The 2012 season marks the 10-year anniversary of the gymnastics program at the University of Arkansas. In nine seasons, the Razorbacks have qualified for an NCAA Regional each of the last eight years, winning championships in 2009 and 2011. Arkansas has advanced to the NCAA Championship five times, including the last four years. The program has finished in the top 10 three times, with a trip to the Super Six and a fifth-place finish in 2009, and finished in the top 15 seven straight years.
Individually, Razorbacks have earned 28 All-America honors and 13 appearances in the NCAA individual event finals. Academically, Arkansas led the SEC in team grade point average in 2010 and has ranked among the top 30 in the nation seven times. Razorbacks have earned 62 National Association for Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches for Women Academic Scholar-Athlete and 69 SEC Academic Honor Roll honors.
Four All-Americans return from the 2011 squad, which tied for the Southeastern Conference regular-season championship, won the NCAA North Central Regional, tied for ninth in the nation, recorded two wins over No. 1-ranked Florida, beat No. 4 Georgia, and set school records with seven dual-meet wins and four road wins.
In honor of the anniversary, the inaugural team from 2003 will be in attendance and recognized during the meet against LSU on Jan. 20, in addition to other reunion events throughout the weekend. Season tickets are now on sale. To purchase, click on the link below.
To highlight the success of the first nine seasons, we'll take a look back at significant moments in the program's history, in chronological order.
Highlight No. 6: Week of "Shock and Awe"
There were plenty of highlights in 2009, including winning the South Central Regional, advancing to the NCAA Super Six and finishing fifth in the nation. The first month of the season may have hinted at the banner season the Razorbacks were about to have.
Over an eight-day stretch, from Jan. 23-30, Arkansas recorded three wins over top 10-ranked teams.
On Jan. 23, No. 8 Arkansas recorded its first-ever win over a No. 1-ranked them when the Razorbacks knocked off Florida in Barnhill Arena, 196.375-195.425. Three days later at No. 7 Oklahoma, the Razorbacks recorded a 196.900-195.625 victory. Four days later, in Fayetteville, the Razorbacks knocked off No. 9 Alabama, 196.625-196.525.
"We beat Florida on Friday and left for Oklahoma, but there were weather issues," co-head coach Rene Cook says. "We could barely get from the hotel to the campus, but we were on this high after beating Florida and then we beat OU. We had all this stress because of the weather and travel, and had to spend the night on the way back and didn't get back until Wednesday. With basically one day of training, we beat Alabama. We beat three really, really good teams. Nothing fazed that team."
The wins were the first in program history over those three opponents and pushed Arkansas up to No. 3 in the nation.
"That was the week of 'Shock and Awe,'" co-head coach Mark Cook says. "That's what we called it. That set the stage for the rest of the year. We knew we could handle anything."