2008 GYMNASTICS FACT SHEET #7 – Hosts No. 14 AuburnArkansas returns to the “Friendly Confines” The 10th-ranked Arkansas gymnastics team continues at home hosting No. 14 Auburn in Southeastern Conference action Friday. It is the fourth home meet and the second in a row for Arkansas. The Gym’Backs have not yet been perfect at home but the Barnhill scores have gone up in each home contest – a trend Arkansas would like to continue is its final three home meets.
Magee wins all-around title Sophomore Casey Jo Magee won her second all-around title of 2008 with a near school record 39.475, just missing the top mark of 39.50 held by former Gym’Back Dana McQuillin set in 2004. Magee tied her career-best on the vault with a 9.85 and bars with a 9.90. She recorded a 9.850 on the beam and set a career-high on the floor with a 9.875 leading Arkansas to the SEC win over Kentucky.
Magee ranks eighth in the nation Magee’s success is also noticed on the national scale as well. The Eugene, Ore., native ranks eighth in the nation as an all-arounder this week. Magee is averaging 39.135 as an all-around with last week’s 39.475 as her season-best. LSU’s Ashleigh Clare-Kearney is first with a 39.430 average and a season-best of 39.650. UCLA’s Anna Li is second followed by Kiara Redmond-Sturms (Oklahoma), Emily Parsons (Nebraska), Jessica Lopez (Denver), Lindsey Puckett (Auburn) and Lindsey Bruck (Michigan).
Arkansas posts good team numbers against Wildcats The University of Arkansas gymnastics team scored a season home best 195.675 in the win over No. 35 Kentucky although the Wildcats also scored a season-best challenging the Gym’Backs through the final rotation. Arkansas recorded a Barnhill Arena best 49.175 on the vault and posted season highs on teh bars (49.00) and floor (49.225) in the win.
That’s Right — No. 10 The Gym’Backs are holding steady in the national polls thanks to six 195-plus performances. This week, Arkansas is again 10th as a team and ranks 11th on the vault, 10th on bars, 12th on beam and sixth on the floor exercise.
Fourth in the SEC? With an * That’s right. Arkansas is 10th in the nation and fourth in the SEC facing what is again the best teams in the country in their own conference. The asterisks in in place this week as Alabama, ranked fourth last week, did not compete this week and did not show up in the rankings without an RQS. This week Georgia holds the top spot for the fourth consecutive week. Florida remains third, followed by No. 5 LSU, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 14 Auburn and No. 27 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 the first RQS ranking of the season.
About Auburn The Auburn Tigers are paced by Lindsey Puckett who won her third all-around title of the year in a team loss to No. 1 Georgia last week. The Tigers scored a season-best 49.025 on the floor and Puckett was second with a season-best 9.90. Auburn’s score against Georgia (195.475) was enough to move the Tigers up two spots from last week to No. 14 as they travel to Arkansas. Arkansas and Auburn are very closely matched again this year with Arkansas holding only a slight edge in the rankings.
About the series Arkansas holds a very slight lead in the series, 6-4, with Auburn. The Gym’Backs won both meetings last year (in Auburn and at the SEC Championship) but Auburn nipped Arkansas at the 2006 SEC Championship in Birmingham. Arkansas has won four of the five regular season meetings between these two teams with Auburn’s lone victory coming in the inaugural season of the Arkansas’ program in 2003.
The South Central Rankings The Gym’Backs remain in second place in the South Central Regional standings. No. 6 Oklahoma leads the SC, followed by Arkansas. Nebraska is third followed by Nebraska and Missouri rounding out the top five in the region. Here’s the complete regional standings:
Individuals in the regional rankings Several Arkansas gymnasts are ranked in the South Central standings. On the vault, senior Samantha Cortez leads the Gym’Backs and is ranked eighth. Sophomores Michelle Stout and Ashly McPherson are tied for 11th and sophomore Casey Jo Magee is 13th on the vault. On the bars, senior Emily Peacock is second in the South Central with a 9.833 average and a season-high 9.9. Stout is tied for seventh, followed by sophomore Amy DeFilippo who is tied for 11th, The beam has Magee fourth with a 9.842 average and a season-best 9.925. Cortez is 12th in the region. The floor ex is led by Peacock who is fifth in SC with a 9.85 average and a season-best 9.90. Magee is 13th and Stouth 14th on the floor. Magee is also ranked third in the region as an all-arounder with a season-best 39.192 and season-best 39.475. Cortez is 11th as an all-arounder.
Gym’Backs live on the web All of the 2008 home meets will be streamed live at LADYBACKS.COM. Click on “All Access” and sign up today. Non-subscribers can view live scores on the web as well.
Back-to-back-to-back-to-back Arkansas’ 2008 schedule works in twos. The Gym’Backs open the home season with back-to-back meets in LSU and Penn State. Then Arkansas has two on the road, followed by two at home, then two road and two more home to wrap up the regular season.
TV loves the Gym’Backs Arkansas again has a great television lineup for the 2008 season. The Gym’Backs’ road meet at Florida will be televised on a tape delay basis by SUN Sports. Arkansas’ meet at Alabama is the Crimson Tide’s Power of Pink and will air on ESPN 2. The meet at defending national champion Georgia has been picked up by FSN as well. In addition, Arkansas’ home meets will air in the Natural State – stay tuned as more information becomes available.
SEC is strong — Again The Southeastern Conference is the strongest league for women’s gymnastics. Last year, the SEC sent four of its seven members to the NCAA Championships. All seven earned trips to the NCAA Regional Championships. Georgia emerged as the National Champion for the third consecutive year with Florida third, LSU seventh and Alabama ninth in the final meet. Meanwhile, Arkansas finished the year ranked 15th, followed by No. 23 Kentucky and No. 24 Auburn. That success and respect continues again in 2008 as evidenced by this week’s poll. Four of the seven SEC teams are ranked in the top 10 this week and six are in the top 16 this week. Georgia leads the SEC and is ranked first overall, followed by No. 3, Florida, No. 5 LSU, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 14 Auburn and No. 27 Kentucky. Alabama did not compete this week.
|Alabama||Did Not Compete|
What’s coming up? Arkansas has just four regular season weeks remaining in the 2008 season. The Gym’Backs have two on the road traveling to No. 1 Georgia March 1 and to No. 9 UCLA with top five Alabama and CS-Fullerton who is No. 32 this week, on March 9.The Gym’Backs host No. 6 Oklahoma (March 15) and No. 19 Michigan State (March 21) as the regular season concludes.The 2008 SEC Championship returns to GeorgiaThe state of Georgia is going to be busy this year. The SEC Championship returns to the Gwinett Center in Duluth for the third time since 2003. In addition, the University of Georgia will host the 2008 NCAA Championship behind the three-time defending national champion Georgia Gym Dogs.
NCAA Regionals follow April 12 Nothing is ever a given in sport but if the season ended today, the 10th-ranked Gym’Backs would earn the program’s fifth consecutive trip in six seasons to the NCAA Regional Championship. The NCAA regional selection is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. eastern/4:00 p.m. central Monday March 31. This year’s regionals are as follows:
|Central||LSU||PMAC||Baton Rouge, LA|
|North Central||Minnesota||Sports Pavilion||Minneapolis, MN|
|Northeast||Penn State||Rec Hall||University Park, PA|
|South Central||Oklahoma||Lloyd Noble Center||Nornan, OK|
|Southeast||Florida||Stephen C. O’Connell||Gainesville, FL|
|West||Oregon St.||Gill Coliseum||Corvallis, OR|
|Championship||Georgia||Stegeman Coliseum||Athens, GA|
2009 is approaching Yes, the 2008 season is just starting but the Gym’Backs can look forward to 2009 as well. Arkansas has been selected to host the 2009 NCAA South Central Regional Championship April 4, in Barnhill Arena. It is the second NCAA Regional Arkansas has hosted. The Gym’Backs also hosted the 2006 South Central Regional upsetting UCLA to finish second overall and advance to the program’s first NCAA Championship. The other hosts include Ohio State (Central), Iowa (North Central), TBA (Northeast), North Carolina State (Southeast), Washington (West) and Nebraska (Championship).