Gymcats' Allison Flores steps in
With injuries plaguing No. 18 Arizona gymnastics, the Gymcats knew somebody needed to step up and fill in their places.
Junior Allison Flores was ready to fill that void.
“Being an upperclassman has definitely put me in a leadership role,” Flores said. “I think a lot of the upperclassmen have really been stepping up and realizing that we are the future of this program.”
After senior leaders Jordan Williams and Barbara Donaldson went down with injuries, head coach Bill Ryden said Flores has stepped in.
Junior Allison Flores performs her floor exercise routine against UCLA on Saturday in McKale Center. The Gymcats lost to the Bruins 197.500-196.250, and Flores finished third in the all-around with a 38.925. Flores earned a career high on the bars (9.900) and the floor exercise (9.900).
“She has a great work ethic and is a very fiery and intense competitor,” Ryden said. “As a coach, she makes you feel very confident because if she misses, it won’t be for lack of effort or lack of focus.”
Other Gymcats have been impressed too, not only with her on-the-court performance, but also off of the court.
“I think her performance and personality is just absolutely special and unique,” freshman Selynna Felix-Terrazas said. “In every way possible, she is nice and works very hard and I’m really honored to be a part of the same team.”
This season, Flores has hit her career best in every single event. Thus far, she has scored a 9.800 on vault, a 9.900 on uneven bars, a 9.850 on balance beam, a 9.900 on floor and a 39.350 all-around.
“She is a great gymnast and actually struggled at the beginning of this year,” Ryden said. “She had certain goals and had to sort of come to terms with the fact of what she needed to do to get to her goal, and she has done it.”
Recently, Flores has been competing in the all-around, starting with the meet against then-No. 4 Utah and the injury to Williams. Last week against then-No. 9 UCLA, Flores tied two career highs in floor and in bars. Even as a top gymnast, Flores still knows that there is always room for improvement.
“I’m not where I want to be, but I think with every meet it gets better,” Flores said. “Hopefully, toward the postseason I can continue to accomplish some of my goals.”
The Gymcats might need another quality performance from Flores to beat No. 15 Oregon State this Sunday.
“That girl loves to compete and is going to bring her best effort every single time she is out there,” Ryden said. “For us to compete with them, we will have to continue doing what we are doing and build off of last weekend.”
—Follow Matt Wall @mwall20