Allie Skaggs, El Inde Arizona
It’s rivalry weekend for the GymCats as they head north to Tempe to take on the Arizona State University Sun Devils. The University of Arizona is 8-9 all-time against ASU, and they are looking for another Territorial Cup win on Saturday, Jan. 28.
According to Road to Nationals rankings, the GymCats fall at No. 43 in vault, No. 40 in uneven bars, No. 12 in balance beam and No. 21 in floor exercise. The same rankings have the Sun Devils sitting at No. 27 in vault, No. 12 in uneven bars, No. 27 in balance beam and No. 34 in floor exercise.
Senior Libby Orman and sophomore Emily Mueller are prepared and ready to compete on Saturday.
“I am just excited to go up there and experience the true rivalry against our teams,” Orman said. “Our team hasn’t even shown anything close to our capability, so I’m feeling confident that this is the meet that it will happen.”
Mueller, who had a breakout freshman season in 2022, feels similar excitement.
“Everyone is on the same page and knows the job that needs to be done. We’re all locked in and ready to go,” Mueller said.
The competition is set to take place in the Desert Financial Arena in Tempe at 5:00 p.m. MST.
The GymCats are coming off a near upset against Pac-12 opponent University of California Berkeley, who was ranked No. 6 at the time. Arizona reached a season high score of 196.100 but fell to Cal who scored 196.400. The GymCats will be looking to several key players to help them secure a win against the Sun Devils.
Elena Deets, the junior from Maple Grove, Minnesota, is coming off of a strong weekend after being named Arizona’s gymnast of the meet. Deets posted two new career highs against Cal, one in balance beam, 9.875, while also tying her career uneven bars score, 9.900.
Malia Hargrove, the senior from Sparks, Nevada, will be another standout to keep an eye on this Saturday. Hargrove took home first place on vault and floor against Cal, scoring 9.850 and 9.900, respectively. The honor for 1st in floor was shared with Mueller.
Mueller, the sophomore from Cary, North Carolina, is emerging as a consistent force for the GymCats and will be a big part of the upcoming weekend. Mueller tied a career high in floor exercise, scoring 9.900, and tied with Hargrove for 1st place on floor.
The Sun Devils are coming off of a 196.225-196.050 loss to their Pac-12 opponent, Stanford University. They are looking to continue their four-meet regular season winning streak against the Wildcats on Saturday with the help of a few main gymnasts.
Sarah Clark, the junior from Huntington Beach, California, had a strong showing against then-No. 19 Stanford. Clark took home 1st place in uneven bars after posting a score of 9.875 and scored a season high of 9.875 on balance beam.
Emily White, the junior from Seal Beach, California, competed in the all-around against Stanford, scoring 39.300 throughout the competition. White has been on a hot streak recently, scoring at least a 9.800 in every event over the last three weeks.
Jada Mangahas, the junior from Allentown, Pennsylvania, took home 1st place on floor against Stanford with a score of 9.875. Mangahas also set personal season highs in vault and uneven bars, scoring 9.800 and 9.850, respectively.