Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Now a Two-Time All-American, Wurm Enjoying NCAA Championships
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: April 27, 2007
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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SALT LAKE CITY ?- Less than 24 hours after earning two All-America honors and a berth in the individual floor championships on Saturday night, University of Arizona gymnast Karin Wurm is enjoying every moment of the 2007 NCAA Championships in Salt Lake City.


Last night, she made her claim as one of the nation’s top all-arounders, garnering second team All-American recognition after totaling a 39.200 in the all-around during Session II. It was a performance boosted by confidence as much as it was experience, as the 5-4 junior also competed individually in the all-around last April, without the success she experienced in this second go-around.


In 2006, she placed 16th in her session with a mark of 39.025. This season, with the experience of competing on a national stage, Wurm notched a 9.850 on bars, floor and vault, en route to her eighth-place all-around score of 39.200.


She credits much of her success to her experience last year, noting the increased intensity that accompanies a national championship meet.


“It really helped me to know what to expect,” she said of her NCAA Championship debut a year ago. “You are all by yourself and the competition is very intense. I think what I learned most last year is that you have to compete for yourself and have fun.”


And having fun was what she did last night.


Wurm was enjoying the meet so much and was so focused on herself that she didn’t even realize how impressive her floor routine was at the moment. In her third event of the night, Wurm took to the Jon. M. Huntsman Center floor and turned in a performance which earned a 9.850 score. At the time, it placed her in a tie for third place in the event, and it was a score that held up the remainder of the evening.


“I knew I hit a good set and I hit my landing, which is always important in a meet like this,” Wurm said of her floor performance that earned her a spot as a first team All-American in the event. “There are so many amazing gymnasts here that it didn’t even enter my mind that I had one of the best routines of the night.”


The performance helped her become the program’s first All-American all-arounder since Randi Liljenquist in 2000 and previously Heidi Hornbeek ?- the program’s most accomplished gymnast and a six-time All-American ?- who earned the accolade in 1999 along with honors on bars and beam. She also becomes the first Wildcat gymnast to earn any such All-American recognition since Monica Bisordi ?- the program’s all-time leading scorer ?- did so in 2004, having been named a second team All-American on floor.


Throughout the night, Wurm had the support of the Louisiana State Tigers, the team she rotated with and followed for each of her events.


“LSU’s team was nothing but awesome to me and cheered loudly for me” she said. “They were a great team to compete with because they are very talented.”


Even so, Wurm can’t help but feel a bit lonely in Salt Lake City. Sure she has been accompanied by her coaching staff as well as individual qualifiers Brittney Morgan and Jamie Holton, but it’s the rest of her teammates back home in Tucson that she misses the most. Already since last night, she has talked to all of her fellow Wildcats who were eagerly waiting to congratulate her.


“It’s hard,” she explained, referring to the rest of her teammates being left home after the Wildcats missed on out qualifying for nationals as a team by a 0.050 margin in NCAA regional competition. “I feel a bit homesick. We had an amazing team this year, and looking at the other teams here, I know we deserved to be here. It’s hard to be here stuck with a team and watching other teams that are fighting for the Super Six.”


But like last year, Wurm will use this personal experience to help motivate her teammates to make a run at qualifying for the NCAA Championships as a team in 2008. She knows that the experience gained by Morgan and Holton will also help fire up the Wildcats for a run at their first NCAA Championships berth since 2002.


“It was a new experience for Jamie and Brittney, so it was hard for them,” Wurm said of her teammates who both missed out on qualifying for the event finals. “But Brittney will be back next year to compete as a sophomore and Jamie will be working with the team. It’s good experience for both of them and we will all take this back next year to help light a fire for the rest of the team to get to nationals.”


However, before next year rolls around, Wurm still has some unfinished business to complete this year. Before the event finals begin tomorrow night at 7 p.m. (MDT), the Landenberg, Pa., native will continue to soak in the experience.


She was planning an afternoon trip with her father, Chris, to Park City, Utah ?- a wintry resort town located in the Wasatch Back about 40 miles east of Salt Lake City.


“The mountains with the snow on top are gorgeous,” she said of the area. “I love it. I mean, Tucson has some beautiful mountains, too, but these are different.”


She will also spend time with Morgan and Holton, as well as her coaches, before setting her sights on the event finals tomorrow. The competition will be another new experience for Wurm, but she will draw upon her past experiences at the NCAA Championships to relax her and prepare her for a chance at the NCAA floor title.


“At this point in our careers, we aren’t trying to go to the Olympics. We’ve been training all season long to get to this point, so this is what it’s about. This is a sport I’ve been doing my whole life and I love it. I think you just have to go out and enjoy it, and if you can do that it will really pay off.”


“I expect to go out and do pretty much my same routine,” she added about her final floor routine of the year, which she will perform tomorrow night. “The gymnasts from both sessions will be combined, so there will be a lot of amazing gymnasts competing. I’m just going to have fun and whatever plays out, plays out. I know I just need to have fun.”


Wurm's 2007 Meet-by-Meet Results


Date             Opponent                                       Vault         Bars          Beam        Floor         All-Around

Jan. 12         at Michigan State                             ?-?--          9.675         ?-?--          9.800         ?-?-?-

Jan. 21         at UCLA                                          9.800         9.750         9.225         9.600         38.375

Jan. 26         vs. Oregon State                              9.800         9.925*        9.750         9.825         39.300

Feb. 2           vs. Minnesota                                  9.750         9.900         9.350         9.875         38.875

Feb. 9           at Washington                                 9.825         9.875         9.725         9.725         39.150

Feb. 16         vs. Stanford                                     9.825         9.900         8.600         9.875         38.200

Feb. 23         vs. Arizona State                             9.825         9.825         9.175         9.850         38.675

March 2        at California                                     9.825         9.900         9.775         9.800         39.300

March 9        at N.C. State Quad Meet                  9.825         9.875         9.750         9.875         39.325           

March 16      vs. PSU/TWU/UK                             9.750         9.875         9.875         9.900*        39.400

March 23      at BYU, So. Utah                             9.825         9.925*        9.800         9.875         39.425*

March 31      Pac-10 Championships                     9.900*        9.925*        9.775         9.825         39.425*

April 14         NCAA South Central Regional           9.800         9.875         9.900*        9.850         39.425

April 26         NCAA Championships Session 2      9.850         9.850         9.650         9.850         39.200


                    Season High                                    9.900         9.925*        9.900         9.900*        39.425*

                    Season Average                              9.816         9.863         9.565         9.823         39.083

                    Career High                                     9.900         9.925         9.900         9.900         39.425


* Career High


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