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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    No. 2 Florida downs No. 14 Gymcats

    JACOB KONST/ Arizona Daily Wildcat
    Jacob Konst
    JACOB KONST/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

    Winning is something all athletes strive for, but the Gymcats know that in gymnastics it’s not everything.

    The No. 14 Arizona gymnastics team (5-9, 4-2 Pacific 10 Conference) finished in second place with a score of 196.300 just ahead of Brigham Young (5-7) 194.575 and behind No. 2 Florida (13-2) 196.625 on Friday. This was the team’s highest score of the season.

    Arizona head coach Bill Ryden said he wanted to pick up the victory but feels there’s no shame in losing to the nation’s second-best team by three-tenths of a point.

    “”Florida is the real deal,”” he said.

    Arizona started the meet out strong with a 49.225 on vault. After junior Aubrey Taylor stumbled on her landing, junior Jamie Holton hit a 9.925, a career high and 10th-best score in Gymcat history.

    “”(On) the landing I could have taken a step, but I just held it there,”” Holton said.

    The rest of the team was motivated by the nearly perfect performance.

    “”When she stuck that vault, half of us jumped a mile high in the air,”” Taylor said. “”It gets everybody fired up and wanting to … perform well.””

    Freshman Bree Workman also set a personal high with a 9.875 in the vault, and the Gymcats used that energy to score a 49.075 in the uneven bars with Taylor tying her personal high of 9.900.

    “”We can perform just as well as anybody else in the country,”” Taylor said.

    The team held a two-tenths lead at the halfway mark of the meet over the Gators, but lost some momentum during the downtime waiting for the other two squads to finish their rotations.

    “”We are so pumped up and ready to go,”” Taylor said. “”Having to sit there for a minute, you’re anxious and just want to stay focused within your own team.””

    In the balance beam, the Gymcats stumbled out of the gate as Holton fell off during her routine. The team finished with a 48.800.

    “”I put the pressure on everyone else, but everyone else hit,”” Holton said. “”When the first routine falls, it brings the scores down. Each score rides off the previous one.””

    The team was able to recover and score a 49.200 to close out the meet on floor exercises with Taylor (9.900) setting a personal record and sophomore Karin Wurm (9.875) tying hers. Wurm also finished in third place in the all-around with a personal high of 39.250.

    Ryden said he was especially proud to see his team stay in high spirits, even after the falls.

    “”When your first person falls, all of a sudden the pressure is hitting you hard,”” he said. “”The other five sucked it up and didn’t let the team fall.””

    After competing against five of the top eight ranked teams in the country this season, Ryden said his team is prepared for the postseason challenge.

    “”Nobody is gonna scare us,”” he said. “”When we go to postseason, it’s not like we are going to see harder gymnastics.””

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