Potential Lineups: Arizona


By Caroline Medley


The first analysis in our Pac-12 potential lineups series focuses on Arizona, who brought new life to its program last season with their new coach, Tabitha Yim. They’ll lose seniors Danielle Buchanan, Shelby Edwards, Lexi Mills and Jessie Sisler, and while Buchanan has been injured the last season or two, Edwards, Mills and Sisler will leave major holes on all four events. Hopefully the large class of incoming freshmen will be able to help.

On vault, the Wildcats will miss seniors Edwards and Sisler and theoretically would return only one 10.0 start value vault — Lauryn Mattson’s Yurchenko arabian. Unfortunately, in the new rule revisions that were recently released, the Yurchenko arabian, along with a number of other vaults, will be devalued to a 9.95 like the full that the rest of Arizona’s gymnasts competed last season. Maddy Cindric, Selynna Felix-Terrazas and Gabby Laub will all return useable Yurchenko fulls, and incoming freshmen Isabell Hutchins, Jenny Leung and Heather Swanson will all bring fulls to the team as well. However, the real star should be new Wildcat Madelaine Leydin, who competed for Australia at worlds last year. She competes a Yurchenko 1.5 that will give the Wildcats a 10.0 vault once again. In addition, Arizona did not use now-sophomore Brittany Robertson last season, who is a former New Zealand elite. If she competes this season, she could also contribute a solid full.

​On bars, the Gymcats lose a strong routine from Mills but should be able to fill their lineup no problem. They’ll return routines from Felix-Terrazas, Laub, Krysten Howard, Victoria Ortiz, Kennady Schneider and Dani Spencer, but the really interesting routines should come from their freshmen. Christina Berg has nice form and a strong piked Jaeger that could really step up Arizona’s game, and Shannon Farrell has been
working on some fun skills, like an Endo half and an Ono to Jaeger.
Edwards, Mills and Sisler each leave an opening in the beam lineup, so Arizona’s depth on the event will drop significantly. Cindric, Howard and Skyler Sheppard will all return to the lineup, but that leaves three more routines for the incoming freshmen to make up. Courtney Cowles brings a clean routine to the team with an excellent back handspring to double twist

dismount. Berg and Swanson will also have strong routines, and if Leydin can clean up her skill connections, she could contribute as well.

Those three seniors also all contributed to the floor lineup, so again the Wildcats’ depth will drop. Felix-Terrazas will lead the charge with the only E pass of the veteran group, a full-in. But Arizona will also return Cindric, Howard, Mattson and Schneider. Leydin brings a solid routine, but even at worlds last year, she only competed two tumbling passes, making up the rest of her difficulty with dance. Swanson also brings an impressive routine with a well-executed 2.5 twist as her final pass.

Last season, Arizona fielded no all arounders, and this will likely be the case again this season. However, there are several gymnasts competing three of the four apparatus — Felix-Terrazas, Cindric and potentially freshmen Swanson and Leydin. If any of these girls can put together a lineup-worthy bars routine, they could potentially have a shot at the all around. Even if they don’t have any all arounders, though, Arizona should be looking to improve on their performance from last season and continue rebuilding its program under Yim.

For a potential lineup breakdown on each event, visit the potential lineups page. And stay tuned for analysis of the other seven Pac-12 teams.

Editors note: After the time this article was published, Robertson posted on Instagram she would not be returning to Arizona in the fall. Robertson is a former New Zealand elite and came across the world to attend Arizona.

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