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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Gymcats beat OSU

    Arizona junior Danielle Hicks dismounts the balance beam in Fridays victory
    Arizona junior Danielle Hicks dismounts the balance beam in Friday’s victory

    The No. 16 Arizona gymnastics team’s 2007 home debut was successful Friday, as the Gymcats beat No. 13 Oregon State 196.325-194.600 in McKale Center.

    Coming off a disappointing match at then-No. 7 UCLA Jan. 19, Arizona (2-1, 1-1 Pacific 10 Conference) scored 49.000 or higher on every rotation Friday, finally proving the team’s depth and talent, said UA head coach Bill Ryden.

    “”It’s a good team score, but I’m pleased about much more than just the score,”” Ryden said. “”We actually did the gymnastics that we see in the practice gym every day, and it was nice to put it out there for the public to see.””

    The team took a blow when senior Aubrey Kelly – usually a competitor in the all-around – was removed from every event but bars after injuring her ankle in warmups, but Ryden said he was impressed with the other athletes’ resilience.

    “”When you have your No. 1 all-arounder crunch herself up in warmups, and we’ve got to suck it up and replace her on three events, and you come along and do it – that’s a lot to be proud of,”” he said.

    Competing in front of the home crowd helped the team, said junior Danielle Hicks.

    “”They just give you so much more adrenaline with all the positive energy and everyone cheering just for you,”” she said.

    Arizona took first place on every apparatus against the Beavers (1-2, 1-1), including the top three scores on balance beam.

    Hicks scored a career-high 9.900 to earn first place on beam, followed by sophomore Briana Bergeson (9.850) and senior Jamie Holton (9.825), who tied OSU’s Jami Lanz and Brooke Barclay for third.

    Hicks, who went last in the beam rotation, said she was at ease during her routine because the gymnasts before her put up some good scores.

    “”It’s really hard not to score high when the rest of the team does well,”” she said. “”With everyone else hitting, I have no pressure whatsoever.””

    Holton also scored a 9.900 on the floor to take the top spot, while Hicks’ 9.875 landed her in a three-way tie for second with OSU’s Kera Bolen and Jami Lanz.

    On vault, freshman Brittney Morgan scored a 9.900 to earn first place, followed by OSU’s Tasha Smith and Mandi Rodriguez.

    Junior Karin Wurm, whose career-high 9.925 on bars was the top score of the night, finished first all-around with a 39.300.

    “”That’s always a great feeling,”” she said, “”but it’s even better that we did so well as a team. To get a 196 our third meet out is amazing, and it shows how much talent we have for the future.””

    Ryden said he was especially proud of the underclassmen, who improved drastically from last week’s competition.

    “”I’m proud of the amount of growing up we did this week,”” he said. “”You saw a bunch of very immature collegiate gymnasts grow up before your eyes (Friday). So that’s what really makes me happy.””

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