The Wildcats’ first meet is now under their belts, with a third-place finish against California, Auburn and Kentucky on Jan. 6, and Arizona’s gymnastics season has officially begun. With such a short season ahead, it won’t be long until UA gymnastics loses two seniors who have had a big impact on the program.
Seniors Aubree Cristello and Molly Quirk have been involved in competitive gymnastics since they were children.
They joined the same club gym, World Class Gymnastics Academy, in Latham, N.Y., at ages 10 and 11, and now they have the opportunity to finish their gymnastics careers together.
Cristello’s main events are floor and vault and her average all-around score is 38.947. Quirk’s favorite events are bars and beam with an average all-around score of 38.792.
The Daily Wildcat sat down with both Cristello and Quirk to ask them about their senior year plans.
Daily Wildcat: Going into your senior season, what is the ultimate goal you will set for yourself?
Quirk: “I guess I just want to contribute as much as I can, and kind of be someone that the team can rely on in competition and then I think that for everyone the ultimate goal is to get our team to nationals. So that’s the main focus.”
Cristello: “I want to be the best leader I can on the team and contribute the best I can. Also, getting to nationals is one of our biggest goals and I really want to be All-American this year.”
What was your best and worst gymnastic moment?
Quirk: “That’s a tough one. The worst would be when we did an exhibition at a basketball game one year and I was doing my series on beam and I missed my foot on my series and I just wiped out in front of everyone. So that was pretty embarrassing.
Then there have been a couple meets when I feel like our team really came together and those would be the highlight for me. When we did really well and everyone is excited was the best memory for me.”
Cristello: “My best moment was qualifying for nationals, being up on the podium and getting to represent our school at nationals.
I think one of my worst moments was when I was actually at nationals and I missed my bar routine because I feel like I lost an opportunity to place in the all-around. It was just sad that I got all the way there and then my dreams got crushed.”
What will next school year be like without gymnastics, since you are both done with your four years of eligibility?
Quirk: “That’s tough. For both of us, we have been doing it since we were 3 to 5 years old, so there was never really a time where we weren’t doing it, and unlike other sports, we don’t have an off season. We have never had time off, ever. So I think it will be an interesting transition from being a gymnast to not. I feel like I’m just gonna be bored and I’m gonna have so much time on my hands to just do anything.”
Cristello: “I can definitely see what Molly is saying, we are going to have so much free time. I’m hoping to find a job and keep myself busy.
I mean at the same time, I’ve been doing gymnastics since I was 3. I’m gonna miss it a lot but I’m also really excited to do other things with my life, like start a new chapter in my life.”