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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Gymcats prepare for finale

    In a sport that values tenths of a point, four seems to be the magic number for the Arizona gymnastic team this week.

    The No. 16 Gymcats look to take on Denver tonight at 7:00 p.m. in McKale Center, and extend their four-meet win streak. But the bigger story at hand is the final home competition for the squad’s four seniors – Alexis Greene, Bree Workman, Beamer Bergeson and Erica Anderson.

    “”I remember going on recruiting trips their junior years of high school,”” said Arizona head coach Bill Ryden, “”and its like you blink, and their senior year of competition is done.””

    Senior night is typically an event full of tears and emotion, but this group of athletes has a slightly different perspective heading into tonight’s meet.

    “”I’m more excited than sad.”” Workman said, “”It’s almost the end, but hey, we’ve made it this far.””

    Denver is a formidable opponent, as the Gymcats have yet to beat them in the last four years, and the seniors are especially eager to beat the Pioneers in McKale Center during their final home meet.

    “”This is our last home meet, so its not like we didn’t see it coming.”” Greene said Thursday, “”We haven’t beaten Denver yet, so that’d be huge to go out on.””

    Many athletes hope to end their sagas with a bang, but as UA assistant coach Colleen Johnson explained, sometimes that’s not the best way to go out.

    “”One of the biggest things that Beamer and I were talking about just a little while ago was not trying to go too hard,”” Johnson said. “”You know, not wanting to go out with such a bang that you end up changing everything. “”We have to remind them to just compete the way they’ve been competing throughout all their career.””

    Having already improved their rankings significantly, the Gymcats look to better their season-high score of 195.750, as that is just about the only way to overcome the Pioneer gymnastics team.

    “”Denver is definitely going to show up with their ‘A’ game,”” Johnson said, “”so we really have to show up strong.””

    Physically, the squad is doing as well as it can but the ladies will need to be in total control of their emotions to better their season highs.

    “”The fire is definitely there, but mentally it’s important that they remain cool, calm and collected on Senior Night,”” Johnson said. “”Especially (tonight), we just can’t let emotions get in the way of our work.””

    Although today will not mark the senior’s final meet, the reality that the end is near is setting in quite quickly.

    “”The more I talk about it the more sad I get,”” Bergeson said.

    Johnson, who feels especially close to these particular seniors, recognizes that however sad the situation might be, there is always a silver lining.

    “”They’ve all had awesome contributions in the gym, but I am excited to see them become young women,”” Johnson said, “”All four of them are going to go on to bigger and better things outside of gymnastics.””

    Athletic careers will always come to an end, but the seniors truly believe that their fellow Gymcats will always be family.

    “”We’re pretty much sisters so we are definitely going to hang together,”” Workman said,

    “”We’ve been close from the very start, so I’m not concerned with losing touch at all. They are my sisters.””

    The memories and friendships spawned throughout the past four years will dwell in the hearts of these Wildcats all their lives.

    “”After doing gym so long,”” Ryden said, “”it stops being something you do, and really is a part of who you are.””

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