Courtesy: Robby Edwards, Athletic Media Relations
The first year of the program, in 2003, Arkansas ranked 41st in the nation. The Razorbacks earned an NCAA bid for the first time in 2004 and have been back every year since. Arkansas ended the year ranked No. 15 in 2005 and has been in the top 13 each year since. Since 2006, Arkansas has advanced to the NCAA Championship six of seven years, including the last five. Included in those eight consecutive top 15 rankings are three top 10 finishes in the last four years.
In 2012, Arkansas recorded its second-best finish ever by finishing sixth in the country. The Razorbacks earned a No. 1 national ranking, earned their first event No. 1 ranking (bars), and had individuals ranked No. 1 for the first time in the all-around, on floor and on bars. The Razorbacks recorded 15 wins over teams ranked in the top 25, finished second in the NCAA Regional in Fayetteville, finished third in the NCAA Session II semifinal and moved on to the Super Six for the second time in four years.
Four Razorbacks (Jaime Pisani, Katherine Grable, Stephani Canizaro and Bailee Zumwalde) combined for eight All-America honors, giving Arkansas 36 selections in its 10 years. Two Razorbacks, Pisani and Grable, advanced to the NCAA event finals, giving Arkansas 16 total appearances.
Lyst is Arkansas' primary beam coach while assisting on all four events. She has guided Arkansas to top 25 final national rankings on beam for eight straight years, including No. 15 in 2012. Arkansas was also No. 9 in 2010, No. 13 in 2011, No. 16 in 2009 and No. 16 in 2008.
Lyst has guided three individuals to six All-America honors on beam along with three to five selections in the all-around. Lyst has coached six Razorbacks to nine appearances in the NCAA individual event finals with three top five finishes.
An SEC and NCAA South Central Regional Coach of the Year honoree, Lyst coached Casey Jo Magee to the 2009 SEC beam title, to two NCAA Regional titles and to a No. 1 national ranking. In 2010, Magee became the first No. 1-ranked Razorback in program history, reaching the top spot on beam on March 1 and March 8, and tying for the top position on March 22.
In 2012, she coached Pisani to the SEC beam title and Arkansas' first SEC Gymnast of the Year honor. She also coached Pisani, who won 35 individual event titles, and Grable to No. 1 national rankings in the all-around, and Pisani to regional AA and beam championships. In the NCAA event finals, Pisani finished third in the all-around, ninth on floor and 12th on beam, and Grable placed sixth on beam.
In 2011, Lyst guided Arkansas to the NCAA North Central Regional title and a tie for ninth at the NCAA Championship. The Razorbacks beat No. 1 Florida for the regional title and tied for fourth in the NCAA Session I Semifinal to miss the Super Six by one spot. Lyst's team also beat top-ranked Florida during the regular season, recorded its first-ever win over Georgia, which was ranked No. 4 at the time, tied for the SEC regular-season title, had 11 wins over teams ranked in the top 25, beat LSU in Baton Rouge for the first time, set school records with seven dual meet wins and four wins on the road, and set school records with five SEC wins and three SEC road wins.
Individually, Pisani, Grable, Borsellino and Kelci Lewis combined for seven All-America honors. Pisani was first-team on floor, and second-team on beam and in the all-around. Lewis was a second-teamer on floor. Grable was a first-teamer on floor and a second-teamer on vault, becoming the first freshman in program history to be a first-team All-American.
Pisani won 28 individual event titles, and in the NCAA event finals tied for fifth on floor. Grable ended the year ranked No. 16 in the all-around, and tied for ninth on floor in the event finals. Borsellino placed 15th in the finals on vault.
In addition, Pisani became the first Razorback to earn South Central Regional Gymnast of the Year honors and departed senior Michelle Stout was named the SEC's co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Arkansas was No. 11 overall in the nation in 2010, finished second in the NCAA West Regional, advanced to the NCAA Championship for the third consecutive season, placed No. 11 in the nation in average attendance, led the SEC in team grade point average and ranked No. 16 in the country, set school records for overall team score and on bars, recorded five of the top eight overall team scores in program history and had wins over eight top 25 ranked opponents.
Individually in the 2010 season, Magee and Pisani combined for seven All-America honors with Magee a first-teamer in the all-around, on bars, beam and floor; and Pisani a first-teamer on vault and floor, and a second-teamer in the all-around. The pair also combined for six appearances in the NCAA individual event finals. Magee was second in the nation in the all-around, the highest finish ever for a Razorback, and fourth on beam, tied for fifth on bars and 12th on floor. Pisani was 10th on floor and 12th on vault.
In 2009, Arkansas advanced to the NCAA Super Six for the first time in school history, finished fifth in the NCAA Championship and had a No. 5 final ranking, and recorded wins over No. 1 Florida, No. 2 Utah, No. 4 Stanford, No. 6 LSU, No. 6 Oregon State, No. 7 UCLA, No. 7 Oklahoma and No. 9 Alabama. Alexandra LaChance and Sarah Nagashima earned first-team All-America honors while Magee was a first-team All-SEC selection.
In 2008, Arkansas had wins over No. 6 Alabama, No. 8 Oregon State, No. 9 UCLA, No. 12 Penn State and No. 14 Auburn. Arkansas finished second in the NCAA North Central Regional and advanced to the NCAA Championship. Arkansas finished the year ranked No. 10 in the nation.
The 2007 squad finished third in the NCAA Northeast Regional and had regular-season wins over No. 14 Auburn and No. 14 Penn State. The Razorbacks were ranked No. 15 at the end of the season with a No. 10 ranking on beam and No. 13 on floor.
Lyst also spearheads Arkansas' commitment in the classroom, and she leads by example. In 2011, she earned her doctor of education degree (Ed.D.) from Arkansas. In 2010, the Razorbacks led the SEC and placed 16th in the country with a team grade point average of 3.4369. Arkansas was also No. 16 in 2009 with a 3.4309 GPA, No. 14 in 2003, No. 10 in 2004, No. 7 in 2005 and No. 21 in 2007.
Lyst's teams have posted a 3.30 GPA or better each year. She has coached eight All-SEC selections, 10 All-Americans to 36 selections, 78 SEC Academic Honor Roll members, 67 National Association for Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches for Women Academic Scholar-Athletes and numerous Arkansas Women's Athletics Department Honor Roll selections.
In addition, the 2010 and 2011 squads both earned public recognition from the NCAA for ranking among the top 10 percent nationally in multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR). The 2010 honor was the first for an SEC program since 2006.
Lyst also oversees production of floor music, floor choreography, team building, and assists on vault and floor exercise coaching.
In addition to her full complement of coaching duties in the gym, she spends numerous hours recruiting and coordinating the staff's recruiting efforts.
STARTING A PROGRAM
When she arrived, there was no gym, no equipment, no leotards and no team, but on May 7, 2001, she accepted that challenge and quickly built Arkansas into a program any coach would be proud of. Lyst's initial duties included consulting on the construction of one of the nation's best practice facilities and assembling a team good enough to compete in the country's toughest gymnastics conference, the SEC.
Lyst inked a recruiting class of 11 freshmen, convincing the team to take a chance on building a program from the ground up.
The first team finished the year with a No. 41 national ranking, including a No. 38 rating on beam. The second season, 2004, Arkansas made its first NCAA appearance and was ranked No. 20 overall and tied for No. 16 on beam. The 2005 team also advanced to a regional, and finished with an overall ranking of No. 26 and a beam ranking of No. 13.
In 2006, the first recruiting class in school history helped Arkansas upset No. 9 UCLA in the NCAA South Central Regional, took the Razorbacks to their first NCAA Championship and ended the year ranked No. 12 with a No. 18 beam ranking.
PRIOR TO ARKANSAS
In addition to coaching Magee to SEC and regional beam titles, she coached two Pac-10 champions and two NCAA Regional title winners at Stanford.
Lyst helped produced Stanford's first NCAA Regional champions as well, picking up four in their four seasons with the Cardinal. Stanford enjoyed success in the classroom as well with 14 Scholastic All-America selections and 17 selections to the Pac-10 All-Academic Team during her time in Palo Alto.
Before moving to Stanford as the assistant coach, Lyst was the assistant coach at Penn State for the 1997 season. She helped the Lady Lions to the NCAA Northeast Region title and an 11th-place finish at the NCAA Championship.
Lyst worked for three seasons as the assistant coach at Massachusetts prior to Penn State. At UMass, she was responsible for balance beam and assisted with recruiting.
She also coached an NCAA Regional beam champion at both Penn State and UMass.At Arkansas (2003-present)