A WEEKEND OF DOMINANCE
Arkansas is coming off a great road performance at Texas Woman’s University. The Razorbacks won the quad meet with TWU, Bowling Green and Pennsylvania going 1-2-3 on all four events and in the all-around competition. Casey Jo Magee won her seventh all-around title of the year also taking top honors on vault and beam. Magee tied the all-around school record with a 39.525 and the vault school record with a 9.95. Freshman Jaime Pisani had a pair of wins tying Michelle Stout and Sarah Nagashima for the bars win and winning the outright floor title.
ABOUT SECS (from SECSports.com)
The 2009 SEC Gymnastics Championship meet will be held March 21 in Nashville’s Sommet Center. This marks the 29th year that the SEC will crown a team champion in gymnastics. Georgia, the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 NCAA National Champions, will look to again claim the SEC title and take home their eighth SEC crown in the last 10 years, while Florida will be aiming to win their second SEC title in the last three years. Alabama, who tied with Florida for second a year ago, is looking to claim their sixth title and first since 2003. LSU, who finished fourth last season, will also vie for the SEC Championship, as will Arkansas, Auburn and Kentucky.
This is Arkansas’ seventh trip to the SEC Championships. The Razorbacks have finished as high as fifth (2005, 2007) and as low as sixth (2003, 2004, 2006, 2008).
NASHVILLE IS A FIRST
The 2009 SEC Championship takes place in Nashville, Tenn., in the Sommet Center for the first time. There have been 28 SEC Championship meets with Georgia winning 16 titles. Florida has six, Alabama 5 and LSU 1. The SEC Championship moved to neutral sites in 2001 taking place in Birmingham, Ala., for the next three years.
The competition draw for the order in which teams will rotate during the meet will be held Friday, March 20, at 2:50 p.m. in between practice sessions. Arkansas has started with a bye in four of the previous six SEC Championships. The Razorbacks started on the beam in 2004 and vault last year.
SPEAKING OF PRACTICE
Arkansas is in the second practice session beginning at 3:30 p.m. in the Sommet Center. The Razorbacks are on the floor with Georgia, Florida and Alabama and begin their practice session on bars. Practice concludes at 5:10 p.m.
FOR THE MEDIA
The SEC, in conjunction with FSN South, will provide a t15-minute satellite uplink from the SEC Championship. Air time is 10:30 p.m. Eastern/9:30 p.m. Central on Saturday, march 21. The coordinates are AMC 15, Transponder 9 (KU Band) Analog. Uplink: 14180 (H); Downlink 11880 (V) LBAND: 1130. The trouble line is 800-982-0046 or 770-655-7116.
Livestats for the meet are available at SECSports.com, and a two-hour highlight show airs on a tape-delay basis on FSN South/SEC-TV March 28, at 7 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Central.
LaCHANCE AT SECS FOR FINAL TIME
Lone senior Alex LaChance is making her final SEC Championship appearance this week. LaChance missed her freshman meet in 2006 with an injury but was a two-event competitor on vault and floor as a sophomore and junior.
SCORING IS TOUGH AT THE BIG MEET
Arkansas enters this week’s meet at the ninth-ranked team in the nation but the Razorbacks are fifth in the SEC showing you just how tough the league is again this year. Arkansas’ best meet score came in 2005 with a fifth-place 195325 – it is the only time the Razorbacks have broken the 195 barrier.
RESULTS FOLLOW RANKINGS
In the six previous SEC Championships that Arkansas has taken part in, the results have tended to follow the national rankings closely. The highest-ranked team in the meet has won the last three titles. Arkansas has only defeated one team who entered the meet with a higher ranking. That came in 2006 when No. 19 Arkansas finished sixth ahead of No. 18 Kentucky. The Razorbacks have never lost to Kentucky during the regular season or the postseason.
ARKANSAS IN THE TOP 20
The Razorbacks have several gymnasts ranked in the top 20 in the country again this week. Junior Casey Jo Magee is tied for seventh in the nation as an all-arounder this week. Magee has an RQS of 39.445, an average score of 39.239 and a high score of 39.525 this year. Junior Michelle Stout checks in at No. 17 this week and freshman Jaime Pisani is ranked 21st as an all-arounder.
Pisani and Stout rank No. 13 and No. 14, respectively, on the vault this week with Magee the lone Arkansas representative on uneven bars in a tie for No. 23. Magee is also ranked on the beam coming in in a tie for No. 8. Pisani ranks tied for No. 13 on floor followed by Magee who is tied for 17th.
IT’S HARD TO EARN ALL-SEC
The Razorbacks have had just one All-SEC gymnast and that was Melissa Leigh who earned all-conference honors on the bars in 2004. All-SEC first-team honors are determined by the athletes with the highest score in each event plus the top three all-arounders at the league championship. The second-team will be the second highest scores.
CO-COACHES OF THE YEAR
Last year, Mark and Rene Cook were named SEC Co-Coaches of the Year. It was the first league coaching honor for the Cooks and the Razorbacks.
WHO IS WINNING?
Junior Casey Jo Magee has more individual wins (or ties for wins) than any other Razorback gymnast in program history. Magee has 36 titles; 11 as an all-arounder, 13 on beam, six on bars, four on floor and two on the vault. Junior Michelle Stout has 20 titles, followed by seven for freshman Jaime Pisani, five for Amy DeFilippo, three for Alex LaChance and one for Sarah Nagashima.
STEADY EDDY ON THE LINEUP
Arkansas has made very few adjustments to this year’s line up (see tentative lineup on the right). In fact, it has been the same for the last several meets. But Arkansas does have some flexibility and could put Alex LaChance up on beam or Stacy Bartlett on floor just to name a few options.
RQS RANKINGS IN EFFECT
This week’s poll is based on RQS or regional qualifying score. Qualification for regional competition is based on a team’s and an all-around competitor’s six best regular-season-meet scores, of which three must be away. To obtain the regional qualifying score (RQS), the high score is eliminated and the remaining five scores are averaged.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
In Arkansas’ case, the Razorbacks’ six-best scores are:
1. at Oklahoma 196.900
2. vs. Georgia 196.725
3. vs. Alabama 196.625
4. vs. Florida 196.375
5. at TWU 196.550
6. at Oregon St. 195.925
Arkansas improved again last week with a good road score of 196.550 at the TWU Quad. If you eliminate the high score at OU, add the remaining five, you get 982.20. Divide that number by five and you get Arkansas’ RQS of 196.440. Arkansas’ 196.350 against No. 18 Minnesota did not help the team because it was not high enough to replace the 196.375 against the Gators. Arkansas could move again if they can better their 195.925 at the SEC Championships as it will count as a road score.
THE NCAA REGIONAL IS ON THE HORIZON
Arkansas hosts the 2009 NCAA South Central Regional in Barnhill Arena April 4, at 6 p.m. It is the second time Arkansas has hosted the regional. The Razorbacks also hosted in 2006, upsetting UCLA and advancing to the program’s first NCAA Championship.