Heading into his second season as the head coach of Arizona gymnastics, John Court said that he wanted the GymCats to get to a point where they could win weekly conference awards. This year, his team has taken two after senior all-arounder Malia Hargrove earned Arizona’s second Pac-12 Coaches Choice award of the season.
Elizabeth LaRusso won the first honor for UA on Jan. 31 when she set career highs on vault, bars and floor against Arizona State as the GymCats put up their highest score of the season to that point.
Hargrove was honored after the GymCats’ performance at Oregon State. She earned a career high 9.975 on vault, getting a 10 from one judge and a 9.95 from the other. She earned scores of 9.925 on both the balance beam and floor exercise, matching her career highs on both events. With a 9.725 on uneven bars, she set a career high of 39.550 in the all-around.
The performance helped the GymCats earn a road score of 196.375, which allowed them to drop the 194.950 they earned the first week of the season.
Since road scores are at a premium for the national qualifying scores that went into effect this week, it was a crucial meet for Arizona. It keeps them in the top 28 of the rankings, which would not only qualify them for regionals but eliminate the need to compete in the opening round of the NCAA postseason.
Hargrove has been one of Arizona’s most consistent gymnasts over her career, regularly performing in all four events. She is one of two GymCats to qualify for nationals since Court took over the program five years ago.