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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Gymcats exorcize Sun Devil demons

    UA freshman Colleen Fisher flips on the balance beam at the gymnastics meet in Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe on Friday. Bergeson tied for second with a 9.850 on the beam, helping the No. 20 Gymcats to upset No. 17 ASU 195.925 - 195.725.
    UA freshman Colleen Fisher flips on the balance beam at the gymnastics meet in Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe on Friday. Bergeson tied for second with a 9.850 on the beam, helping the No. 20 Gymcats to upset No. 17 ASU 195.925 – 195.725.

    TEMPE – May 25, 2007. That was the last day an Arizona team, in any sport, defeated a team from ASU until Friday. The No. 20 Arizona gymnastics team exorcized their own Tempe demons by defeating No. 17 ASU (1-6) in the unfriendly confines of Wells Fargo Arena in a dual meet for the first time since 1987.

    “”This is monumental victory for our program,”” said UA head coach Bill Ryden. “”I’m just so proud of the girls.””

    The Gymcats broke Arizona’s nine-game losing streak to ASU, covering all sports. The last Wildcat team to beat the Sun Devils before this win was the Arizona baseball team in Tempe.

    “”We all heard before we left campus that we had better win,”” said junior Bree Workman. “”Because in the last (nine) meetings in any other sports, (Arizona) hadn’t beaten ASU, and for gymnastics to break that streak is really exciting.””

    The Gymcats (5-2, 2-2 Pacific 10 Conference) finally broke the elusive 195-point barrier by posting a season-high for the third meet in a row with a 195.925.

    On the uneven bars, senior Karin Wurm received a perfect 10 from one judge, and tied for first place with ASU’s Nicole Harris, tying a career-high with a 9.925 and junior Beamer Bergeson set a career high with a 9.875 to place third.

    “”This is how we look (in practice),”” Ryden said. “”This is us and it’s too bad Sarah Specht fell on bars, but how about Kirsten Schmieder making up for that? We were all holding our breath on that (routine), and she came through like a trooper.””

    Wurm, Workman and Specht were each part of a four-way tie on vault, which was tightly judged, according to Ryden, and after the second rotation, the meet was tied at 97.800.

    On floor, Arizona was once again led by Wurm, who placed first with a 9.000, tying another personal best.

    “”She’s one of the best gymnasts to ever put on an Arizona leotard,”” Ryden said of Wurm. “”Her scores aren’t the same as a Randi Liljenquist (1999-2002) or whatever, but the gymnastics you have to do to get those same scores, we keep raising the bars, so comparatively, she’s one of the best to ever put on an Arizona leotard and it’s fun to sit back and watch her go.””

    Arizona finished the meet on beam and received help from an unexpected source. During their beam routines, boos rained down from several Sun Devil fans. But the team channeled its anger and used it to its advantage.

    “”Miranda Russell in particular,”” Workman said. “”She looked pissed off, and with those guys booing it made us want to do even better.””

    Junior Alexis Greene won the beam with a 9.875 as Wurm and Bergeson tied for second with 9.850. Senior Danielle Hicks scored a 9.825 despite suffering from severe flu-like symptoms that kept her out of practice Thursday and from competing on floor.

    Wurm completed her domination of the meet by handily winning the all-around with a 39.425, tying another career high. It’s the third meet in a row in which she has won the all-around.

    “”I had a great night,”” she said. “”It’s great to improve as a senior and hopefully I can keep it up.””

    Friday’s meet was the first time the team said it felt truly satisfied with its performance and the Gymcats look to build on their success next week against UCLA, they added.

    “”It reassured people and eliminated any doubts that people might have (about us),”” Wurm said. “”Until you show it in a meet, people don’t know how good you are, and we believe in ourselves and we have the confidence that we deserve to go to nationals and that we deserve to win against any team that we’re up against.””

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