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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Wurm an All-American on floor and all-around

    Karin Wurm
    Karin Wurm

    Arizona gymnast Karin Wurm was named an All-American for her performance at the NCAA Championships Thursday through yesterday in Salt Lake City.

    Wurm, a junior, earned first-team All-America honors on floor and second-team All-America honors in the all-around after her performance Thursday in the first round of the championships. She was the first Arizona gymnast to earn all-around honors since Randi Liljenquist in 2000.

    Wurm qualified to compete on floor in the individual event finals Saturday and scored a 9.825 to finish in a tie for 13th place out of 18 gymnasts. Alabama’s Morgan Dennis took first place with a 9.9625.

    For Wurm, usually an all-arounder, it was strange to compete on only one event in Saturday’s meet.

    “”It was definitely different competing (in) an event without having competed all the other events before it, because as you do each event it kind of builds up your adrenaline,”” she said.

    On top of that, warm-ups were at 6 p.m., but the floor competition didn’t begin until 9 p.m., so “”we sat around for a long time,”” Wurm said.

    Wurm competed in the all-around at the NCAA Championships last year in Corvallis, Ore., but didn’t advance beyond the first round.

    Arizona head coach Bill Ryden said he was proud of Wurm’s performance, although her routine Saturday wasn’t as clean as Thursday’s.

    “”She had a few landing deductions, which is what lowered her score,”” he said. “”In individual finals, if you even blink wrong, they’re gonna use that to separate you. … But she didn’t have a bad routine by any stretch. She was good.””

    Ryden said the trip was also a good experience for freshman Brittney Morgan and senior Jamie Holton, who each earned their first NCAA appearance Thursday. Morgan competed in the all-around and Holton competed on beam, but neither advanced to the finals.

    “”The girls represented the program really well,”” Ryden said. “”Brittney really learned from the experience, and so will Jamie Holton as she returns to help coach.””

    Both Holton and senior Aubrey Kelly will return as assistant coaches next season.

    The gymnasts also got to watch the Super Six team competition Friday, which may inspire them to take the team to the next level, Ryden said.

    “”We still need to up our game to get back to the Super Six,”” Ryden said of the championship competition that occurred the day after six teams were eliminated Thursday. “”The Super Six is certainly an eye-opener – that’s the big time. On the other hand, both UCLA and Stanford were in the Super Six, and we know we’re competitive with both of those teams.””

    Georgia took first place in the team competition with a 197.850, followed by host Utah (197.250) and Florida (197.225).

    Ryden said his only regret was that the rest of the team couldn’t have shared in the experience. The Gymcats barely missed the championships after they were defeated by Oregon State in regional competition April 14 in Tucson. Arizona had the highest regional score of any team not advancing to Salt Lake City.

    “”Ultimately I would have loved the team to be there, because we were good enough to be there,”” Ryden said. “”But we went there and still achieved some more for the program, even though we only took three girls.””

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