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Freshman Anna Wilson might be taking her gymnastics talent to North Carolina next year, but she'll leave her name in the Penn record books. (Will Burhop/DP File Photo)

Last weekend, Penn gymnast Anna Wilson jumped, flipped and twisted her way to a 10th place finish at the NCAA Northeast Regionals. It was her final meet of the season. It was also the final meet of her Penn career. The Quakers' star freshman told the Daily Pennsylvanian yesterday that she will be leaving Penn next year to transfer to North Carolina. The Newland, N.C. native said the decision had not been a quick one. "Throughout the year, I've been unhappy," Wilson said. "It's been a gradual process." Wilson cited many reasons for her departure, the most pertinent being simply that Philadelphia is a long way from North Carolina. "The main reason [for transferring] is that [UNC is] closer to home," Wilson said. "I won't be so far away and I won't be so homesick all the time." Wilson also said that UNC will offer her a full gymnastics scholarship, easing some of her financial burdens. Freshman teammate and good friend Cristy Green knew from the start of the season that Wilson wouldn't stay with the Quakers. "She told me right away that she was probably going to leave," Green said. "She wants to be closer to home and the school [UNC] is better for gymnastics. "She never really wanted to come here in the first place." Regardless of where she wanted to be, Wilson will certainly go down in the Penn record books, perhaps as the greatest gymnast in the history of the Quakers' program. In her first year donning red and blue, Wilson shattered practically every Penn gymnastics record. The frosh set school scoring records in the vault, uneven bars, floor exercise and all-around this season and became the all-time single season scoring leader for the Quakers. The only Penn record that Wilson does not own is on the balance beam. Despite all the achievements, however, the freshman has remained modest throughout. "I'm glad about the records, but eventually they're going to be broken, too," Wilson said. "For the time being, you have to always strive to be better." Wilson continued to dominate into the post season. At this year's Ivy League Championships, Wilson took first in the vault before winning the all-around, the bars and the floor at the ECAC Championships. The culmination of the 2001 season came at the NCAA regionals last weekend. Wilson went into the tournament as the top-seeded all-around gymnast. But the Penn star took a spill during the floor exercise, contributing to a disappointing 10th-place finish -- a finish that was not good enough to advance to nationals. Thus, Wilson's performance at NCAAs was a disheartening ending to an otherwise near-flawless season. Despite the individual accolades she brought to the Penn team, some of Wilson's teammates did not feel that the freshman demonstrated a good team-first attitude throughout her campaign with the Red and Blue. "She was a very individualistic person," Penn senior captain Kelly Haberer said. "Because she knew she was transferring, she didn't care how the team did, just how she did individually." "She was a very good gymnast, a great athlete, and she will be missed as far as that's concerned," Haberer continued. "As far as the individualism, that won't be missed. Once you get to college, it's a team sport and she didn't seem to care." Wilson still maintained the decision to transfer was a tough one to make, and she said she will remember her days at Penn. "I'll miss the team and the coach and all the fans around me," Wilson said. "It's hard to leave, but it's also hard to stay."

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