Magee Goes To Nationals
One of the biggest highlights of the 2007 season was freshman Casey Jo Magee’s first NCAA Championship appearance. The Eugene, Ore., native qualified while in Ann Arbor, Mich., at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championship as one of two all-arounders on non-advancing teams.
Magee used a solid regional performance highlighted by a 9.90 on bars becoming the second Gym’Back to qualify as an individual.
She was again strong at the NCAA Championship tying her career-best on the vault with a 9.850 and on the floor with a 9.800 just missing all-America honors.
Stout Sets New Vault Record
Freshman Michelle Stout gave fans a glimpse of her talent scoring a school record 9.95 on the vault in 2007. Stout’s mark is even more impressive as it came against the nation’s top-ranked Florida Gators in a home meet early in the season. The Endwell, N.Y. native performed a Yurchenko full and stuck the landing garnering Stout the top score.
Magee Ties Beam Record
Freshman Casey Jo Magee tied the Arkansas beam record of 9.95 in an impressive team road win at No. 23 Arizona State last year. Magee’s beam routine tied former Gym’Back Katie Hardman who scored her 9.95 against No. 11 Arizona in 2004.
Gym’Backs Close Season With Vault and Beam Records
Arkansas set school records in both the vault and beam in 2007. The vault record was a much-needed come-from-behind performance at the NCAA Northeast Regional April 14, in Ann Arbor, Mich. After a disappointing start on the floor, the Gym’Backs had to play catch-up to get back in the meet. They did just that scoring a 49.300 – well surpassing the previous mark of 49.075 reached twice in program history.
Freshman Casey Jo Magee opened the vault and was just shy of her career best with a 9.825. Senior Cassie Drew followed with a season-best 9.825 and sophomore Alexandra LaChance added another great landing for a 9.85 tying her season-best. Arkansas just got better as the vault went on with junior Samantha Cortez tying her season-best with a 9.875 to tie for fifth overall followed by a career-best from Springdale, Ark., freshman Ashly McPherson counting a 9.85. Freshman Michelle Stout finished with a 9.90 vaulting the Gym’Backs to the record.
The balance beam record was equally as dramatic as the Gym’Backs scored a 49.400 at No. 23 Arizona State to win the meet. The victory in Tucson, Ariz., was the first for the Coaches Cook as the head of any gymnastics program.
Drew opened with a 9.850 followed by a season/career-best 9.825 from freshman Amy DeFilippo. Senior Rachel Barnett tied her career-best with a 9.875 and Arkansas continued to be strong with junior Emily Peacock recording a career-best 9.90 and Magee tacked on her 9.950 for the Gym’Backs.
Drew Earns SEC Gymnast Of The Week
Senior Cassie Drew became the third Gym’Back in school history to earn Southeastern Conference Gymnast of the Week in 2007. Drew’s honor was awarded March 6 after the Raleigh, N.C. native guided the Gym’Backs to a big SEC road win at No. 14 Auburn.
The victory was the second consecutive SEC win with Drew tying for the individual beam title with a career-best 9.90. Drew also added a season-best 9.850 on the floor and was just shy of a career mark with a season-high 39.275 in the all-around.
Peacock Named To SEC Community Service Team
Emily Peacock earned Southeastern Conference Community Service Team honors in 2007. Peacock, a junior from San Antonio, Texas, is very active in community service ventures in the Northwest Arkansas area. She is the third Arkansas gymnast selected to the Community Service (formerly SEC Good Works Team) team since the award’s inception in 2004. Peacock has been involved with Championship of Character, an Arkansas Athletes Outreach program that addresses area school assemblies with inspirational and motivational messages. She took a mission trip to Honduras, participated in the Houston Nutt Golf Tournament for area charities, is a member of Razorbacks for Kids, Christmas Razorbacks for Kids and helped conduct a clinic for NGWS Day. She is also involved in Sweat Hawgs, an area program encouraging physical activity in young people. A three-year, three-event participant for the Gym’Backs, Peacock also works at the Arkansas Gymnastics summer camps as a counselor and is a volunteer at Camp of Champs in Northwest Arkansas.
Arkansas Wins Five Meets In A Row
Arkansas set a school record with five consecutive meet victories in 2007. The Gym’Backs went on the road defeating Kentucky and No. 14 Auburn in back-to-back Southeastern Conference wins to open the streak. The Gym’Backs then won the first of two home quads defeating No. 23 West Virginia, No. 37 Pittsburgh and No. 39 New Hampshire. The Gym’Backs returned to the road scoring the program’s first win at No. 23 Arizona State. Arkansas scored another home victory in the second quad of the year defeating No. 18 Missouri, No. 36 Southeast Missouri State and No. 51 Texas Woman’s University. The Gym’Backs won five in a row with a 9-0 mark to finish the regular season.
Speaking Of Wins
The 2007 edition of the Gym’Backs finished the year with a winning record (17-16) for the first time in program history. The 17 wins is also a program-best The Gym’Backs also tied the program-high with a solid fifth-place showing a the 2007 SEC Championship hosted by ALLTEL Arena in North Little Rock, Ark.