Gymnastics' Katie Matusik takes third place in NCAA event finals

Wildcat wins UA's only medal in balance beam competition

Katie Matusik was just one of two members of the Arizona gymnastics team to represent the program at the NCAA National Championship Individual Event Finals on Sunday, and the only member to receive a medal in Duluth, Ga.

The senior took third place in the beam competition with a score of 9.8875. Her overall average score for the event is 9.798.

“I don’t know that Katie could’ve done her routine any better,” head coach Bill Ryden said in a press release. “She has been training incredibly hard, and we added a lot of difficulty to her routine with the aerial-scale, and she performed it like she had been doing it her entire career.”

Matusik made her first appearance at an NCAA National competition on Friday and advanced to the finals after tying for second place on the beam on Friday. Her 9.900 score was good enough to move her to Sunday’s finals and earn First Team All-American Honors.

“She’s been on a roll on beam for the last few weeks,” Ryden said. “She did two routines that were incredible this weekend, and she certainly deserves this honor. She really is that good.”

Both Matusik and fellow junior Aubree Cristello competed in the first round of the NCAA National Championships on Friday. Both advanced after their individual scores secured them a spot during Arizona’s regional matchup with Alabama, LSU, Iowa and Central Michigan. The Wildcats finished fourth in the regional competition.

Cristello did not advance to the finals, but posted an overall score of 39.075, good enough for 10th place. Her lowest score was on bars, where she posted a 9.600.

“I can’t say enough about Aubree (Cristello),” Ryden said. “She had one hard event, but she didn’t let it get her down. She approached the last event with a smile on her face and came back like she always does with her highest score of the night.”

Matusik ended her career with her third-place performance, but she will return with the Arizona Wildcats next year as an undergraduate assistant coach.


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