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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona gymnastics has right mix of experience and youth for 2017

Tom Price
Arizona gymnast Kennady Schneider dances during her floor routine on Saturday, Feb. 13 in McKale Center. Schneider has self-choreographed her routine and mixed her own music.

The Arizona gymnastics team held its annual showcase Sunday in McKale Center giving fans a sneak peek for the upcoming 2017 season. The GymCats are looking to build on last season’s sixth-place place finish in the Pac-12 Championship with the help of six incoming freshmen.

“I thought it was a great way to kick off the season. Especially because we have so many underclassman this year,” UA gymnastics head coach Tabitha Yim said. “So to give them that experience to get out here in front of a crowd is great for them.”

Yim is entering her second year as the head coach at Arizona and is looking forward to fans coming out for the program’s first home meet.

“I’m most excited about is the team chemistry this year,” Yim said. “They are very close and they get along so well. It’s something they’ve been working on a lot throughout the pre season.”

The Wildcats will return three seniors, three juniors, four sophomores and six freshmen.

Senior Krysten Howard, junior Maddy Cindric and sophomore Lauryn Mattson were named team captains for the upcoming season and believe energy to be the key to success for the Wildcats.

“I saw incredible energy, everyone was so excited and pumped the entire time and I hope to see that carry out into the season,” Howard said.

Howard, captain for second year in a row, will be a three-event starter for the ‘Cats competing on uneven bars, beam and floor.

The upperclassmen have been guiding the freshmen to show them the ropes of what to expect when the season approaches.

“I’m just trying to get them used to competitions, our warm-ups and getting them to know what’s happening at the meets,” Mattson said.

Freshman Jenny Leung showed off her skills on beam at the showcase with an Arizona Stick to finish her routine. The support of the rest of the GymCats showed as they all high fived and congratulated her.

“All of our upperclassman have the experience of being on the competition floor,” Yim said. “They can do a really good job of setting the tone and just helping the underclassman feel comfortable.”

The Wildcats will host five of their 10 meets hoping to earn another trip to the Pac-12 Championships and the NCAA Championships.

The GymCats will start their 2017 season at home Friday Jan. 6 at 6 p.m. against Utah State and Texas Woman’s University.

Follow Syrena Tracy on Twitter.

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