Gymcats top Washington
Arizona gymnastics carried its momentum from a strong performance against top-ranked Oklahoma and turned it into a victory against Washington.
After losing to the GymDawgs last year 196.025-195.200, the No. 13 Gymcats beat Washington 196.500-195.175 on Saturday in McKale Center.
Arizona won without senior Jordan Williams, who was injured against the Sooners.
“Jordan’s a huge player to our team,” said junior Allison Flores, who set a season-high score on the balance beam and a career high on floor. “She’s one of our leaders, and it hurts our team that she’s out, but I think we all stepped up.”
Junior all-around Allison Flores performes her floor routine in McKale Center on Saturday. Flores scored a 9.90 on her floor routine.
Arizona started off slow on the vault, where sophomore Shelby Edwards placed first with a score of 9.875, followed by freshman Mackenzie Valentin with a score of 9.800. After the first rotation, the GymDawgs finished the uneven bars with a score of 49.075, ahead of Arizona’s 48.925 score from vault.
“I definitely think the team’s confidence from last week contributed to our success,” Edwards said. “Even though we had a little bit of a rough start, we kept it going and we stayed loud and did a really good job of coming back.”
Arizona then moved to the uneven bars, where Flores led the Gymcats with a score of 9.875, followed by Edwards and sophomore Lexi Mills’ twin scores of 9.800. The Gymcats finished the bars with a score of 49.025. After the second rotation, Arizona led, 97.950-97.750.
In the third rotation, Arizona had five scores of 9.800 or better on beam, including a 9.875 season high for junior Shay Fox. Flores also set a season high on beam with a score of 9.850.
“Beam is what really did it,” head coach Bill Ryden said. “So, I think that the key for us for our meet was the fact that even though we were rough on bars, we came back and really rocked beam. And then from there, I knew.”
Arizona was very successful on the floor, with both Flores and junior Kristin Klarenbach posting scores of 9.900, followed by junior Amber Wobma and Valentin with scores of 9.875 and freshman Selynna Felix-Terrazas with a season-high 9.850.
“Beam and floor were fantastic,” Ryden said. “Floor is amazing, and we even upped our difficulty from last week. … It feels good that the team is competing this well.”
Arizona will head to Salt Lake City to take on No. 4 Utah on Friday.
—Follow Katie McCallister @katiemacsports