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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Gymcats ready for last stand

Rodney Haas / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Arizona gymnastics freshman Molly Quirk works the balance beam during the Gymcats
Rodney Haas
Rodney Haas / Arizona Daily Wildcat Arizona gymnastics freshman Molly Quirk works the balance beam during the Gymcats

The Arizona gymnastics team aims to use the momentum it gained by defeating the Washington Cougars, 195.750-195.675, tonight at 7 when it hosts the No. 24 Minnesota Golden Gophers in McKale Center.

The Gymcats (5-7) have some work to do on beam, on which they have struggled the last few weeks.

“”Its just little things on beam. We will have a competition this week to see who will be in the line-up,”” said head coach Bill Ryden. “”We did OK on beam, but we want to do better. We just want to make sure they are confident enough to perform how they do in practice. It’s more cleaning up than major changes.””

The Gymcats head in to the meet against the Gophers (3-9) with a focus on the small details before postseason play. The coaching staff will tweak a few routines to make them more challenging as they look ahead to the postseason judging.

“”We are trying to modify Molly (Quirk’s) bar routine right now,”” Ryden said. “”But you have been doing something all year, it’s kind of scary because you don’t want to mess with it.””

“”Beam is definitely the pressure event,”” added assistant coach Colleen Johnson, who handles the beam team. “”It’s definitely a mental game, and maybe at this point in the season, we just got a little mentally relaxed.””

Johnson said that she thinks that the athletes are thinking of how not to fall instead of how they will stick their routines.

One word that the entire coaching staff has repeated throughout the week was “”confidence.”” The entire team knows that its skill level is there, but it just needs to have that confidence too.

The Gymcats will attempt to carry over the momentum that they had during last week’s floor routine, in which they swept the standings. Aubree Cristello, Sarah Tomczyk and Deanna Graham placed, third, second and first, respectively.

“”You don’t have to say much. You prepare them the same,”” said assistant coach John Court. “”They are obviously excited about last week’s performance, which makes coaching this week a little easier.””

Senior night

Tomczyk is the lone senior on this young Gymcats team. She will be heading into her last home meet tonight, as she bids farewell to her career at Arizona.

A fifth-year senior, Tomczyk took a medical redshirt her freshman year because of a severe elbow injury.

“”I’m trying not to think about it because I have already cried. I’m going to be really emotional,”” Tomczyk said. “”I wish I could say that I am excited that my career is coming to an end, but I’m not. I wish I could have one more year. I know I’m in my fifth year, and I took that extra year. If I could have one more year, I totally would do it because that’s how much I love it.””

“”I hope I have the meet of my life for senior night. That would be the icing on the cake,”” she added. “”Go out with a bang.””

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