The Arizona gymnastics team hosted its first quad meet and placed second on Saturday with a score of 195.85 against Illinois, San Jose State and Stanford. The outcome left Arizona .175 away from Stanford’s victorious score of 196.025.
Although No. 6 Stanford is known to be a gymnastic powerhouse, it did not prove to be an intimidating factor for the No. 19 Wildcats, who came off a third-place position last week. The Wildcats were off their game in the first event but ended strong.
Arizona started off the evening with vault, where the tricks looked a little shaky. The Wildcats were flying off the mat, and those who usually excel in the vault faltered.
“You can’t let down your guard, especially against someone like Stanford,” Arizona coach Bill Ryden said. “Had we vaulted, we would have beaten them. We can play with the big boys, I’m not afraid of that, but you can’t do it if you aren’t going to be there on every event.”
Although Arizona struggled to stick its landings, it placed second overall in vault with 48.650. Stanford placed first with 49.000 followed by Illinois in third and San Jose State in fourth.
The Wildcats made some improvement moving into bars, where all but one gymnast shined. Aubree Cristello and Lexi Mills tied their personal bests with marks of 9.875 and 9.775, respectively.
Wildcat Jordan Williams fell on her bar routine for the second week in a row. Despite the minor mishap, Arizona posted a 49.100, but once again came in second to Stanford’s 49.325 posting.
Cristello pulled through again for Arizona when she placed first on the balance beam with 9.900, her personal best. Shelby Edwards, who was cleared the day before the meet from a serious injury, had a personal best of 9.725, while sophomore Allison Flores tied her personal best of 9.700.
The final event is where the competitive drive seemed to come alive for Arizona. The team earned a 49.400, which placed them into the books as the 10th best floor performance in program history and first place in floor for the meet.
Flores started off floor to tie her personal best of 9.800 and Shana Sangston followed by matching her score. The next three who followed, Williams, Molly Quirk and Kristin Klarenbach all scored personal bests. Cristello matched Klarenbach’s 9.925 score, which tied them both for first in floor.
Cristello dominated the meet posting an all-around score of 39.475, tying her personal best. She was followed by Illinois’ Allina Weinstein with 39.175 and Stanford’s Ashley Morgan with 39.125.
Looking ahead to next weekend, Arizona will take their positive stride to Denton, Texas where it will compete against Texas Women’s, BYU and Wisconsin-Whitewater on Saturday at 7 p.m.