By Arlie Rahn
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Persevere (pur' se ver') Ä To persist in or remain constant to a purpose, idea, or task in spite of obstacles. See also Jenna Karadbil and Nicole Garrett.
In the UA gymnastics team's disappointing second-place tri-meet (behind UCLA and ahead of UC-Santa Barbara) finish Friday night at McKale Center, Karadbil and Garrett, both seniors, reestablished themselves as members of the elite in the Pacific 10 Conference. And not a moment too late Ä it was the last home meet of the season for the Wildcats.
But the amazing thing was that neither was expected to perform in even one event.
Karadbil had received two cortisone shots to her left arm earlier in the week and had not practiced all week long; Garrett had dislocated and badly bruised her left toe, and was advised by the coaching staff to sit out. These two were determined, however, to go out and perform for the Tucson fans one more time.
They did that and more. Garrett gave the best overall performance of her career, recording a personal best of 39.175 in the all-around. With the exception of a few style flaws on the bars (9.65), she was nearly perfect in all the events, as her scores in the vault (9.9), beam (9.775) and floor (9.85) indicated.
"Right now, I feel great. Even the toe feels all right," Garrett said of her condition. "It's a dream come true to do this well in my last home meet."
While Karadbil only performed in two events, that was one more than she has done all season. With her elbow injury, she had been restricted to beam duty all season long.
She was nearly flawless on the beam, scoring a 9.9, and impressive in the floor exercise (9.55).
"It was amazing to see what those two did tonight. Who would have thought it?" said UA head coach Jim Gault. "Both were going to play no matter what I or the other coaches said."
In the meet itself, the Wildcats (10-4, 2-1 Pac-10) finished in the middle of the pack. The Bruins had their best score of the season, a 195.425, while Arizona and UC-Santa Barbara rounded out the field with scores of 192.675 and 189, respectively.
"You cannot only take out that event for us, you can throw it to China," a disappointed Gault said. "You really never know with that silly event."
After a talk with Gault following the beam, a more focused Wildcat team emerged ready to finish out in the floor. Their final three scores in that event were over a 9.775 with the highlight being junior Darci Wambsgans' 9.8 finish following an disappointing 8.2 performance on the beam.
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