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Son of a beam

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Hallie Bolonkin | The Daily Wildcat Hallie Bolonkin / Arizona Daily Wildcat


The No. 25 Arizona gymnastics team continues to get better week by week, but it continues to struggle in one event.



The Wildcats have issues during their beam routines, as they have consistently wobbled or even fallen off the beam. The last meet the Wildcats faced off against the No. 2 Stanford Cardinal and had two falls and almost a third before freshman Jordan Williams regained her balance.



""I think the intensity last weekend, in my opinion, was a little low,"" assistant coach Randi Acosta said. ""I think they knew it was the No. 2 team there but we needed to be ourselves, we are a lot better than what we showed.""



The beam itself is a daunting piece of equipment, standing four feet off the ground and 16 feet long. The apparatus is only four inches wide.



After the Stanford meet, the coaching staff expressed frustration and recognized that the team feels the same way.



""It's not for a lack of work,"" said head coach Bill Ryden. ""Like with anybody on anything, if you work on something over and over and you don't see results it gets frustrating. The only choice we have is to just stick with it. I know we have the athletes to do the job.""



According to Ryden it's not that the team has more mistakes on beam than other events but the mistakes on beam are so much more noticeable.



""It's just so unforgiving,"" Ryden said. ""It's not that it's more difficult it's just the tiniest error and you're going to fall off.""



Acosta, who is the Wildcats beam coach and excelled on the beam, scoring a perfect 10.0 mark while she competi here for Arizona, even agreed with Ryden.



""With beam you have one base under you,"" Acosta said. ""With bars if you are slightly out you can reach your arms even farther or adjust your arms. In beam your whole body has to be on top of the beam. If your body is slightly off center it's going to be a fight to stay on.



""In my personal opinion as a gymnast, I know beam was the most difficult event.""



Katie Matusik is considered by the coaching to be the most talented beam worker on the team and has even recorded a 9.900 this season. Acosta also said Aubree Cristello and Molly Quirk are right behind Matusik, and maintaining focus was the key to beam success.



""Everyone just needs to stay confident and calm up there,"" Matusik said. ""Sometimes we tend to try and finish our set as fast as possible because we want to get off of there. Just need to do what we do every day in practice.""



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