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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Gymcats defeat Washington; set new season high

    Arizona freshman Kristen Schmieder performs during her balance beam routine in Fridays meet against Washington in McKale Center. The No. 18 Arizona gymnastics team set a season high for points as it defeated the Huskies 196.300-194.525.
    Arizona freshman Kristen Schmieder performs during her balance beam routine in Friday’s meet against Washington in McKale Center. The No. 18 Arizona gymnastics team set a season high for points as it defeated the Huskies 196.300-194.525.

    The No. 18 Arizona gymnastics team seemed to have found its groove.

    For the second week in a row, the Gymcats (6-3, 3-3 Pacific 10 Conference) posted a score higher than 196 as they defeated Washington (1-9, 1-4) by a score of 196.300-194.525.

    “”This meet (Friday was) the example of a total team effort,”” said UA head coach Bill Ryden. “”Our best kid couldn’t go (on vault) and somebody else had to step up. We had people fighting on bars, but we had other people making sure we didn’t count a fall and this was an entire team victory as much as anything.””

    On a night when senior All-American Karin Wurm was withdrawn from the vault and the all-around competition because of a knee injury and senior Danielle Hicks had the worst competition of her career with falls on the beam and floor, by sophomore Miranda Russell led Arizona to victory.

    Russell won the all-around for the first time this season and also set a career-high with 39.400.

    “”It was good,”” Russell said of her performance. “”I’m excited because things finally came together.””

    On the vault, the Gymcats scored 49.175, a season-high as four gymnasts tied for second place with 9.850.

    Wurm managed to win the uneven bars despite the knee problems with a 9.900 as Arizona overcame a slip by junior Sarah Specht and a fall from freshman Kristen Schmieder.

    The beam competition was nearly a disaster for Arizona as a couple of women nearly fell off, while Hicks did. It was only the second time in her four-year collegiate career that she fell on the beam.

    “”It happens,”” Hicks said. “”Everyone did a great job, and we didn’t have to count a fall and that’s what teammates are for.””

    Arizona solidified the meet with a solid floor rotation with a 49.400, also a season high. Specht, who had struggled on the vault and bars won the event with a 9.925, earning her career high. Wurm finished in second with a 9.900.

    “”I was really upset (after) bars because I know I’m capable of a lot more,”” Specht said. “”I got really mad and used that to do better on floor because I know I’m capable of a lot on floor as well. I was all smiles my whole routine, it felt great and I don’t think it couldn’t have been better. It felt amazing.””

    Friday’s meet was the team’s last home meet for three weeks and gave the Gymcats some much-needed momentum for their upcoming road dates with Kentucky and No. 13 Denver.

    “”We know we can do more,”” Ryden said. “”I know that we’re one of the better teams in the country (and) whether our ranking shows it or not, I don’t care. When it gets to the postseason and we’re on a neutral floor, it’s all cards in, all your chips in, one shot.””

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