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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Two Gymcats to compete individually at nationals

    Jacob Konst / Arizona Daily Wildcat
The No. 14 Arizona women
    Jacob Konst
    Jacob Konst / Arizona Daily Wildcat The No. 14 Arizona women

    Arizona junior Aubrey Taylor and sophomore Karin Wurm will compete in the NCAA Championships as individuals today in Corvallis, Ore., despite No. 15 Arizona’s failure to advance at the NCAA North Regional April 8.

    Both women are competing to qualify for the individual championships Saturday. Wurm is eligible to qualify for all four events and Taylor for the bars. The pair would advance if they finish in the top four, which includes ties, today.

    Wurm’s individual third-place finish in the regional all-around competition was good enough to qualify her for the championships, and she will rotate with No. 6 Oklahoma in the afternoon session at 1 p.m. in Gill Coliseum.

    Taylor tied for first place at regionals on the uneven parallel bars, duplicating a career-high 9.900 that she has matched six times previously this season. She will take her turn on the bars at 7 p.m. with No. 1 Georgia and No. 17 Penn State.

    Taylor and Wurm are the only Wildcats still active in competition, but they weren’t the only gymnasts at practice this week.

    “”Most of the team showed up this week,”” Arizona head coach Bill Ryden said. “”They weren’t practicing, but they were there to support them. Certainly practices were a lot quicker, but the intensity changes.””

    This is the first time either Taylor or Wurm has competed without their team at the collegiate level, but despite his own misgivings, Ryden said he is confident they are ready for the experience.

    “”It is an odd feeling, one I’m not comfortable with and hope I don’t ever get comfortable with,”” he said. “”We did our best at regionals, but it just didn’t happen.

    “”I know that both girls will represent the school well.””

    While they’ve never competed as individuals, Wurm and Taylor have competed in Gill Coliseum before. On Feb. 10, Taylor won the all-around with a 39.250 in an Arizona victory over No. 16 Oregon State and tied for first on the bars with her tied career-high score of 9.900.

    Wurm finished third in the all-around with a 39.150 and tied for first in the vault with sophomore Rachelle Silberg with a 9.775, where she will start her rotation today. The duo tied for first in the floor exercise with scores of 9.875.

    Ryden said the familiarity with the arena should help the women feel comfortable during their routines.

    “”In our sport there’s so much going on. With the danger of it, it’s more comfortable,”” Ryden said. “”I don’t know what advantage it will be, but it’s certainly better knowing what it’s like there.””

    Both Wurm and Taylor have been preparing routines all year that are NCAA Championship-caliber. With the most elite competition of the season at today’s meet, Ryden said it will come down to who doesn’t make the little mistakes.

    “”They’ve done exceedingly well all week in practice, both looked very sharp,”” he said. “”It all comes down now to who can stick it when the judge is watching.””

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