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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Arizona beats depleted ASU gymnastics

    It was a bittersweet weekend for the No. 13 Arizona gymnastics team, which posted its lowest score in more than a month but defeated ASU 195.000-193-975 Friday in McKale Center.

    Arizona (5-2, 3-2 Pacific 10 Conference) suffered two falls on beam and a number of minor deductions to earn its lowest meet score since a season-low 193.075 at UCLA Jan. 21.

    “”We were sharp enough to win, but we weren’t sharp enough to please ourselves,”” said UA head coach Bill Ryden.

    The Gymcats began with a 49.025 on vault, where Arizona sophomore Bree Workman took first place (9.875). Senior Jamie Holton and junior Karin Wurm tied ASU’s April Boone for second (9.825).

    But the team took a turn for the worse on bars, where sophomore Suzanne Alvey fell during her release in the first routine of the set.

    “”When Suzanne missed the first bar set, talk about the weight of the world on the next five girls,”” Ryden said.

    The team dropped Alvey’s 8.900 to put up a 48.675 on bars. ASU’s Nicole Harris took first on bars with a 9.850, while Wurm came in second. Third place was shared by sophomore Briana Bergeson, redshirt freshman Sarah Specht and ASU’s Tiana Jean (9.750).

    Ryden said he was especially impressed with Specht, who entered the bar lineup Feb. 17 in place of injured senior Aubrey Taylor. Friday was only her second career performance on bars.

    “”She’s at the back of the lineup with the very thought being to take away the pressure,”” Ryden said. “”I expect the first five to hit, so there’s no pressure on her. She can just do her thing. Well, that plan didn’t work.””

    Specht said she wasn’t nervous going into her routine.

    “”I think a lot of people were expecting me to feel more pressure, but I went into the routine very confident,”” she said. “”I really was a lot more calm than I thought that I was going to be.””

    The falls continued for Arizona on beam, where Holton fell on an acrobatic series and Wurm fell during her mount, which Ryden called “”a mental error.””

    “”Bars and beam are known as the fall events, and we certainly took advantage of that name,”” he said.

    ASU gymnasts Ashlee Hinkle and Harris took first and second, respectively, on beam, and Bergeson finished third with a 9.800.

    Ryden said he gave his team a pep talk before letting them warm up for floor, telling them to “”turn back into the real team.””

    The Gymcats finished with a 48.925 on floor. Wurm and Holton both scored 9.850s to tie ASU’s Cassandra Jusino for first place.

    “”Usually we do really well on floor, so it’s a good event to end on,”” Bergeson said.

    ASU (1-5, 1-4) has been hit hard by injuries this season and was limited to only five gymnasts on floor instead of the usual six.

    Yet the Sun Devils dominated the all-around, as Harris (39.125) and Jusino (39.000) came in first and second, respectively.

    Arizona freshman Miranda Russell finished in third place (38.950).

    Russell said she was happy to put on a solid performance after last week’s loss to Stanford, when she fell twice during her beam routine.

    “”I was just excited that for the whole meet, I did what I was supposed to,”” she said.

    She added that she was proud of the team’s ability to fight back in the final rotation.

    “”You always have to fight,”” she said. “”It’s just a matter of doing your best or not.””

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