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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Gymcats place 4th in Pac-10 Championships

    Seattle is home to more than just the Space Needle. It’s also the home to the rebirth of the season for the No. 15 Arizona gymnastics team.

    While its season was never in serious danger of going up in flames, the postseason – which unofficially began Saturday – “”is a new life,”” as head coach Bill Ryden has said all season.

    “”We feel like we accomplished something,”” Ryden said. “”It’s that next step in the maturity of this team. It was another great team effort and we are as healthy as we have been all year.””

    The Gymcats placed fourth in the Pacific 10 Conference Championships with a score of 195.725, behind three of the perennially elite teams, No. 10 Stanford, No.7 Oregon State and No. 8 UCLA.

    “”I’ve always considered us to be one of the top teams in the country,”” said senior Karin Wurm. “”All of these teams are beatable and we are peaking at the right time and hitting our stride.””

    For the first time all season, the Gymcats went a perfect 24-for-24 and did not have
    a fall.

    “”Obviously it brings (our confidence) up a ton,”” said junior Bree Workman. “”We are so thrilled. We were cheering and laughing and dancing and just so excited and everyone else had straight faces.

    “”We did what we needed to do,”” she added. “”We’ve accomplished so much and we are in the perfect spot for regionals.””

    After having a bye in the first rotation, Arizona started on floor and was led by junior Sarah Specht with a 9.825 who tied for 10th overall.

    After a second bye in the third rotation, the Gymcats moved to vault and was led by Wurm with a 9.850 and tied for third overall.

    On the uneven bars, the Gymcats scored a 49 as a team and was led by Wurm again, as she tied for third with a 9.900. Juniors Alexis Greene and Beamer Bergeson placed 13th and 18th overall with a 9.825 and 9.800, respectively. Senior Danielle Hicks notched a solid 9.775 as she completed her first beam routine since the Pac-10 Championships of 2006.

    “”It’s great for her,”” Ryden said. “”It was always one of her goals to be able to compete in bars before she graduated and this can only help out our team.””

    Arizona finished the night on beam, which had been a trouble spot in past competitions.

    They scored another 49 as four gymnasts had scores of 9.800 or better. Bergeson and Hicks led Arizona with a 9.850 – good enough for a tie for eighth.

    “”No one person didn’t do what they needed to do,”” Wurm said. “”It was a total team effort and everyone is super excited.””

    The team will find out today where they will compete in regionals on April 12.

    “”It’s a guessing game,”” Workman said. “”Of course there are predictions, but we know we do have some of the top gymnastics in the country and we are going to prove we deserve to be in nationals.””

    Final flips

    After the championships Saturday, senior Karin Wurm was named the Pac-10 Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year, in addition to being named to the first team of the Pac-10 All-Academic team Friday. Fellow Gymcats Miranda Russell, a sophomore, and senior Rachelle Silberg were also named to the first team. Juniors Sarah Specht and Alexis Greene were named to the second All-Academic team.

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