Gymcats' season was a resiliant one
Plagued by injuries throughout most of the season, Arizona gymnastics never gave up.
Even when senior leader Jordan Williams went down, the team still managed to qualify for Regionals and set numerous records. Although their last meet did not go their way, head coach Bill Ryden described the season as one filled with potential.
“We were that team that had so much potential,” Ryden said. “It was always that little bit more that we needed to squeeze out. I have never seen a year like this where all the individual events were ranked so high nationally, and yet as a total, we were ranked lower because we just couldn’t put it all together at the same time.”
The Gymcats were able to set new records for the program.
Sophomore all-around Shelby Edwards performs her vault routine. Edwards and junior Allie Flores won the Pac-12 Vault title. Arizona finished sixth in the Pac-12 Championships.
Arizona earned the third-best meet score in school history and tallied a top-10 vault score.
Junior Allison Flores and sophomore Shelby Edwards made Arizona history with their Pac-12 Vault Co-Championship titles. The Gymcats had not earned a conference title since 2002 when current assistant coach Randi Acosta won the floor title.
“We did the best we could and we had some really good events,” Flores said. “I know that coach Bill [Ryden] said that we were ranked in the top 13 on each event, just nationally we weren’t, so that shows us how good of a team we are, but we were unable to put all the pieces together.”
The Gymcats struggled on the road throughout the season though, unable to go 24 for 24 in many of their meets.
“We did have a problem getting everything together on the road and certainly that seemed to work against us,” Ryden said. “We all feel that the season came to an end far too early for us, but we just have to accept it and move on.”
Four freshmen stepped up to lead roles in the lineup, rarely letting their inexperience get the best of them, including Selynna Felix-Terrazas, Mackenzie Valentin, Krysten Howard and Gabby Laub.
Multiple juniors stepped up throughout the season into the leading roles, including Flores, Kristin Klarenbach and Amber Wobma.
The Gymcats seemed to have moved past their dreaded Baton Rouge Regional performance and are already thinking about next season and how they can do better.
“It might not have been the way we wanted to end the season,” Edwards said, “but I think that motivates us so much more, because we want to end on a better note next year.”
—Follow Matt Wall @mwall20