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. 10: No. 1 Falls, Twice
Arkansas knocked off the No. 1 team in the nation twice in 2011 on the way to a share of the Southeastern Conference regular-season championship and its second NCAA Regional title.
On Feb. 25 in Fayetteville, No. 15 Arkansas topped No. 1 Florida 196.700-196.100. Jaime Pisani won vault, beam, floor and all-around titles, and was named SEC Gymnast of the Week. Arkansas went on to finish 5-1 in the SEC to tie for the league championship.
In April, in Denver for the NCAA North Central Regional, Arkansas took down No. 1 Florida again as the No. 12 Razorbacks posted a 196.55-196.425 victory for its second regional championship in three years. Pisani won the floor title and Katherine Grable won vault.
"The regular-season win proved we could be what we thought we could be," co-head coach Rene Cook says. "The regional was a difficult set of teams. Facing the No. 1 team, for us to keep our heads and compete the whole time, and to win the regional solidified we are a good team and program."
The Razorbacks advanced to the NCAA Championship for the fourth straight season and recorded their third top 10 finish in four years by tying for ninth in the country.
"We already had respect as a good team, but to do well and beat the No. 1 team a second time on the road earned more respect for our program," co-head coach Mark Cook says.