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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Golden Bears host Gymcats

    Although the No. 16 Arizona gymnastics team had its fair share of bumps and bruises this past week, the squad is mentally stable, thoroughly confident and ready to hit the road for its next meet at California on Sunday.

    The Gymcats are coming off of a season-high win against ASU. The squad has been on a streak as of late and continues to move up in the rankings. But, as UA head coach Bill Ryden explained during Thursday’s practice, “”We’d love to be in the top 12 come (Regional Championships in April).””

    With only a third of the season left to compete and all the skills finally coming together for the team, there’s chance that Ryden’s wishes may come true. The main thing at this point in the season, however, is to ensure that all of Gymcats are healthy and remain that way.

    UA assistant coach Colleen Johnson explained how crucial it is for the ladies to stay healthy, especially after the team was stretched thin due to an untimely loss of Miranda Russell to a knee injury at the beginning of the season.

    “”At this point in the season, we really have to treat the girls like glass,”” Johnson said. “”We wouldn’t want them to peak and get hurt, then be of no use come regions.””

    The coach’s warnings could not have come at a more appropriate time, as there was quite a scary moment in Thursday’s practice when Britnie Jones braced for a fall from the bars. Jones sprained her left arm but is hoping to be ready to compete Sunday.

    Jones has consistently brought in high scores for the Wildcats, and the team could definitely use her help on bars against Cal if her body permits.

    Other than rest and a little time to recuperate, the team appears to have control of everything heading into this meet. If the team performs anything like it did on its last travel outing against Texas Women’s University, Ryden will be a happy man.

    “”One thing we took away from the Texas meet,”” Ryden said, “”is that if we focus on ourselves first and treat every event with intensity, we will post high scores.””

    The whole gymnastics staff appears to be proud of the team’s progress in the past few weeks.

    Kristen Schmieder, a sophomore who had a clutch beam score that helped defeat the Sun Devils last Friday, seems very pleased with the team heading into California. She couldn’t say enough about how high the team’s confidence was this week, and how great it was for the team to really come together.

    “”We’re on a winning roll,”” Schmieder said with a grin. “”So we’d like to keep on riding it.””

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