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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Tomczyk: The spirit of a gymnast

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The UA gymnastics team ended their home season with a third straight win against No. 24 Minnesota 196.175 to 193.700 Friday night in McKale. Senior Sarah Tomczyk placed second overall in last home meet of her career.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The UA gymnastics team ended their home season with a third straight win against No. 24 Minnesota 196.175 to 193.700 Friday night in McKale. Senior Sarah Tomczyk placed second overall in last home meet of her career.

Passion.

It is the one word that is always used to describe the type of gymnast and the type of person that Arizona gymnastics senior Sarah Tomczyk exemplifies.

“”Sarah was definitely an amazing gymnast, and she had so much passion and heart,”” said Arizona Gymcats sophomore Katie Matusik. “”She was a great leader, and she will definitely be missed.””

Before Tomczyk could develop her leadership skills, she had to battle through a severe elbow injury that forced her to be medically redshirted and lingered into her first year of competition.

The injury brought doubts as to what kind of career she would have as a Gymcat.

“”Freshman year, there was turmoil because of her injury. I felt bad for her,”” said head coach Bill Ryden. “”She had to battle back. We didn’t even know if she would have a career. It’s a great story — that’s for sure.””

Despite the turmoil, Tomczyk went on to have an extremely successful career with Arizona and most recently displayed her leadership, as she was the sole senior on a young, injury-plagued Gymcats team.

The Gymcats’ season was often up and down, but the one thing that remained consistent were the performances that Tomczyk was able to pull off. Even with a young and injured team, Tomczyk was able to help end the season nationally ranked, as it secured the No. 19 spot.

“”We have had higher rankings my first couple years, but we improved a lot from our ranking from last year,”” Tomczyk said. “”It was extra special for me because it was my last year. For me personally, I thought it was a great season.””

The shining moment for Tomczyk came appropriately during senior night, when the Gymcats hosted the University of Minnesota. During that meet, Tomczyk was able to pull off a near perfect floor routine, earning herself a score of 9.950.

“”It was really close to me because, before the meet, the girls gave me a gift. We usually do that for seniors,”” Tomczyk said. “”They gave me a picture that they all wrote comments around, and they also gave me a new Bible. I was really honored that they gave me that.””

“”Right now, I am kind of sad, but getting to compete this year was awesome,”” she added. “”I think it was really great just to finish out my entire career and be able to compete four entire seasons.””

Tomczyk’s leadership was shown throughout the entire season, as she pushed the Gymcats hard during practice, most often by showing rather than telling.

But Tomczyk doesn’t want her mark on the program to be one of athletic accolades.

“”I honestly don’t want to be remembered for my gymnastics,”” Tomczyk said. “”I would much rather be remembered for my leadership and commitment to the team, and even just my faith. I would much rather people remember me for that (than) any accomplishment that I received in my career.””

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