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GymCats fall to Arizona State on emotional senior night

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Courtesy Stan Liu | The Daily Wildcat

Arizona seniors Gabrielle Laub (left), Krysten Howard (middle) and Selynna Felix-Terrazas (right) are honored during senior night in McKale Center. 

In what would be their final time in McKale Center this season, Arizona gymnastics fell to in-state rival ASU 195.700-195.375 on Senior Day in front of an announced crowd of 2,410.

Overall, head coach Tabitha Yim said she was disappointed in the final results of the meet.

“We’ve worked really hard and had been trying to build toward the end of the season,” Yim said. “I really expected more and was hoping to send the seniors out in a stronger fashion. We are going to have to go back and work harder and get better. It’s not what we are looking for, and it’s not what is expected at this point in the season.”

The meet would be the last in McKale Center for seniors Gabrielle Laub, Selynna Felix-Terrazas and Krysten Howard.

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“Our seniors are incredible athletes, incredible students and incredible people,” Yim said. “To watch them grow over the last two years that I’ve been here, I’m just so proud that they are representing this program and this university.”

The seniors entered the meet arm in arm in front of the Wildcat crowd, alongside senior team manager Courtney Buchanan.

“It kind of was very symbolic,” Howard said. “We walked into this program together and we are walking out together.”

Following the meet, all four seniors were presented with GymCat leotards and frames with their families beside them.

“I had the time of my life competing with a family that has given me the best four years of my life,” Howard said. “I’m just so happy that I could close out my senior year in McKale with them.”

The Wildcats kicked off the meet on vault, accumulating a total score of 48.925 behind big performances from the GymCat freshmen. Freshman Heather Swanson and Jenny Leung tallied scores of 9.825 and 9.800, respectively. Junior Madison Cindric completed her routine with a score of 9.800.

Next, Arizona moved onto the uneven bars, totaling a team score of 48.700. Howard started the Wildcats off with a 9.875. Felix-Terrazas tallied a score of 9.825, while junior Victoria Ortiz concluded the rotation with a 9.925.

In the rotation, Arizona faced two falls by freshman Christina Berg and sophomore Haylie Hendrickson.

The Wildcats headed to beam for the third rotation. Howard and Hendrickson led the way with scores of 9.825. Junior Kennady Schneider finished her routine with a 9.800. The Wildcats faced two more falls by Ortiz and Cindric. Overall, Arizona tallied a team score of 48.550.

“It’s four years of my life coming to a close,” Laub said. “Four years that I will never forget. We stayed together up until the last floor routine. That was something that was really special.”

Arizona concluded the meet on floor rotation with a total team score of 49.200. Howard finished with a team high of 9.925, and she pounded the mat to finish off her final routine in McKale Center.

“I do my cat claw at the end of my floor routine, which is something my coaches gave to me my senior year,” Howard said. “My emotion with that being my last floor routine, I just had to hit the floor a little bit.”

Sophomore Lauryn Mattson nailed her floor routine with a 9.875. Schenider rounded out the mix with a 9.900.

Laub concluded the meet with a self-written song titled “Fearless,” breaking into tears as she hugged her teammates.

“For those of you who have followed us throughout the season, it’s obvious that we have had a lot of injuries and many things we have had to overcome,” Laub said. “We have done it. Every meet, we have had to overcome something a little bit more, and we did it fearlessly.”

The Wildcats will conclude their regular season against Brigham Young on March 10 at 7 p.m. in Provo, Utah.


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