Arizona Gymnastics Inks Recruit in Late Signing Period

TUCSON, Ariz. University of Arizona women's gymnastics head coach Bill Ryden announced Monday that Aimee Estella (Cherry Hill, N.J.) has signed a national letter of intent and will join the Wildcats for the 2 season.

"Aimee (Estella) is a quality all-around gymnast," Ryden said. "And, she definitely will add depth in every event. She has a tremendous work ethic, and I think she and the other three signees will have a significant impact on next year's team."

Estella is a Level 10 competitor and currently trains at the Jersey Jets Gymnastics Club, in Mount Laurel, N.J., with club coach Tom Krupa. Estella, who has participated in club gymnastics for the last seven years, competed at the national championships from 1994 to 1997. She tied for fifth in the all-around at the Parkettes Invitational earlier this year, and Estella also finished seventh in the all-around at the 2000 Nation's Capital Cup.

A product of Paul VI High School, in Haddonfield, N.J., Estella was a member of the United States Junior Olympic National Team for four seasons (1). She won the uneven bars title at the New Jersey State Championships in 1994, 1995 and 1997 and grabbed the all-around crown in 1994 and 1997. Estella finished second on bars at the regional meet in 1995 and 1996, and she placed first on beam at the 1996 regional competition.

"It is an exciting time for Wildcat gymnastics," Ryden said. "Next year marks a whole new era for the program because we are going to have an infusion of talented, young gymnasts who will each have the opportunity to compete and enhance the team's depth."

The Arizona Wildcats closed out the 2000 season with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Region III Championships April 1 behind Nebraska, Louisiana State and Arizona State. Arizona ended the season 7-19 overall, and the Wildcats made their 14th-consecutive trip to the postseason. The UA finished No. 20 overall in the final national women's gymnastics poll.

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