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Arkansas Gymnastics Fact Sheet #6

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Arkansas Gymnastics Fact Sheet #6

2008 GYMNASTICS FACT SHEET #6 — host No. 35 Kentucky

Arkansas returns to the “Friendly Confines”

        The Gym’Backs have been on the road for back-to-back weekends finally returning home this Friday. This week’s meet sees the No. 10 Arkansas Gym’Backs host the 35th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats in a 7:00 p.m. match in Barnhill Arena.

Stout wins all-around title
        Sophomore Michelle Stout won the first all-around title of her career at No. 4 Alabama scoring a career-best 39.225 for the win. Stout’s numbers include a season-best 9.875 on the vault, a 9.80 on bars, a career-best 9.75 on beam and she tied her season best on floor with a 9.80. Stout’s win is Arkansas’ third all-around title against a higher-ranked opponent and the first against a top five team. Her win was the second all-around title for Arkansas this season and ties the second-best all-around score of the season for the Gym’Backs. It is the seventh all-around title in school history.

Stout earns SEC Gymnast of the Week
        Sophomore Michelle Stout became the fourth player in Gym’Back history to earn SEC Gymnast of the Week the league office announced Tuesday. Stout’s weekend performances (see note above) allowed her to join former Arkansas gymnasts Dana McQuillin (2004), Katie Hardman (2006) and Cassie Drew (2007) who also earned SEC weekly honors.

Arkansas’ numbers good at No. 4 Alabama
        The University of Arkansas gymnastics team posted a season-best 195.95 against fourth-ranked Alabama on the road Friday. Sophomore Michelle Stout won her first collegiate all-around title scoring a career-best 39.225. As a team Arkansas recorded season-bests on the vault and beam while the Gym’Backs set or tied eight career-bests and four season-bests. Arkansas’ vault score of 49.225 is the second-best vault total in program history.

Power of Pink was amazing
        Last week’s meet at Alabama was the Crimson Tide’s “Power of Pink” meet. The contest drew 15,075 fans and raised more than $200,000 for breast cancer. The meet at No. 4 Alabama airs tape delayed on ESPN2. The scheduled air date is Sunday, Feb. 17 at 1:30 p.m. central on The Deuce.

That’s Right — No. 10
        The Gym’Backs are holding steady in the national polls thanks to five 195-plus performances. This week, Arkansas is 10th as a team and ranks 11th on the vault, 13th on bars, ninth on beam and seventh on the floor exercise.

Fifth in the SEC?
        That’s right. Arkansas is 10th in the nation and fifth in the SEC facing what is again the best teams in the country in their own conference. This week Georgia holds the top spot for the third consecutive week. Florida remains third, followed by No. 4 Alabama, No. 6 LSU, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 16 Auburn and No. 35 Kentucky.

To RQS or not to RQS?
        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. Some teams in this week’s poll have enough meets to calculate an RQS but most still do not. This week’s poll is still based on average but all teams will be ranked by RQS beginning next week (Feb. 18).

About Kentucky
        The Wildcats are coming off a solid performance against Florida last week where they set several season and career-bests. Five upperclassmen (three seniors and two juniors) have paced Kentucky to 1-5 overall record and a 1-3 mark in the SEC this season. The Wildcats’ lone victory was a 193.450-191.950 win over league rival Auburn and Kentucky’s season-best score of 193.525 was set in a loss against Alabama.

About the series
        Arkansas and Kentucky have met 10 times in the Gym’Backs’ history with Arkansas owning a 9-0-1 mark over the Wildcats. The lone tie came in 2003 when the two teams both posted a 194.875 at the SEC Championship in Birmingham, Ala., in the first year of the Arkansas program.

The South Central Rankings
        The Gym’Backs remain in second place in the South Central Regional standings. No. 8 Oklahoma leads the SC, followed by Arkansas. Nebraska is third followed by Missouri and Arizona State rounding out the top five in the region. Here’s the complete regional standings:



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