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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Gymcats ‘meltdown’ in Denver

    The No. 17 Arizona gymnastics team had its worst meet of the season on March 15 when it was defeated by No. 13 Denver by a score of 196.250 – 193.275.

    “”It was a meltdown,”” said UA head coach Bill Ryden. “”It just was not a good meet for us.””

    After hitting all six bar routines, the Gymcats’ (7-5, 3-3 Pacific 10 Conference) trouble began on vault when junior Bree Workman hyper-extended her knee after landing.

    “”There was no ligament damage,”” Ryden said. “”She might be back (on Friday) but we are going to have to anticipate her not being able to compete.””

    On floor, the Gymcats were forced to count a fall after juniors Beamer Bergeson – who replaced Workman – and Sarah Specht both fell on their finals passes after having a strong routine.

    Then on beam “”the wheels just feel off,”” Ryden said.

    Four of Arizona’s six beam-workers fell, as only freshman Colleen Fisher and senior Karin Wurm were able to stay on the apparatus.

    “”It was a serious slap in the face,”” Ryden said. “”It is a problem that we need to address.””

    Ryden said he is not going to make excuses for his team and they need to take the “”full blame”” for the debacle.

    “”(Assistant coach) Colleen (Johnson) is not happy, and we are going to have a very intense beam practice this week,”” Ryden added. “”The sport is so mental. The girls can feel a pressure that continued to mount with each fall.””

    Gymcats return to form, win senior meet

    Momma always said that home is where the cookies are, and for the last four years, the McKale Center cabinet has been chocked full of cookies for the No. 18 Arizona gymnastics team’s four seniors: Karin Wurm, Melanie Weiser, Rachelle Silberg and Danielle Hicks.

    “”It’s sad that this chapter in my life is ending,”” Silberg said. “”But I know there is (a lot) out there in the future for all the seniors because we worked so hard for four years and it’s been a lot of fun, and I wouldn’t change the experience for anything.””

    Perhaps the meet lacked its usual emotion after the Gymcats debacle in the Denver the week before, but that was just fine with UA head coach Bill Ryden.

    “”The fact that we had that bad meet (in Denver), we were so focused on having a good meet that we didn’t even think about senior meet. If we were on a roll, maybe, but we were in a panic mode after last week.

    “”I think that made us control the emotion,”” Ryden added. “”We didn’t need emotion out there. We needed attitude and to be a little pissed off and not be happy-go-lucky. Being pissed off helps and last week pissed us off.””

    Arizona posted a 196.125 to defeat Brigham Young University and Cal State-Fullerton Friday night and improved to 9-5 (3-3 Pacific 10 Conference), despite being without injured junior Bree Workman.

    The Gymcats started on the vault and were led to a four-way tie for second place by Fisher, sophomore Miranda Russell, junior Alexis Greene and Wurm with a 9.800.

    On the bars, Arizona had its best set of the year with a 49.275 and was led by Greene and Wurm with a 9.900 – a career high for Greene.

    The Gymcats overcame their four-fall disaster in Denver to post a solid 48.975 on beam, despite a fall from Hicks for the second week in a row.

    “”She’s acting like a normal gymnast, which is not what we have come to expect,”” Ryden said. “”But I have all the faith in the world in her and I’m not considering taking her out of the lineup or moving her from her spot. She’s earned that spot, and I honestly believe that she is going to be great next week. She’s earned my faith.””

    Hicks took first on the floor for the first time this season with a 9.875 and Wurm tied for third with a 9.825 in their final home performances.

    Wurm won the all-around with a 39.350. Even though she was not officially in the all-around, Hicks competed in all four events for the first time since April of 2006.

    “”It was great for her,”” Wurm said of Hicks’ performance. “”We’re all so proud of everything she’s been able to do for this program.””

    The Gymcats’ next meet is in Seattle next week for the Pac-10 Championships, and are they taking a lot of confidence into it.

    “”Denver was really uncharacteristic (of us),”” Wurm said. “”It was important for us to come out and compete like we know how to do and take Denver as a fluke. People are getting healthier and we are going to peak at the right time.””

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