Wildcats take on Wolf Pack
The University of Arizona gymnastics team is rolling, and it looks to continue its winning ways as it heads to North Carolina to take on No. 24 North Carolina State at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The team is coming off its best meet of the season last week against the University of Illinois at Chicago, when they posted a score of 195.400 for their third victory in a row. Despite the Wildcats' success, they still struggled during the beam and floor routines.
""It's a matter of reputation, and a lot of times it's a mental thing,"" said head coach Bill Ryden. ""We are still getting newer athletes used to their positions and some of the new routines. Sometimes there are just unfortunate breaks at the wrong time.""
The Wildcats hope to get Molly Quirk back this week as she was only able to participate in two events last week after coming down with an illness.
Quirk is one of the best all-around athletes on the team and depended on not to fall during her routines. Her absence hurt the team last week when both Jordan Williams and Deanna Graham fell during their beam routines.
""(We need) four solid events,"" Ryden said. ""We need to keep progressing routine wise like we have been, but we definitely need to not count falls.""
Quirk does think that she will be able to compete this week although her voice is still hoarse.
""If a gymnast believes, more often than not they can make it come true,"" Ryden said. ""They know their bodies and what's required of them. She isn't feeling great yet, but she feels a lot better than she did last week.""
Heading to North Carolina will be the first big road trip of the season for the Wildcats. They have been able to compete in the confines of their own home three out of the five meets. For the other two meets, they did not have to leave the West Coast as they traveled to California and Utah.
""I don't think it should be an issue,"" said assistant coach Randi Acosta. ""They just have to mentally prepare and hit the way they know how. I don't think the cold weather or travel time will get in our way.""
Cristello named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week
Aubree Cristello bested her competition in the Pacific 10 Conference this week as she was awarded the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week.
Cristello smashed all of her individual records last week as Arizona Gymnastics blew past the University of Illinois at Chicago. Cristello earned a career high on vault, bars and floor as she posted scores of 9.850, 9.875 and 9.900, respectively. These scores added up to a career-high all-around score of 39.400, which gave
Cristello the 10th best all-around performance in the history of the UA.
""She just had a fantastic meet, and finishing with that 9.9 on floor was fantastic,"" Ryden said. ""Every event she was spectacular. Even though she was first-team all conference last year, I feel like she is better in every single event this year.""
Cristello has struggled with nagging injuries all year and Ryden said that the UIC meet was only her second healthy meet, and when she gets into the rhythm of things she could be really dangerous. Cristello suffered a shoulder injury in practice and was unable to compete all-around for two events. Ryden already considers her one of the best gymnasts in the conference.
""I have never gotten that before so it was nice,"" Cristello said of the award. ""I was never expecting it.
""I have never gotten a 9.9 before and I was kind of hoping I did (after my floor routine). It was just a really good feeling. I have been waiting for it and it finally came.""