Senior gymnast Cristello finishes collegiate career by making Arizona gymnastics history

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Briana Sanchez | Arizona Daily Wildcat

Briana Sanchez / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Gym Cats place first over ASU on Saturday at McKale.

Senior gymnast Aubree Cristello, a self-proclaimed perfectionist, has had a one-of-a-kind career with Arizona gymnastics.

The conference announced last Wednesday that Cristello had received the first-team All-Pac-12 title for her fourth consecutive year, making her the first gymnast in Arizona history to earn this honor every year of her career.

Cristello was one of the top six athletes, who were picked based on the consistency of their scores in the regular season and the scores from the Pac-12 tournament that took place two weekends ago.

Cristello has made a huge impact with scores as an all-around athlete, competing in every meet this season. She became an all-around athlete during her freshman year, when injuries kept her from specializing in one event. Now she has mastered them all, improving her scores into her senior season. She earned two career-high scores this season with 9.95 on vault and 9.9 on beam.

Cristello posted all-around scores of 39.000 and above all season and matched her career-high score of 39.475 twice.

The consistent Cristello figured out early on in her career that staying calm before meets is what helps her compete at her peak level.

“Toward the beginning of my years, like freshman and sophomore year, I was definitely more nervous,” Cristello said. “Now it’s more fun and relaxed for me.”

Her ability to keep a quiet mind has helped in this high-intensity, high-stress sport, but what has kept Cristello’s focus steady is competing for her teammates. At the club level, faltering only affects an individual’s score, but for the past four years Cristello has given her all, knowing that her performance affects her team.

“She has a tireless work ethic and that became real apparent, even as a freshman,” Arizona head coach Bill Ryden said. “Sometimes we had to shut her down, because even if she were in pain or injured, she wouldn’t stop.”

“I’m definitely a perfectionist,” Cristello said. “In the gym when I do something that’s below average for me, I just get really angry.

“I have high standards for myself, and if I don’t reach that I get upset with myself.”

Her competitive drive has developed further since her club career, which she began at age 3. Gymnastics has played a huge role in making her who she is today.

“Everything I’ve learned in the gym has carried over to my life outside of the gym,” Cristello said. “I work hard at everything I do. I wouldn’t be like that if I didn’t have gymnastics.”

She doesn’t do anything, even simple household chores, without giving 100 percent of her effort, Cristello added.

“I’m big on ethics and honor and character, and she’s all of those things,” Ryden said. “She’s one of the most forthright and genuine people. It’s been a joy to coach her.”


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