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. 2: First SEC Win
Competing in the Southeastern Conference means you're facing the best teams in the country, and the Razorbacks were the new kids on the block in 2003. Despite the challenge, Arkansas didn't take long to show it would make an impact in the best gymnastics conference in the nation.
Following early-season losses to No. 5 Florida and No. 4 Alabama, on Feb. 7, the Razorbacks recorded the first SEC victory in program history with the 194.475-192.825 win at No. 33 Kentucky.
"Our scores going into the meet had been pretty good nationally," co-head coach Rene Cook says. "That was our first quad meet and we were competing really well and with a lot of energy. We were excited about getting that first win. It was the beginning of our firsts."
Hannah McLeod became Arkansas' first individual event winner by claiming the beam title with a 9.825. Audra Loveless had a 9.775 on vault, McLeod a 9.80 on bars and Tiffany Berry a 9.825 on floor.
"It was a milestone," co-head coach Mark Cook says. "That was exciting to get that win. It made the team feel like all that hard work paid off. At first we were competing to get better, but after that we were competing to win."
In the quad meet format, the Razorbacks also knocked off Illinois-Chicago and Texas Woman's University.