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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


GymCats select captains for 2016 season


Then-junior Arizona gymnast Jessie Sisler strikes a pose during her floor routine in McKale Center on Jan. 16.

Arizona gymnastics has been making headlines this fall with multiple online videos such as their “So You Think You Can GymCat” challenges and “GymCats Do the Whip/Nae Nae.”Arizona gymnastics has been making headlines this fall with multiple online videos such as their “So You Think You Can GymCat” challenges and “GymCats Do the Whip/Nae Nae.”

Besides the national attention brought upon this Wildcat team, a new team headlined by Arizona gymnastics head coach Tabitha Yim has been making noise to the new GymCats team.

Yim and her coaching staff named three team captains for the 2016 season, including seniors Danielle Buchanan and Jessie Sisler, along with junior Krysten Howard.

“We are very excited and proud to announce our three captains,” Yim said in a press release. “Danielle, Jessie and Krysten each have a wealth of experience, and we feel they complement each other beautifully.”

While many teams select their own captains based on who has shown the most leadership, Yim took a route of her own.

The implementation of the way captains are selected has changed this season. In years prior under former coach Bill Ryden, a team selection process was used, by which the team voted on their leaders. This season, Yim introduced a professional application and interview process.

“A major priority for our staff outside of athletic and academic achievement is developing confident women leaders,” Yim said. “We want to provide our athletes with the requisite skills and tools to pursue passions outside of the gym and college with confidence. The team captain interviews were a perfect opportunity to equip our athletes with valuable life experience.”

Applicants were required to submit a resume, cover letter and three letters of recommendation. From the process, applicants then engaged in an interview with Arizona Athletics staff members.

Buchanan has not competed the past two seasons due to injury, redshirting during one of them. In 2013, Buchanan was an All-Conference Academic Honorable Mention and went the entire season without scoring below a 9.800 on the vault competition. Buchanan said her focus as a team captain will be on the team aspect in order to motivate her teammates.

Howard has competed in every meet since she began her career as a Wildcat. Her career numbers include a 9.875 on uneven bars, 9.850 on the balance beam and 9.800 on floor. One merit that can be said of Howard is her consistency.

“I am honored and excited to have been chosen as a captain for my team,” Howard said. “I applied for this position because of the inspiring effort and passion I see from each of my teammates on a daily basis. I hope to contribute to the program by motivating my team and helping us achieve our goals.”

Sisler easily has the most impressive career highlights as a GymCat, earning Pac-12 Conference floor champion last season. Sisler is a two-time Scholastic-All American, the C.A.T.S Female Junior Athlete of the Year and was named Second Team All-Conference on floor. Sisler’s best marks include a 9.850 on vault, 9.950 on the balance beam and a 9.950 on floor.

“It’s really an honor to be selected as one of the team captains,” Sisler said. “I know how much thought and effort the staff puts into this program and all the details that come along with it. It means a lot that they trust me as one of the leaders for the team.”

Arizona will open their season Jan. 8 against Michigan State in McKale Center. The first time to see the team in action will be the annual Meet the Team intrasquad match Dec. 6.

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