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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Pac -10 mishaps for Gymcats

    Liam Foley/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona Gymcats defeat Brown and Wisconsin-Stout at McKale Center in Tucson, AZ.
    Liam Foley/ Arizona Daily Wildcat The Arizona Gymcats defeat Brown and Wisconsin-Stout at McKale Center in Tucson, AZ.

    Stanford is a place associated with prestige and excellence. By the looks of Saturday’s Pacific 10 Conference gymnastics meet, the level of competition did not disappoint those standards.

    At the unfortunate cost of two quick falls to open the meet, the No. 19 Arizona Gymnastics team was only able to rope in a fifth-place finish among some of the nation’s top contenders.

    “”It was a little disappointing,”” said UA head coach Bill Ryden. “”We couldn’t get anything going. We started off on bars and counted a fall, went to beam … and counted a fall.””

    In gymnastics, it can be difficult to make up for lost points and reclaim momentum. The team missed fourth place by just .05 points on account of the early mistakes.

    “”These mental errors just seem to always crop up for us at the most inopportune moments,”” Ryden said.

    Ryden and his Gymcats showed potential heading into Stanford after taking second in their quad meet in Maryland the week prior. Sophomore Colleen Fisher returned to the All-Around and scored a 39.15 for the team. Bars even rebounded, as four Gymcats posted 9.8s on the event. Although the team was spread thin, with the reclamation of an All-Around, a redefined bar line-up and Ryden’s 150th career win under his belt, the team appeared as ready as they would ever be for the Pac-10s.

    Nothing based on confidence or momentum is set in stone, though, as shown on Saturday. It all has to come down to the performances that day, on those mats.

    Even with a fifth-place finish, all is not lost for the Gymcats.

    “”I don’t want to make it seem like it was an entirely bad meet,”” Ryden said, “”Colleen was great except for bars. Katie Matusik did great, Sarah Tomczyk did great and Beamer (Bergeson) did awesome.””

    Bergeson, a senior, scored a 9.8 on bars, followed by a 9.85 on beam. Freshman Deanna Grahameven hauled in a 9.85 for the team on vault.

    Considering how young this team is, and the early loss of junior Miranda Russell to a blown knee, the team held up well at Stanford.

    Ryden explained that it’s hard to overcome the mental errors that continue to haunt his athletes, saying, “”Normally we would just swap people out, but we’re just too thin as a team right now and have to fix what we have.””

    As for what’s to come, the Gymcats have two weeks before regionals and they will waste no time back in Tucson.

    “”At this point, I’d imagine that we stay a four seed in the Arkansas Regional,”” Ryden said. “”We’re expecting a quality crowd and quality equipment, so we need to put in some hard work during practice.””

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