DULUTH, Ga. - Arkansas' gymnastics team finished sixth at the NCAA Championship finals on Sunday for its fourth top 10 finish in the last five years.
The Razorbacks advanced to the Super Six for the second time by finishing third in Friday's NCAA Championship Session II semifinal. In the last five years, Arkansas has finished 10th in the nation in 2008, fifth in 2009, tied for ninth in 2011 and sixth in 2012. The Razorbacks reached the Super Six for the second time in four years after advancing for the first time in 2009.
"We had a lot of questions marks toward the end of the season and even leading up to the regional with injuries," co-head coach René Cook said. "Just to get to the Super Six is fantastic."
Alabama won the national championship Sunday at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga.
The final team standings were No. 4 Alabama 197.85, No. 1 Florida 197.775, No. 2 UCLA 197.75, No. 10 Stanford 197.50, No. 7 Utah 197.375, No. 8 Arkansas 196.30.
"I'm really proud of the team," senior All-American Jaime Pisani said. "We gave it our all."
Pisani and sophomore Katherine Grable still have another day to complete. Both are in the individual event finals on Sunday at noon (central). Pisani is competing on floor and on beam, and Grable on beam.
Arkansas' 196.30 is the school's fourth-best in the championship and the Razorbacks tied the overall school record with a 49.45 on vault, led by sophomore Scarlett Williams' career-high 9.925.
"It means a lot to get to the Super Six," Williams said. "We came out and fought hard."
The Razorbacks started on bars. A day after posting a 49.275 in the NCAA Session II semifinal, Arkansas opened the Super Six with a 49.175.
Junior Amy Borsellino opened with a 9.80, followed by freshman Stephani Canizaro with a 9.80 and sophomore Shelby Salmon a 9.775. Sophomore Katherine Grable scored a 9.85, and Pisani followed with a 9.875 before senior Mariah Howdeshell ended the rotation with a 9.85.
The 49.175 is the second-best score for the Razorbacks in the NCAA Championship, trailing only the 49.275 from Friday.
After the first rotation, Florida led with a 49.475 vault, followed by UCLA (floor) and Utah (beam) with 49.35, and Arkansas 49.175.
Arkansas moved to beam for the second rotation, where the Razorbacks set a school record in Friday's semifinal with a 49.45. In the Super Six, Arkansas scored a 49.225, which is the third-best for the championship.
Grable closed the rotation with a team-high mark of 9.90. Pisani had a 9.875, Salmon a 9.85, Borsellino a 9.825 and Williams a 9.775. Grable's 9.90 ties for the fourth-best for a Razorback in the championship.
Arkansas went into its first bye with a 98.40.
Through three rotations and with every team completing two events, Alabama led with a 99.075, followed by Florida 98.90, UCLA 98.875, Stanford 98.675, Utah 98.675 and Arkansas 98.40.
For the fourth rotation, Arkansas was on floor and was forced to count a couple of mistakes, finishing with a 48.45.
"We are really excited about getting here," Pisani said. "It wasn't our greatest performance on floor. I'm so happy for the opportunity to make the Super Six as a freshman and again as a senior."
Through four rotations, Florida led with 148.375, followed by UCLA at 148.35, Utah 148.075, Arkansas 146.85, Alabama 99.075 and Stanford 98.675.
Arkansas closed the meet on vault and finished with its best mark of the day, a 49.45, which ties the overall school record.
Pisani and Grable closed the meet with 9.90s after Lewis started the rotation with a 9.90, but Williams led with a career-high9.925. Borsellino scored a 9.825.
"I wanted to go all out, and stick it and finish strong for the team," Williams said.
Arkansas advanced to the Super Six by finishing third in its NCAA Session II semifinal on Friday. The Razorbacks finished third behind Alabama (197.675) and Florida (197.65), but ahead of No. 12 Ohio State (196.525), No. 5 Georgia (196.50) and No. 9 Oregon State (196.475).
NCAA Gymnastics Super Six
April 21, 2012
No. 4 Alabama 197.85, No. 1 Florida 197.775, No. 2 UCLA 197.75, No. 10 Stanford 197.50, No. 7 Utah 197.375,
No. 8 Arkansas 196.30