March 6, 2013
JEFFERSON, Iowa -- Senior Katie Zurales (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South) of the No. 3-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics team was announced on Wednesday (March 6) as one of the six finalists for the 2013 AAI Award, given annually to the top senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I women's gymnastics.
Zurales is the ninth gymnast in program history to be named as a finalist for the AAI Award, joining Beth Wymer (1995), Wendy Marshall (1996), Bridget Knaeble (2001), Janessa Grieco (2003), Elise Ray (2005), Jenny Deiley (2006), Lindsey Bruck (2008) and Kylee Botterman (2011). Botterman won the award, which is considered the sport's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, in 2011.
The other five finalists for the award this season are Marissa King (Florida), Sharaya Musser (Penn State), Ashley Priess (Alabama), Brie Olson (Oklahoma) and Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA). The winner will be announced at the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships awards banquet in Los Angeles next month.
Zurales is a three-time NCAA All-American, earning second team honors in the all-around and on vault last season as a junior. She was also the 2012 NCAA Auburn Regional co-champion on vault (with teammate Joanna Sampson) and runner-up on balance beam. A two-time captain, Zurales earned NACGC/W Scholastic All-America honors three times (2010-12) and Academic All-Big Ten honors twice (2011-12). This season, Zurales ranks 11th nationally in the all-around (39.365) and is also ranked in the top 25 on both balance beam (T-11th, 9.880) and uneven bars (T-21st, 9.860). She has seven event titles this season (including ties) and two all-around wins.
Michigan faces No. 6 UCLA, California and Iowa State in a quad meet on Sunday (March 10) at 2 p.m. PDT in Los Angeles, Calif.
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423