Category: Gymnastics

February 20, 2017 Lauren Cuddihy
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Madeline Arbuckle preforms her floor routine in a meet against UC Davis at the Alaska Airlines Center. Photo credit: Skip Hickey

Already five meets into the season before the UC Davis meet, the Seawolves have received variable results from week to week, but the gymnasts, including junior Kendra Daniels, can barely keep up with the quick season.

“It has flown by. Pre-season felt like it was dragging on and the team was ready to compete, it’s hard to think we only have a couple more meets and then it’s over,” Daniels said.

The began with a rocky start in the Northeast in early January with two back to back losses in the Virginia opener and Maryland quad meet, neither time breaking a score of 188 when their goal is always 190.

However, soon after, things started looking positive in the mid-season for the Seawolves. Although neither meet produced a score of 190, the gymnasts secured two wins with their home field advantage. Wisconsin-Stout joined the Seawolves at the Alaska Airlines Center for two separate meets that allowed the gymnasts to score the previous season high score of 189.350.

Not long after, the team performed the current season high score of 190.900, finally bypassing the 190 barrier — In Sacramento against the Hornets. Although it was a season high, the meet still resulted in a loss behind Sacramento’s 194.900.

Although they pulled off what they wanted, head coach Paul Stoklos reflected that it wasn’t under the best circumstances.

“We had our season high score and we walked away from that really quite happy because we had two of our competitors out of our lineup, one go out with an injury during the event, and one out with the flu right before… but we still pulled it off,” Stoklos said.

These meets lead the Seawolves to the weekend of Feb. 17-19 in Davis, California with a record of two wins and three losses.

Only five meets in and five meets left, the team realized how important these upcoming meets were.

“We are at the halfway point of the season, both time wise and competition wise… but everyone is really stepping up and doing a great job,” said head coach Stoklos.

The meet proved to be rather successful for individual gymnasts but lacked with the overall team score.

Standout junior Madeleine Arbuckle, a Winnipeg local, secured her career-best score of 38.000 all-around with an impressive 9.625 in floor being the highest of all her events.

Arbuckle also boasted a score of 9.500 in uneven bars, just barely edging past her previous season record of 9.425. In addition, her beam score of 9.575 lead her to a three-way tie with senior Brice Mizell and sophomore Kaylin Mancari who shared fifth place in beam.

The only other all-arounder on UAA’s side was junior Morgan Ross. The Reno, NV local just barely fell behind Arbuckle with a final score of 37.625. Securing top UAA performances in vault with a score of 9.625 and in floor with 9.800, putting her at second place in the floor exercise.

Ross wasn’t the only one able to succeed in floor, Daniels — who only began floor in college — was able to pull through for a tie for third with a score of 9.750.

“I had always wanted to do floor, and turned out it was one of my better events in college so being able to help out with that is amazing,” Daniels said.

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Kendra Daniels leaping up in her beam routine during a home meet at the Alaska Airlines Center. Photo credit: Skip Hickey

In addition, the Seawolves produced a season-best team total on uneven bars resulting in a score of 46.975. The uneven bars was led by senior Nicole Larkin, although scoring an impressive 9.700, it only put her at sixth overall, followed by freshman Mackenzie Miller (9.525) and Arbuckle, in eighth and ninth respectively.

Overall, the gymnasts performed exceptionally well as individuals, but it wasn’t enough to surpass UC Davis’ score of 194.900 while the Seawolves fell behind 189.350.

With a second chance to redeem themselves, the Seawolves rematched the Aggies on Sunday, Feb. 19. After returning to Alaska, the gymnasts will have several weeks off before returning to competition at home joined by Centenary College of Louisiana at the Alaska Airlines Center on Mar. 3-5.

“With so many meets in such a short amount of time… we cram it all into a 10-11 period week of time, but i know it every year and warn the athletes every year it’ll be over before [we] know it,” Stoklos said.

Quickly afterwards, the gymnasts head to the Conference Championships when it seemed to be just the beginning of their season.

January 31, 2016 Nolin Ainsworth
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Photo credit: Inna Mikhailova

The UAA Gymnastics squad hosts their first home meet of the season this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in the Alaska Airlines Center when they entertain the Brigham Young University Cougars. The meet will mark the third time the team has competed this season. The Seawolves hosted a Green-and-Gold intra-squad scrimmage in mid-December before flying to Ohio for a January 23 dual-meet with the Bowling Green Falcons. Despite losing the meet 194.075-191.500, several Seawolves performed up to their potential.

Junior Julia York competed in the beam and floor events in Bowling Green, two events in which the Seawolves have deepest reserves. Despite the stiff competition among her teammates, York remains optimistic about her events.

“I started to go downhill and I wasn’t making my routines and I didn’t know why,” York said. “Then I just realized I wasn’t being confident and that changed everything.”

The team is comprised of 17 members this season after welcoming four freshmen to the team, including Kierra Abraham, Morgan Colee, Erica Man, and Kaylin Mancari. The whole roster is expected to compete this weekend.

For the Seawolves to be successful this season, gymnastics coach Paul Stoklos said they will need to improve on one event in particular.

“Bars is our toughest event. We have people who can’t do bars anymore who came in as bar workers and so were really limited in our depth,” Stoklos said. “Whereas on some of the other events we have maybe 8 or 9 people.”

Senior M’rcy Matsunami will be one of the Seawolves competing in the bars, along with the vault, beam, and floor exercise. As the only UAA gymnast to qualify for last season’s NCAA West Regional tournament as an all-arounder, the Nebraska native has plenty of reasons to be eager for one last season with the Seawolves.

“I’m really excited for this season, also really sad because I’ve been doing gymnastics for 21 years, since I’ve been born,” Matsunami said. “After I’m done, its just going to be a shock, I think.”

After this weekend, the Seawolves will only have two more home meets, on March 11 and 13 against conference-rival Air Force.

UAA students taking 6 or more credits get in free to all home UAA athletic events. For more on the gymnastics team, visit goseawolves.com.

January 24, 2016 Nolin Ainsworth

Updated last Saturday, January 23, 2016 After a whole semester of pre-season training and three weeks of practice we finally reached the week of our first road trip. We compete Saturday in Bowling Green, Ohio. Because it takes a few days for our bodies to adjust to a different time zone, we boarded a plane…

January 12, 2015 Adam Eberhardt

The UAA gymnastics team started its first season in the Alaska Airlines Center with two strong victories against Winona State University. UAA beat Winona State 191.550-178.450 last Thursday and 192.250-185.275 last Saturday. On Thursday night M’rcy Matsunami placed first in all events except the floor in which she scored second. Kallie Randolph won the floor…

April 29, 2014 TNL Staff

Courtesy: UAA Sports Information ANCHORAGE – Sophomore Stefany Bryan was named the Alaska Anchorage gymnastics team’s 2014 MVP on Thursday night as the Seawolves celebrated with their year-end banquet at Lone Star Steakhouse. Bryan was an NCAA Div. I West Regional Championships all-around qualifier and earned All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honors in the all-around and on uneven…

March 4, 2014 Travis Dowling

March 1, 2014

In the final event at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex last Sunday, the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves competed against the Lindenwood University Lions in a gymnastics meet. Freshman Julia York posted a score of 9.675 on the vault. The Seawolves lost the vault event to the Lions by a score of 48.450 to 47.850.

January 29, 2013 Keon McMillan

The Seawolves pulled off a win despite a close scoring margin in Friday’s gymnastics meet against the Seattle Pacific Falcons. Freshman gymnast M’rcy Matsunami was a stunner in this one, leading the ‘Wolves to a 191.675-191.575 victory.

April 3, 2012 Ashley Smith

UAA may know Paul Stoklos as being the Seawolf Gymnastics coach since the program began in 1985 but he has a hobby that he is just as passionate about away from the mats and bars.

“When I got into ski patrolling here somebody told me, ‘well there’s this guy who’s a ski patrol instructor’ and that was Bill Tai, who was my link into Alaska Search and Rescue Dogs,” Stoklos said.

February 21, 2012 Taylor Hall

TNL Sports Editor, Taylor Hall, does a Q&A with UAA Gymnast, Melissa Doucette.
How did you get started in gymnastics?
It was in a “Mommy and Me” class. I saw others doing it and decided I wanted to join in on it.

January 31, 2012 Ashley Smith

The Seawolves’ gymnastics team has the skill, attitude, and determination to come out on top of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Conference, and from the looks of it are already vaulting toward that goal.

The UAA gymnasts are averaging about the same scores as they did last season at this point. Recently took 2nd place at a tournament in Towson, Md. Earlier in the year, they tumbled past the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons for two home wins.