2008 GYMNASTICS FACT SHEET #11 — at SEC ChampionshipArkansas goes to SECs The 11th-ranked Arkansas gymnastics team heads to the program’s sixth Southeastern Conference Championship Thursday afternoon facing an always strong lineup of league teams.
About SECs This year’s championship returns to the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga., Saturday March 29. The meet begins at 3:00 p.m. central; 4:00 p.m. eastern (local to site). This is the third time the Gwinnett Center has hosted the championship since Arkansas added gymnastics in 2003.
from SECSports.com: The 2008 Southeastern Conference Championship meet will be held March 29 in Duluth’s Arena at Gwinnett Center. This marks the 28th year that the SEC will crown a team champion in gymnastics. Georgia, the 2005, 2006 and 2007 NCAA National Champions, will look to again claim the SEC title and take home their seventh SEC crown in the last nine years, while Florida will be aiming to defend their 2007 SEC Championship. Alabama, who placed third in 2007, 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.
Arkansas is in first practice session The Gym’Backs travel on Thursday and have a practice session on the competition equipment Friday. Arkansas is in the first practice session beginning with open stretch at 1:00 p.m. eastern. The Gym’Backs will start on bars for their practice session and they are joined by LSU, Georgia and Florida in the early session. The competition draw will take place between practice sessions at 2:50 p.m., followed by the second practice period with Kentucky, Alabama and Auburn.
Arkansas at SECs This is Arkansas’ sixth appearance at the SEC Championship. The Gym’Backs’ best finish was a fifth-place showing – a mark they reached in 2005 and again in 2007 when ALLTEL Arena hosted the event in North Little Rock, Ark.
Arkansas’ best score The Gym’Backs highest score at the SEC Championship was a 195.325. That mark came in 2005 when Arkansas finished fifth overall. That championship was hosted by the Gwinnett Center.
More numbers from the SEC Championship Arkansas’ top vault score at the SEC Championship came last year at ALLTEL Arena when the Gym’Backs posted a 49.00. The teams best bar mark is a 49.150 (2004), top beam number is a 49.125 (2005) and the highest floor mark is a 49.075 (2006).
Individual success at the SECs Arkansas has had one all-SEC performer in the short history of the program. Then-sophomore Melissa Leigh finished tied for third and earned all-SEC in 2004.
How do you earn all-SEC? In gymnastics, the first-team selection is the event winner and top three all-arounders. Second-team members are the event runner-up and the second three all-arounders. In addition, the SEC awards coach of the year, athlete of the year, freshman of the year, scholar-athlete of the year, community service team and an all-freshman team.
Arkansas’ top scorers at SECs Former Gym’Back Dana McQuillin (2003-06) holds Arkansas’ top all-around mark at the SEC Championship with a 39.300 set in 2004. Current Gym’Back Casey Jo Magee is next at 39.175, a mark she set as a true freshman last year. Magee also holds the top vault score with a 9.85 also reached last season. Former Gym’Backs Melissa Leigh, Katie Hardman and McQuillin have the top marks on bars, beam and floor. Currently Gym’Back Emily Peacock, however, is in the second spot on all of those events. Peacock’s best on bars is a 9.875, a 9.850 on beam and a 9.875 on floor.
Arkansas remains No. 11 The Gym’Backs remain in the No. 11 spot for the third consecutive week in the GymInfo poll. Arkansas had been holding steady at the No. 10 spot but moved one place after the poll went to RQS (from average) a couple weeks ago. Arkansas has been as high as No. 10 in the poll this year.Arkansas is in the top 17 for each event In addition to the Gym’Backs’ No. 11 team ranking, Arkansas ranks well in the individual event categories. The Gym’Backs are tied for 10th on vault, 14th on bars, 17th on beam and ninth this week on the floor.
Individuals in the rankings Sophomore Casey Jo Magee is currently ranked 23rd in the nation as an all-arounder. Magee has an RQS of 39.285, an average of 39.166 and a high score of 39.475 this year. Magee is also ranked on the balance beam where she is tied for eighth overall. She has an RQS of 9.885, a 9.859 average and a high of 9.925. Senior Emily Peacock’s name also appears in this week’s rankings. Peacock is 18th on the floor exercise with a 9.885 RQS, a 9.866 average and a high of 9.90.
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.
Arkansas betters the 196 mark again The Gym’Backs have bested the 196 mark four times this year including three in a row with the most recent 196.075 against No. 15 Michigan State. Arkansas tied the school record against No. 9 Oklahoma with a 196.625.
Is that the best? Not quite. Arkansas had five 196-plus marks in the 2004 season. Scores were a bit higher across the board that year but it is interesting to note that was also an Olympic year.
Magee wins all-around title Sophomore Casey Jo Magee won her third all-around title of the season scoring 39.35 and leading the University of Arkansas to a non-conference win over No. 15 Michigan State Friday. Magee won the beam title with a 9.85 and tied for second place on both the vault and floor. She also tied for third on the bars in the win.
The South Central Rankings The Gym’Backs remain in second place in the South Central Regional standings. Number 9 Oklahoma leads the SC, followed by Arkansas. Nebraska is third followed by Missouri and Arizona rounding out the top five in the region. Here’s the complete regional standings:
|10||Texas Woman’s Univ.||193.370||SC||192.233||194.200|
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.
NCAA Regionals right around the corner Nothing is ever a given in sport but if the season ended today, the 11th-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).