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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    SEC faceoff in store for Gymcats

    Gymcats senior Karin Wurm performs on the beam last Friday against Washington in McKale Center. This weekend the team heads to Kentucky for a tri-meet against Western Michigan and Kentucky.
    Gymcats senior Karin Wurm performs on the beam last Friday against Washington in McKale Center. This weekend the team heads to Kentucky for a tri-meet against Western Michigan and Kentucky.

    The Southeastern Conference is known for more than just football.

    Since women’s collegiate gymnastics began competition in 1982, SEC schools have won 12 of the 26 championships – four by No. 6 Alabama and eight by No. 1 Georgia, including the last three.

    Tonight the No. 18 Arizona gymnastics team will not be facing the cream of the SEC crop, however, when it takes the floor in a tri-meet against Kentucky (1-7, 1-5 SEC) and Western Michigan (4-9, 3-6 Mid-American Conference).

    “”The biggest issue we have with Kentucky is not getting lost because we’ve never been there before,”” said UA head coach Bill Ryden. “”But as an SEC school, we know they are going to be running a good meet. So it’s just a matter of us doing what we’re supposed to be doing and what were capable of doing.””

    The Gymcats (6-3, 3-3 Pacific 10 Conference) are coming off their best meet of the season last week against Washington when they scored a season-high 196.300, despite senior Karin Wurm not competing in the all-around due to a swollen knee and senior Danielle Hicks having the worst meet of her collegiate career.

    “”Sometimes those things happen,”” Ryden said. “”But what I really liked was that the rest of the team fought hard enough that we didn’t have to count a fall.””

    Hicks is expecting to have a bounce-back meet after last week’s debacle and defending Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week, sophomore Miranda Russell, is looking to build on last week’s success.

    “”I’m excited,”” Hicks said. “”I’ve never been to Kentucky before, so I’m looking forward to that, and I feel really good about this team because we’ve improved every week and hopefully we can keep that streak going.

    “”I’m just going to use (last week) as a learning experience and correct the little things that went wrong,”” Hicks added. “”Everyone falls every once in a while and it just makes me that much hungrier for the next one.””

    Ryden is hopeful Wurm’s knee swelling will subside enough to allow her to compete in the all-around.

    “”She can do beam and bars without problem,”” Ryden said. “”But it’s generating the power on the floor and the vault. I hate for her to be dinged up right now, but of course her goal, like everybody’s, is to make the postseason. So we have to be smart about things.””

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