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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Gymcats fall short of win, take 4th”

    No one said regionals would be easy.

    Having entered this weekend’s South Central Regional Competition as a No. 4 seed, the Arizona gymnastics team returned to Tucson on Sunday, reluctantly sitting in that same seat.

    “”It was almost a carbon copy of the Pac-10s,”” said UA head coach Bill Ryden. “”We made a lot of uncharacteristic faults on bars and beam, but we really came back like gangbusters on floor and vault.””

    Added freshmen Katie Matusik: “”We always start off rough.””

    The Gymcats have been haunted all year by nerves on the bar and beam events.

    “”There was quite a bit of wobbling out there (on Saturday),”” Matusik said. “”We could have done a lot better.””

    Even though scoring is typically stricter in post-season competition, the Gymcats did not showcase their best numbers on Saturday, floor scores aside.

    Although the floor lineup reeled in the highest score of the season, it wasn’t nearly enough to make up for the bar mishaps that have plagued the Gymcats since day one.

    “”Bars has been our thinnest event all year,”” Ryden said.

    Arizona posted a 48.100 on the bars due to the fact that only one gymnast scored higher than a 9.675. Senior Beamer Bergeson would take the event for the Gymcats, with a 9.75ð to finish out her final collegiate competition.

    “”The seniors probably all really wish we advanced,”” Ryden said, “”but I know at this point in their careers they’re all really sort of worn out and just hanging on.””

    Beam would also test the Gymcats’ sensitivity to pressure, as the team would put up 48.025 points.

    Matusik, who scored the highest on beam for Arizona, said nerves were a huge factor in the relatively disappointing scores. She did feel, however, that this was a great learning experience that she and the other five freshmen would take to heart in light of next year’s hopes to claim an appearance at nationals.

    “”Next year, all of the freshmen will do so much better,”” Matusik said.

    Despite the shaky scores on beam and bars, the Gymcats showed impressive skills on vault and floor, as the floor exercise has consistently been the team’s area of expertise.

    “”We really came back with a vengeance on floor and vault,”” Ryden said. “”I’m proud that we never gave up after the first two disastrous events.””

    The vault event resulted in a score of 49.000, led by junior Sarah Tomczyk, who also led the floor team to a score of 49.225. The Arizona floor team won the entire event by a long shot. Having scored a 9.900 on the event, Tomczyk earned herself a spot in nationals and her fellow teammates have found a sense of pride in this fact, despite the tide of the meet.

    “”Sarah made it to nationals and that is so amazing,”” Matusik said. “”We are all so excited and proud that she gets to be a part of that.””

    The season will continue for one Gymcat – Tomczyk – but as for the rest of the 2009 Arizona gymnastics team, this was the final stop. The team will be saying goodbye to four seniors – Alexis Greene, Beamer Bergeson, Bree Workman and Erica Anderson – but instead of looking back on the score of 194.35 for their final meet, the team agrees that they will look back on all the heartfelt memories and experiences they’ve shared throughout the year.

    As for now, the Gymcats aim to fine tune their young squad and welcome in the 2010 season with a new focus and an even stronger edge.

    “”Our freshmen performed very admirably this year and I’m sure they will make even better sophomores, “” Ryden said. “”The future of this class looks very bright.””

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