competitions, Arizona just fell apart at the seams down the stretch.

    “”It was the type of thing where the nerves almost became contagious, I think,”” said assistant coach Colleen Johnson. “”As opposed to just one or two girls feeling the nerves the whole team was definitely tight.””

    All things considered, the Gymcat coaches feel like the first meet was a positive one. A young team got some much-needed experience and hopefully got some butterflies out of its system, but the upcoming meet against No. 4 UCLA in Los Angeles will give a better idea of what this year’s Arizona team can accomplish.

    “”I really think the more we compete the more this team will improve. It was a nervous start for us and the falls and the score are simply a result of that,”” Ryden said. “”I think that if we take away those falls and those jitter-wobbles that we had and the score becomes very big quickly. ThereProxy-Connection: keep-alive
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    efinitely is a bright side.

    “”It doesn’t matter if it’s UCLA or Georgia or Timbuktu on the other side of the gym,”” he added. “”This is about us coming together now and doing our stuff and then we’ll see where the scores play out at the end of the competition.””

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