Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcat Trio Ready For NCAA Championships
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: April 24, 2007
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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What’s on Tap: University of Arizona women’s gymnasts Karin Wurm, Brittney Morgan and Jamie Holton will compete individually at the NCAA Championships, which will be held April 26-28 in Jon. M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City. Each will compete in Session 2 on Thursday evening beginning at 7 p.m. (MDT).


Competition Format: Preliminary team and all-around competition will be conducted in two sessions Thursday, April 26 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. The top three teams from each session will advance to the Super Six competition Friday, April 27 at 7 p.m. The top four individuals from each session in each event (plus ties) from the preliminary team and all-around competition will compete in the individual-event competition Saturday, April 28 at 7 p.m.


Arizona at the NCAA Championships: Head coach Bill Ryden has trained 12 All-Americans and 20 All-Pac-10 gymnasts at Arizona. In the past 23 seasons, 15 Arizona gymnasts have earned All-America honors, the most recent being Monica Bisordi (floor) in 2004. The program has produced two individual NCAA champions, Anna Basaldua, who won the national vault championship in 1991, and Heidi Hornbeek, who claimed a share of title on floor in 1996. Last year, Karin Wurm (all-arounder) and Aubrey Kelly (bars) competed individually at the NCAA Championships. Prior to 2006, Arizona’s last individual competitors at the NCAA Championships were Monica Bisordi and Andi McCabe in 2004. The Wildcats last competed as a team at the NCAA Championships in 2002, when they finished 11th in Tuscaloosa, Ala.


About Wurm:


How She Qualified: Wurm placed second in the all-around at the 2007 South Central Regional Championships held in McKale Center on April 14. She matched her career high total for a third-consecutive week by earning a 39.425. In individual events, Wurm placed second on bars (9.875), fifth on floor (9.850) and eighth on vault (9.800). In addition, she set a new career high on beam as she shared second place honors with a 9.900.


A Look Back at ?'07: After a bit of a slow start to the season by her standards, Wurm found her consistency over the last month and a half of the season, reaffirming herself as one of the premier all-around athletes in the nation. She claimed five all-around titles to go along with seven scores of 39.000 or better, including a current stretch of six in a row. She equaled or bettered every individual career score over the course of the season, earning a score of 9.9 in all four events. On bars, she has captured seven individual bars titles on the season, while earning a score of 9.900 or better six times, including three 9.925 scores. For her efforts, Wurm was named to the All-Pac-10 team as an all-arounder for the first time in her career. Additionally, she was named to the Pac-10 All-Academic First Team for a second consecutive season.


Last Year at the NCAA’s: Competing as an all-arounder, Wurm totaled a score of 39.025 in the all-around, to finish tied for 16th-place during Session I. On beam, Wurm earned a 9.800, to finish tied for ninth overall. Her top score came on floor, where she tallied a 9.825 to share 17th-place. Wurm also turned in an impressive bar set, posting a 9.775 to tie for 19th. She began the meet on vault, where she scored a 9.625.


Wurm’s Rotation Order (With LSU):


            Rotation I ?- Bars

            Rotation II ?- Beam

            Rotation III ?- Bye

            Rotation IV ?- Floor

            Rotation V ?- Vault

            Rotation VI ?- Bye


About Morgan:


How She Qualified: Like Wurm, Morgan qualified individually for the NCAA Championships as an all-arounder. She recorded a score of 39.275 to place tied for fourth overall, the second highest all-around score for a gymnast not from a qualifying team at the 2007 South Central Regional Championships. In individual events, she tied for second place on vault with a score of 9.800 and on beam with a 9.900. She shared ninth place on bars with a 9.775 and added a 9.750 on floor.


A Look Back at ?'07: A freshman from Charlottesville, Va., Morgan turned in one of the most impressive freshman campaigns in UA gymnastics history, becoming a mainstay as an all-arounder for the final 8 meets of the year. On the season, Morgan won three vault titles, one beam title and one all-around title. She earned a mark of 9.825 or better on all four events, topped by her career-high 9.975 on vault against N.C. State on March 9, a tally that ranks fifth all-time at Arizona.


Morgan’s Rotation Order (With UCLA):


            Rotation I ?- Beam

            Rotation II ?- Bye

            Rotation III ?- Floor

            Rotation IV ?- Vault

            Rotation V ?- Bye

            Rotation VI ?- Bars


About Holton:


How She Qualified: Holton saved the best beam performance of her career for what was potentially her last collegiate meet, but her mark of 9.925 at the South Central Regional Championships won her the individual title to earn an individual berth in the event at the NCAA Championships. The individual title was the first individual beam title of her career.


A Look Back at ’07: A walk-on and native of Phoenix, Ariz., Holton continued to show tremendous improvement throughout her senior campaign. A year ago, Holton emerged as a three event specialist for the Wildcats, and filled a similar role throughout 2007. She excelled on floor and beam, where she was named to the All-Pac-10 team on each event, and filled in occasionally on vault. Coming into the year, she held career high scores of 9.825 on both beam and floor, but set new career best marks of 9.925 on beam and 9.950 on floor in 2007. Her 9.950 on floor on March 16 ranks fifth all-time at Arizona, while her beam mark of 9.925 ranks tied for fifth in the event. She entered 2007 with a career high of 9.825 on beam set last season, and had earned a 9.800 on only two previous occasions. However, in her senior campaign, Holton reached or surpassed the 9.800 mark on eight occasions, highlighted by two scores of 9.875 and a 9.925.


Holton’s Rotation Order (With Denver and Washington’s Chelsea Bakken):


            Rotation III ?- Beam


The Championship Field:


            Session I (1 p.m.): Oregon State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Georgia, Florida and Alabama

            Session II (7 p.m.): Michigan, Denver, LSU, UCLA, Utah and Stanford


Session I Individual Competitors:


All-Around (Team gymnast will compete with): K. Burke ?- Iowa (Oregon State), A. Arlotta ?- Pittsburgh (Oklahoma), J. Anson ?- Iowa State (Nebraska), C. Magee ?- Arkansas (Georgia), R. Robinson ?- Mich. State (Florida), J. Dwyer ?- Auburn (Alabama)


Individual Events: (Team gymnast will compete with, rotation):


Bars: K. Clevinger ?- Ohio State (Oregon State, 3rd), Floor: A. Sacramone ?- Brown (Georgia, 3)


Session II Individual Competitors:


All-Around (Team gymnast will compete with): J. Cox ?- West Virginia (Michigan), C. Bakken ?- Washington (Denver), K. Wurm ?- Arizona (LSU), B. Morgan ?- Arizona (UCLA), B. Personett ?- Penn State (Utah), A. Perry ?- Missouri (Stanford)


Individual Events: (Team gymnast will compete with, rotation):


Beam: J. Holton ?- Arizona (Denver, 3)


Regional Recap: The No. 15 Arizona women’s gymnastics team staked itself to a slim, but early lead over Oregon State for a run at second place in the South Central Region, but even the program’s second-highest beam score in history was not enough to earn a berth in the NCAA Championships. Even so, three Wildcats qualified individually for the NCAA Championships.


Stanford built an early lead over the rest of the field, and did not look back, recording a team score of 196.600. Oregon State (196.075), Arizona (196.025), Illinois (194.625) and Illinois-Chicago (190.925) rounded out the field.


Trailing OSU by a 0.200-point margin heading to beam in the final rotation, the Wildcats were on a mission to close the meet strong and looked poised to overtake Oregon State for second place ?- the final qualifying spot for the NCAA Championships, to be held in Salt Lake City on April 26-28. Arizona posted a 49.425 on beam ?- the second highest all-time at UA ?- led by four scores of 9.900 or better. Jamie Holton’s 9.925 was not only a career high, it also earned her an individual berth to the NCAA Championships as she won the individual beam title. Teammates Briana Bergeson, Karin Wurm and Brittney Morgan each shared second-place honors in the event, as UA then waited for the Beavers to finish up on floor.


Oregon State had solid, yet unspectacular performances from its first two competitors, which seemed to give life to the possibility of UA claiming second place. But, Mandi Rodriguez and Kera Bolen each tallied marks of 9.850, before Jami Lanz turned in a 9.875 performance. Needing a 9.875 to boost Oregon State into a tie with Arizona, Tasha Smith chipped in one of her most outstanding floor routines of her career, earning a 9.925 to win the individual title and seal second place for the Beavers.


Despite the third place finish, the Wildcats qualified three individuals for the NCAA Championships. Wurm placed second in the all-around with a total of 39.425, while Morgan scored a 39.275. The all-around scores were tops among gymnasts not from a qualifying team, thus earning each a chance to compete in the National Championships. Also headed to Salt Lake City will be Holton, who extended her collegiate career by winning the beam title.


The Wildcats began the meet with a bye in the first rotation, before starting on floor in the second rotation with a team score of 48.725. Brittney Morgan tallied a 9.750 to lead off the event, while Bree Workman followed to score a 9.575, held down by a 0.100 deduction for stepping out of bounds. Sarah Specht then turned in a 9.800, before Wurm recorded a 9.850 to lead the Wildcats. Jamie Holton anchored the rotation, receiving a 9.675.


Arizona moved to vault for its second event in the third rotation, recording a 49.000 team score. In her typical lead-off spot, Rachelle Silberg got UA off to a solid start with a 9.750 and was followed by Sarah Specht, who received a 9.725. Workman then turned in an impressive 9.850 vault, while Holton received a 9.750. Morgan and Wurm rounded out the rotation, earning marks of 9.850 and 9.800, respectively.


Through two rotations, the Wildcats held a narrow 0.025-point lead, 97.725-97.700, over Oregon State in the battle for second place.


Oregon State performed on beam during its third event rotation, while the Wildcats had a bye before bars. The Beavers totaled a 49.100 score as a team.


For the Wildcats’ third rotation, the moved to bars, posting a 48.875 team mark. Competing in her first event of the night, freshman Miranda Russell started UA off with a 9.700. Morgan and Briana Bergeson followed with matching 9.775s, before Aubrey Kelly tallied a 9.750. Wurm then stepped up and turned in an impressive bar set, earning a 9.875 to place second overall in the meet.


Arizona’s score of 196.025 was the highest of any non-advancing team from each of the regionals. The score was also higher than the scores of four advancing team’s from other regionals, including both UCLA and LSU from the Southeast Regional.

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