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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Athlete of the week

    Junior Karin Wurm, a Pac-10 All-Academic first team member, is Arizonas top all-around gymnast with six first-place titles to her name so far this season.
    Junior Karin Wurm, a Pac-10 All-Academic first team member, is Arizona’s top all-around gymnast with six first-place titles to her name so far this season.

    Editor’s Note: Karin Wurm, a junior on the No. 15 Arizona gymnastics team, took her sixth all-around title of the season Friday against Brigham Young and Southern Utah with a career-high score of 39.425, and notched first place on the uneven bars for the seventh time this year. She was also named to the Pacific 10 Conference All-Academic first team with a 3.82 grade-point average in marketing. The Wildcat caught up with Wurm to talk about her favorite events, the upcoming Pacific 10 Conference Championships and her pick for the champion of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

    Wildcat: You’re ranked No. 21 nationally in the all-around and No. 9 on bars. What does it feel like to have your name associated with those titles?

    Karin Wurm: I don’t know. I mean, I try not to even look at the rankings because all it takes is one meet, one bad meet or something like that, and they change every week. So I try to ignore them, and then if they happen to be good, then you’re like, “”Oh, that’s exciting!””

    W: In general, what’s your favorite event and why?

    KW: My favorite event is the event that I’m doing the best on that day. I really like pretty much all the events, cause I really like trying new skills. Like this summer I tried to learn a Kovacs on bars, which is like a crazy skill, so then I was like, “”Ah! I love bars,”” like, favorite event ever. Then I was training 1 1/2s on vault, so I loved that event.

    W: Is there an event that really scares you?

    KW: Beam makes me angry the most. I guess I’m probably not the most natural beam worker. I fractured my back my junior year in high school, and so after that I’m really unable to arch a lot, and so it makes it difficult on beam. So I have to work the hardest at beam. It doesn’t scare me. I just get mad.

    W: Your music on floor (Dead or Alive’s “”You Spin Me Round””) is really fun and different than all the other gymnasts’ music. Where did it come from, and why did you choose that song?

    KW: When I was listening to music I just wanted something that people would know but that wasn’t too old … something that was kind of catchy, that both the judges and the public would know. I have all kinds of random stuff on my iPod. I actually ended up getting it off there.

    W: Is there a gymnastics figure who inspires you?

    KW: My favorite gymnast was always (three-time U.S. Olympian) Dominique Dawes. And my sister (Lauren Wurm) did gymnastics at University of Rhode Island … and we’re only a year and a half apart, so we’re really competitive. It was always like, “”Lauren’s doing this? I need to be better than that.”” So she’s kind of an inspiration to me in that way.

    W: OK, the tradition is to do word associations, so just say the first thing that comes to your mind. (Head coach) Bill Ryden.

    KW: (laughs) Well that’s a hard one. What if I said something mean? Actually it makes me think – well, that’s a long story. I would say “”phone prank.””

    W: Care to elaborate on that?

    KW: The phone prank goes back to the beginning of last year. Some of the baseball players decided to do a prank phone call on me and one of the other girls, Beamer (sophomore Briana Bergeson), and they pretended to be recruiting for a tour. They had looked up like a page of notes, like they knew stats and stuff … and they said, “”Bill Ryden recommended you for this gymnastics tour.”” … And still to this day, if you’re around a baseball player and you say the name Bill Ryden, it’s still a big joke.

    W: OK. Beam.

    KW: Back handspring.

    W: Pac-10s.

    KW: Winning.

    W: Along that line, what are your goals for the next few weeks?

    KW: I guess just to continue to get better. We’re all so talented. We just all need to keep up practicing and stay healthy and hit our routines all together and all at once. Just make sure we all have a great meet (Saturday). And we’ll definitely win.

    W: What about next year? Do you think your role on the team is going to change at all?

    KW: Definitely as a senior I’ll be in more of a leadership position just because you’re the oldest on the team, and then it’s your last year, so of course you’re going to go up and over everything because anything you didn’t accomplish, you want to get accomplished that year. As underclassmen, sometimes you feel a little more flexible when it comes to your goals, I think.

    W: OK, last question. Who’s going to win the NCAA men’s basketball tournament?

    KW: I’m actually not a big basketball fan. UNC? Are they still in it? No? Who’s still in it? Tell me who’s in it. I’ll tell you.

    W: UCLA, Ohio State, Georgetown and Florida.

    KW: Where’s Georgetown from? No, UCLA. It’s a Pac-10 school.

    – Interview by
    Nina Conrad

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