Gymcats owe the doctor a trip
After starting off the season with a clean bill of health, the Arizona gymnastics team has a few bumps and bruises heading into tonight's meet against ASU in McKale Center at 7.
Junior Deanna Graham (back) and sophomore Aubree Cristello (shoulder) were injured Tuesday of last week, and the frustration could easily be seen in head coach Bill Ryden's face as he watched his injury-riddled team practice.
""Without them we don't even have enough people to field a team,"" Ryden said. ""Deanna (Graham) landed on her head (from bars) and hurt her back, Aubree (Cristello) hurt her AC joint in her shoulder (from vault).""
Ryden had just discovered that Graham's injury was still bothering her during Tuesday's practice and immediately rushed her over to head trainer Doug Contaoi.
No timetable has been set for Graham or Cristello, and both are considered ""game-time decisions"" depending on how they feel.
If Graham and Cristello can't compete, the rest of the team will have to step up considerably, and Ryden is depending on the upperclassmen for that. The Gymcats also need to improve in a handful of areas.
""Definitely beam (needs to improve),"" said assistant coach Randi Acosta. ""Beam has been a struggle. Like I said, they perform really well in practice. So if we could just shake off the nerves and push through that, and attack it rather than be cautious when we get up there — then I think we really have a great team.""
""I hope we can turn heads.""
Ryden wants to see improvement this week after a second place finish last week in Utah. He said the team had several mental errors.
""It's been a rough two weeks, very rough two weeks,"" Ryden said. ""Losing out on practice last week really hurt us we weren't prepared for that at all.""
The gymcats practice time was cut due to President Barack Obama's visit to campus. Due to security measures, McKale Center was locked down all day Wednesday and the Gymcats couldn't train or work on rehabbing injuries.
Despite of all the logistical issues and injuries, the team is still optimistic about its chances against the Sun Devils. The Gymcats placed fourth In the Pacific 10 Conference showcase at the start of the season — the Sun Devils came in sixth.
""We want to get a high score for ourselves,"" said sophomore Molly Quirk. ""But it's always fun to beat ASU because we know that they want to beat us.""