Arizona gymnastics sets records in victory over ASU
The No. 15 Arizona gymnastics team defeated ASU on Saturday, 196.5 to 193.85, in a record setting meet which earned the Wildcats a point in the Territorial Cup Series.
Head coach Bill Ryden said there was more of an emphasis this meet on the actual scores rather than the competition itself. The Wildcats showed this by posting season best scores in two events and a myriad of individual career highs and personal records. Their overall score was the highest it’s been all season.
“That’s where we’ve gone wrong this year,” Ryden said. “We’ve sort of let up and let a great score get away from us, and this week we didn’t. So I’m very proud of that. We drove it all the way to the finish line.”
The meet started on vault, where Arizona’s electric performance earned it a season high team score of 49.275. Junior Shana Sangston and sophomore Danielle Buchanan both scored a 9.8, which tied their own career bests. Sophomores Amber Wobma and Kristin Klarenbach and freshman Shelby Edwards all tied for third place with a score of 9.85. This score was a personal best for each of them, as well. The event was capped off by senior Aubree Cristello, whose score of 9.925 was good for first place.
“Vault is the one event we have depth on,” Ryden said. “We actually had a little competition in the gym yesterday in practice. The best seven vaulters went out here and warmed up, and we picked the best six out of there. They did a great job.”
The pace slowed down in the second rotation where the Wildcats competed in the bars. Sophomore Allison Flores scored a 9.825 which was good for second place. Junior Jordan Williams and Buchanan tied with two ASU gymnasts for third place with a score of 9.775. Williams, still recovering from a knee injury, was scheduled to compete in three events, according to Ryden, but was switched out last minute after she cringed in pain during floor warm-ups.
Another season best event score of 49.175 came in the third rotation where the Wildcats picked up the momentum on beam. Freshmen Lexi Mills and Edwards carried the team and tied for first place with career high scores of 9.875.
“The newbies really stepped up,” Ryden said. “I’m so proud of the freshmen. They’re really strong and they build your confidence.”
The Wildcats drove the meet home on the floor routines. Flores and Sangston opened the event with tying scores of 9.85, both career highs. Wobma followed with a score of 9.75. Freshman Jessie Sisler tied her career high with a 9.925, good for first place. Cristello closed the event with a 9.9, earning second place and sealing the Wildcats’ win.
“This was a great victory,” Ryden said. “We had this weight on our shoulders of why can’t we do what we’re capable of. Why do we always have to let it go and get a 195.8 or something. So to actually finish and push it up into the 196’s, I’m very happy with that.”
Arizona will travel to Norman, Okla. next weekend to face the No. 1 ranked Oklahoma.