BY KELSEY ZIMMERMAN
For the Daily
Published April 6, 2011
They’ve got their eyes on the prize.
Jordan Sexton and Sarah Curtis, co-captains and fifth-year seniors on the Michigan women’s gymnastics team, only have a few short weeks left in their collegiate careers. They’re hoping to go out on a high note with a Super Six appearance. The Super Six is the final competition of the season, comprised of the top six remaining teams in the country.
“The last time we made Super Six was the year before I was a freshman,” Sexton said. “So I have not experienced that feeling. To be able to compete two nights in a row and compete for the national championship is not only my personal goal but also our team goal.”
After winning the NCAA regionals last Saturday, the team felt a surge in confidence. Despite a fall on beam early, Michigan nailed the rest of its routines to post a season-high score of 197.075.
“It’s the first time in my five years here that we’ve actually won national regionals — I actually looked that up because I thought we won my freshman year, but we didn’t,” Curtis said. “It feels amazing. We didn’t plan out on going out there and winning it … to come out and win by as much as we won by did a lot for our confidence.”
Well, their confidence is peaking at the right time. The Wolverines' next competition is at the NCAA Semifinals on April 15, where they have to finish in the top three to qualify for the Super Six and the chance to compete for a national championship.
“Contending for the national championship would be bittersweet,” Curtis said. “Especially coming off of winning the Big Ten and the win at regionals and then to be at the NCAA Super Six — it would be a complete last season for me.”
Michigan's losses in previous years are just added motivation.
Since it’s the seniors’ first time winning the NCAA Regionals, it will also be the first time they have been able to compete at the semifinals. If they continue competing at the level they are now, and their confidence remains strong, this team — anchored by its veterans — could accomplish even more than its Big Ten title and NCAA regionals win. An appearance in the Super Six — and maybe even a national championship — are definite possibilities.
“We know that we’re able to overcome anything that is in our path and we can just really push through,” Sexton added. “It’s a great team that we have this year.”