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Arkansas Gymnastics Fact Sheet #9

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Arkansas Gymnastics Fact Sheet #9

2008 GYMNASTICS FACT SHEET #9 – at UCLA Quad

Arkansas hits the road again
The 12th-ranked Arkansas gymnastics team remains on the road traveling to eighth-ranked UCLA for a quad meet. The Gym’Backs will also face No. 6 Alabama and No. 44 CS-Fullerton in Arkansas’ first quad of the season.

Arkansas moves to No. 12
The Gym’Backs fell one spot to No. 12 in this week’s GymInfo poll. Arkansas had been holding steady at the No. 10 spot but moved one place after the poll went to RQS (from average) last week. Arkansas dropped another spot to 12th this week.

12th in the nation but sixth in the SEC
That’s right. Arkansas is 12th in the nation and sixth 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 sixth consecutive week. Florida remains third, followed by No. 5 LSU, , No. 6 Alabama, No. 11 Auburn, No. 12 Arkansas and No. 33 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.

A bit about Georgia
Arkansas blasted out of the gates with solid scores on the first three events and was in good shape heading into the final rotation – the balance beam. But the beam was unkind to Arkansas with the first competitor falling and two others counting lower-than-normal scores. Despite that, Arkansas managed to tie its second-best team total of the year with a 195.95.

A couple of career highs
Arkansas got five career-bests at No. 1 Georgia last weekend. Senior Samantha Cortez tied her career-high with a 9.85 on the vault and sophomore Sarah Nagashima set a new high with a 9.875. Cortez also had a career-best on teh bars with a 9.825 as did sophomore Allison Daniels with a 9.875 on the bars. Arkansas also recorded a season-best 49.175 on the bars Saturday.

About UCLA (from uclabruins.com)
Despite competing without top all-around gymnast Anna Li, who sat out after being injured during last week’s meet, the ninth-ranked UCLA gymnastics team defeated 10th-ranked Oregon State on Sunday afternoon, 196.775-195.950. Tasha Schwikert continued to shine for the Bruins, scoring a season-high 39.625 to win the all-around, and Brittani McCullough made a triumphant return after her concussion last week, scoring a season-high 39.375 in the all-around to tie for second with Oregon State’s Jami Lanz. The Bruins are averaging 195.933 per meet and are 12-1 with their lone loss coming at the hands of second-ranked Utah.
This is Arkansas’ second trip to Pauley Pavillion. The Gym’Backs traveled to UCLA in the first season of gymnastics (2003) at Arkansas.

Yes, there is a history
In addition to a match-up with a great team, Arkansas co-head coach Mark Cook has a bit of added incentive in this meet. Cook was an assistant coach at UCLA from 1994-97, helping the Bruins to two Pac-10 titles, three NCAA Regional titles and the 1997 National Championship.

Arkansas vs. UCLA

Arkansas and UCLA have met four times in the six seasons Arkansas has had gymnastics. UCLA holds a 3-1 series advantage over Arkansas with the Gym’Backs’ lone win a big one in 2006. Arkansas upset UCLA in 2006 at Regionals advancing to the NCAA Championship for the first time in program history.

About Alabama

Alabama used a season-high floor score to upset third-ranked Florida in a come-from-behind effort last weekend. The win over the defending SEC Champions saw the Crimson Tide score a 197.225 to finish the SEC season with a 5-1 league record. Alabama is 6-1 overall and travel to Stanford Friday before Sunday’s meet at UCLA.

Arkansas vs. Alabama
Arkansas has never defeated Alabama in the 12 meetings between these two teams (including one this year).

About UC-Fullerton
The Titans come to UCLA with a 4-7 overall record coming off a 196.375-193.100 loss to No. 10 Oregon State last weekend. CSF’s top score, a 194.825 came two weeks ago against Boise State.

Arkansas vs. UC-Fullerton
This is the first meeting between Arkansas and CS-Fullerton.

The South Central Rankings

The Gym’Backs remain in second place in the South Central Regional standings. Number 10 Oklahoma leads the SC, followed by Arkansas. Missouri is third followed by Nebraska and Arizona rounding out the top five in the region. Here’s the complete regional standings:



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