About ArkansasThe Gym’Backs turned in another set of solid scores this week with a 195.475 against No. 4 Florida in the second home meet of the year. That score is the third highest of the season for Arkansas in a meet that saw several personal bests.This WeekArkansas continues its challenging schedule hosting No. xx Alabama Friday. The back-to-back home meets marks the longest home stand of the season with two in a row. Arkansas travels to Denver next week but follows up again with back-to-back home meets against Missouri and in quad action with Nebraska, Oregon State and UCLA.Speaking Of The ScheduleArkansas took on one of the countries top schedules this year facing five teams who reached the NCAA Championships and 12 of the 14 opponents participated in an NCAA Regional last season.What About This Year?Last year’s success is great but how are those opponents doing this year? Glad you asked. This week, LSU, who finishing first at the 2004 Central Regional and forth in Session 2 at the Championships, is ranked first in the country this week. UCLA and Nebraska, both of whom will attend the quad meet in March are ranked second and fifth, respectively, while Florida fell two spots to number six this week. Georgia is currently ranked eighth and Denver, next week’s opponent, is 10th. Arkansas remains 11th followed by Oregon State at No. 12. Washington is currently ranked 18th, followed by Minnesota at No. 19 and Auburn at No. 20, rounding out the Gym’Backs’ schedule against the top 20 teams.Machnik Records Personal BestsFreshman Mallory Machnik recorded season/career bests on both the vault and floor against No. 4 Florida last Friday. The Monroe, La., native notched a 9.90 on vault tying the school record and finishing second on the event. She equaled that score on the floor winning her first individual title as a Gym’Back.McQuillin Has Season BestJunior Dana McQuillin recorded a season best 39.100 in the all-around competition Friday against No. 4 Florida finishing tied for third overall. She tied three season bests including a 9.750 on bars, a 9.850 on beam and a 9.80 on floor.Vaulting Into The LeadArkansas enjoyed a season-best and tied the program-best on the vault last week against No. 4 Florida. The Gym’Backs posted a 49.075 on the event and scored 49.00 or better on three of the four events.9.90s Come In GroupsArkansas posted a pair of 9.90s, both on the vault, against the Gators last week. Freshmen Samantha Cortez and Mallory Machnik each reached that score becoming the second and third athletes of the year to post that mark. Junior Katie Hardman recorded a 9.90 on beam at No. 4 LSU earlier this year.Multi-MediaArkansas gymnastics goes multimedia this season when the Gym’Backs offer their meets online. Three of the five home meets will be available pay-per-view on LADYBACKS.COM while two events will air free of charge. In addition Arkansas is packaging athlete routines and will display some of that video on each athlete’s bio page in the weeks to come.The Friendly ConfinesArkansas began the season with three consecutive road meets and five of the first six meets were away from home. But the Gym’Backs wrap up the season with four of their final five at home. Arkansas was 8-6 in Barnhill Arena in the first two seasons of action and is 0-2 this year for an 8-8 all-time mark. About Alabama(from rolltide.com): Led by a career high all-around score from junior Ashley Miles, the Alabama Gymnastics team used its second highest score of the season and its highest road mark to beat archrival Georgia 197.025-196.175 here in Stegeman Coliseum with 9,175 fans looking on. It was the first time Alabama has beaten the Lady Dogs in Athens since the Crimson Tide won the 2000 Super Six Challenge. Miles is now five-for-five in the all-around for her career. She won tonight’s competition with a career high 39.675. It was a career night for Miles as she won the vault, balance beam and floor exercise. Freshman Terin Humphrey made it an Alabama sweep, winning the uneven bars with a 9.875.Arkansas versus the Crimson TideThe Gym’Backs are 0-4 all-time against Alabama. The teams have met once in Fayetteville in 2003, and one time each in Birmingham (SECs), Tuscaloosa and Duluth, Ga. (SEC). Here’s a look at the all-time scores:ALABAMA (0-4)
|1-24-03||No. 4 Alabama 197.200||Arkansas 194.575||Fayetteville|
|3-29-03||No. 5 Alabama 197.575||No. 38 Arkansas 194.875||Birmingham|
|2-27-04||No. 3 Alabama 197.325||No. 17 Arkansas 196.450||Tuscaloosa|
|3-20-04||No. 3 Alabama 197.950||No. 24 Arkansas 194.825||Duluth|
Bama And The PollFans and media will notice that Alabama is not ranked this week. The Crimson Tide would be ranked seventh this week based on RQS with a 196.025 average but a clerical error kept Alabama out of the polls. On The HorizonArkansas returns to the road facing No. 13 Denver in the Pioneers’ gym. The Gym’Backs finish out the regular season with No. 29 Missouri and hosting a quad meet that includes No. 6 UCLA, No. 9 Nebraska and No. 16 Oregon State. The Beavers vaulted into the No. 16 spot after edging Arkansas at Washington last week. OSU was No. 21 and moved five spots after the win. The post season begins with the Gym’Backs traveling to Duluth, Ga., facing the Southeastern Conference teams, all of whom are ranked in the top 20 this week. More Poll NotesArkansas ranks third this week in the Central Region poll. The Gym’Backs trail both Nebraska and Oklahoma but are just ahead of Arizona and Arizona State.
About The PollArkansas has been in and out of the poll in various spots the first two seasons finishing last year ranked 20th overall. The Gym’Backs entered 2005 ranked 24th in the preseason poll and have climbed as high as No. 12 this year. The Gym’Backs remain at No. 11 as the poll moves into its next phase ranking teams according to their Regional Qualifying Score or RQS. More About The PollUnlike other collegiate athletic rankings, collegiate gymnastic rankings are not based on wins and losses or votes. Gymnastic teams are ranked by their meet scores alone. Teams are ranked by their highest score from Jan. 10-17. From Jan. 24-Feb. 14, teams will be ranked by their season average. Starting Feb. 21, teams and gymnasts will be ranked by a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS). An RQS is based on a team’s top six regular-season scores, with three scores coming from away meets. To obtain the RQS, the team’s or gymnast’s highest score is dropped and the remaining five scores are averaged. Captain, My CaptainThis year’s captains are juniors Hannah McLeod and Dana McQuillin. The honor is the second for McLeod (2003 and 2005) and the third for McQuillin (2003, 2004, 2005). Injury UpdateThe Gym’Backs enter the week pretty healthy. Everyone is cleared to compete with a few obvious exceptions. Some of Arkansas’ other injuries include Jamie Barnett and Kim Harris. Both athletes continue to recover and gain strength after injuries and illness suffered last year. Finally, Kathy Thompson is out for the year with a torn Achilles Tendon.