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Hard Work Brings Wirt Success On And Off The Court

Jan 14, 2003

After last year's run to the Elite Eight, Buff basketball fans will have an image of Randie Wirt shooting free throws cemented into their memories.

Wirt, then a sophomore, hit a pair of free throws to seal Colorado's 62-59 victory over Stanford in the regional semifinals, bolting the Buffs to the Elite Eight for only the third time in program history.

While Wirt talks of those shots as the highlight of her first two years in a Buffs' uniform, she hopes to leave behind other memories of herself with the individuals she works with day in and day out on the court.

"I'd really like them to say that I was someone who always worked hard and came with a positive attitude," said Wirt. "I know I'm not the most athletic person on the team or the most talented person on the team, but I can always try to be the hardest worker."

Wirt's hard work has earned her valuable playing time backing up Sabrina Scott at the power forward position and Tera Bjorklund in the post this season. Wirt averages 20.6 minutes per game and has gotten one start this season, coming in the team's opener against Rice on Nov. 22.

While her defense is typically labeled as her strength, Wirt tied with guard Kate Fagan as the team's high scorer in the Jan. 2 win over Buffalo and followed that effort with 11 points against Iowa State in the team's conference opener.

A junior hailing from New Prague, Minn., Wirt won't be satisfied to move on without achieving one goal that even last season's Elite Eight squad fell short of.

"I think I would say I really want to win a Big 12 title before I'm done," she said. "We haven't done that as a team and even coach Barry hasn't done that so it would be great to do it before we graduate."

When Wirt isn't working hard to win games on the basketball court, she's working hard in the classroom. Named First Team Academic All-Big 12 last season and to the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll during her freshman campaign, Wirt strives to bring her same "be the hardest worker" mantra with her when she hits the books.

"You have to excel in the classroom and when I get a job, things won't come easy - you always have to work hard at what you do," Wirt said.

Although she still has some basketball left in her, the junior has already focused on her post-graduate plans of becoming a teacher. Currently a psychology major in CU's College of Arts and Sciences, Wirt will work toward her teaching degree and hopes to translate that degree into a position teaching either kindergarten or special education.

"That (special education) is something I've wanted to do because I know that there's a lack of teachers that want to do it and it's always good to have an impact on some kids' lives. Ever since I can remember, I've always wanted to be a teacher."