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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Gymcats finish fourth in Pac-10s

    Junior Karin Wurm performs on the bars at the Pacific 10 Conference Championships in Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. Wurm finished second on bars and sixth all-around as the Wildcats took fourth place.
    Junior Karin Wurm performs on the bars at the Pacific 10 Conference Championships in Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. Wurm finished second on bars and sixth all-around as the Wildcats took fourth place.

    TEMPE – Junior Karin Wurm matched her career-high all-around score to lead the No. 15 Arizona gymnastics team to a fourth-place finish out of seven teams at the Pacific 10 Conference Championships Saturday.

    Wurm’s 39.425 was good for sixth all-around. UCLA’s Tasha Schwikert took first with a 39.750, while OSU’s Tasha Smith came in second (39.475) followed by a three-way tie for third between ASU’s Nicole Harris, OSU’s Jami Lanz and UCLA’s Anna Li (39.950).

    No. 8 UCLA took first place as a team with a 197.200, followed by No. 5 Stanford (196.950) and No. 9 Oregon State (196.300). Host ASU finished sixth with a 194.550.

    Arizona pulled off a 49.025 on beam despite a fall from junior Danielle Hicks, ranked No. 2 in the conference on beam prior to the meet. UA head coach Bill Ryden said he was “”absolutely sick”” about the fall.

    “”That’s her first fall in three years,”” Ryden said. “”I would have bet my house that that kid would never fall.””

    Senior Jamie Holton was Arizona’s top finisher on beam, scoring a 9.850 to land in a four-way tie for eighth place.

    Arizona suffered another setback on floor when freshman Miranda Russell hyperextended her knee during the first tumbling pass of her routine. Russell limped through the rest of her routine to score an 8.700, putting extra pressure on the next four gymnasts to hit their routines.

    The team rallied with a 49.000 on floor, capped by Holton’s 9.875, good for fifth place behind Schwikert (9.950), Oregon State’s Smith (9.925), and Lanz and Stanford’s Carly Janiga (9.900s).

    Holton, who was the last gymnast to compete on floor in the entire competition, said she was satisfied with her performance.

    “”It felt really good to be able to go out there and hit a good routine,”” she said, “”especially knowing that I was last on floor and that I was the last routine of the meet, so everybody was watching.””

    “”If we can score 196 on the road … I really believe that it will be up to somebody to beat us at regionals.””
    – Bill Ryden,
    gymnastics head coach

    Arizona started on vault, scoring a 49.150, its second-highest team vault score of the season. Wurm landed a season-high 9.900 to finish in a three-way tie for seventh place.

    On bars, the Gymcats recovered from a fall by sophomore Briana Bergeson to finish with a 48.825. Wurm tied Stanford’s Tabitha Yim for second with a 9.925, behind Stanford’s Liz Tricase (9.950).

    Senior Aubrey Kelly also returned to the bars lineup for the first time since breaking her foot Feb. 12 and scored a 9.800.

    Although Arizona was hoping for its first-ever Pac-10 win, UA assistant coach John Court said he was pleased that the team was able to score a 196.000 in the face of adversity.

    “”The meet itself brings out the best in everyone,”” he said. “”We had a couple hiccups, but we hung in there as we always do and put on a good road performance.””

    Ryden said Saturday’s meet was an excellent way for Arizona to begin postseason competition going into NCAA Regional Championships in McKale Center on April 14.

    “”It sends a great message just for the girls and to the competition around the country,”” he said. “”If we can score 196 on the road … I really believe that it will be up to somebody to beat us at regionals.

    “”It won’t be like us giving it to anybody.””

    Pac-10 honors

    Schwikert captured the title of Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year, and Janiga was awarded Freshman of the Year. Stanford head coach Kristen Smyth and first-year Washington head coach Joanne Bowers shared Coach of the Year honors.

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