2008 GYMNASTICS FACT SHEET #14at NCAA ChampionshipsArkansas goes to NCAA Championships For the second time in six seasons, the University of Arkansas earned an NCAA Championship appearance. The 11th-ranked Gym’Backs finished second at the North Central Regional and now take on the nation’s best April 24-26, in Athens, Ga., at the NCAA Championships. The Gym’Backs depart Tuesday, April 22, have a practice session, April 23 and compete April 24.
How it works Two teams from each of the six NCAA Regional Championships (April 12) advance to the NCAA Championship. This year’s participants are:
|NCAA Regional Site||Team||Score|
An All-SEC Affair Almost. The Southeastern Conference qualified five of its seven members to the NCAA Championship. Auburn and Kentucky did not advance.
It’s the second time Arkansas’ selection to the NCAA Championships was not as dramatic as their first appearance in 2006 but it is certainly as special. Arkansas hosted the South Central Regional in 2006 and saw the inaugural recruiting class upset UCLA to reach the program’s first NCAA Championship. This year, Arkansas went into the Regional as the two-seed and expected to move on.
Arkansas is in Session I The Gym’Backs open the 2008 NCAA Championships April 24 at 12:00 p.m. central (1:00 p.m. local). They are paired with Florida, LSU, Alabama, Oregon State and Oklahoma. Session II includes Georgia, Stanford, Utah, Michigan, UCLA and Denver.
How’d you get there? This year, the NCAA added a team’s RQS (regional qualifying score) to its score at the NCAA Regional Championships getting a number in the 390’s range that is called a National Qualifying Score (NQS). Then teams were grouped using an “S” curve. See below:
|1 Georgia||4 Stanford||5 Utah||8 Michigan||9 UCLA||12 Denver|
|2 Florida||3 LSU||6 Alabama||7 Oregon State||10 Oklahoma||11 Arkansas|
Then, the sessions were switched to allow the host Georgia to competed in the evening session in their own facility. Here’s a look at each team’s NQS:
About NCAA Championship This year’s event takes place in Stegeman Coliseum and is hosted by the University of Georgia. The Coliseum has a seating capacity of 10, 523 although numbers will be different for the NCAA Championship as seating will be rearranged.
Arkansas at Regionals The University of Arkansas rocked it’s fifth consecutive NCAA Regional meet. Arkansas opened on bars and beam followed by floor and vault. The Gym’Backs were OK through the first two events but a better floor score of 49.225 followed by a school-record-tying 49.300 on vault secured Arkansas’ advancement .
Individuals do well Senior Samantha Cortez had a great regional scoring a 9.875 to tie for fifth on vault and a 9.90 on floor to tie for second overall. Sophomore Michelle Stout tied her career-best on vault with a 9.9 and tied for second overall while sophomore Sarah Nagashima posted a season-high 9.725 on bars. Sophomore Amy DeFilippo tied her season-best with a 9.825 on the beam as well.
Arkansas opens where? The Gym’Backs open the 2008 NCAA Championship on bars – the same rotation Arkansas had at the NCAA Regional meet. Arkansas moves to beam, a bye, floor, vault and finishes with a bye in the session.
Who’s That Girl? The Gym’Backs will rotate with an individual all-arounder from Penn State. Her name is Brandi Personett of Penn State. Arkansas and Personett are somewhat familiar since she and the Nittany Lions traveled to Fayetteville for the third meet of the 2008 season.
Arkansas’ top scorers at the Championship Arkansas’ young six-year-old program has advanced to the NCAA Championship once before traveling to Corvallis, Ore., in 2006, but the Gym’Backs have also had a pair of individual qualifiers in Dana McQuillin (2005) and Casey Jo Magee (2007). Arkansas’ best team totals (all from 2006) include a 194.375 total as well as the following: vault (48.225), bars (48.750), beam (48.425) and floor (48.975). The Gym’Backs’ best individual scores include a 9.85 on vault and a 9.825 on bars both set by Magee in 2007. Emily Peacock scored a 9.775 on the beam in 2006, Rachel Barnett scored a 9.85 on floor in 2006 and Dana McQuillin tallied a 38.775 as an all-arounder in 2006.
Been there before Arkansas has three gymnastics who have been to the NCAA Championships before. They are seniors Samantha Cortez and Emily Peacock along with junior Alex LaChance who were all members of the 2006 team and sophomore Casey Jo Magee who advanced as an individual last year. Cortez vaulted for Arkansas (9.10) as did LaChance (9.525) who made her return after missing the previous eight meets with a broken bone. Peacock scored on bars (9.825), beam (9.775) and floor (9.85) in 2006. Magee’s numbers were good last year. She scored a 9.85 on vault, 9.825 on bars, 9.25 on beam and a 9.80 on floor for a 38.725 in the all-around.
What’s the schedule? The Gym’Backs depart Northwest Arkansas the morning of Tuesday, April 23, traveling to Athens, Ga. Arkansas is in the first practice session which begins at 12:00 p.m. central Wednesday. Arkansas returns to the gym Thursday for warm-ups at 11:45 a.m. with Session I beginning at 2:00 p.m. Second Session is scheduled for a 8:00 p.m. start followed by the Super Six draw.
Who is the team to beat? Well that depends. Arkansas first needs to defeat at least three teams in its session if the Gym’Backs hope to reach the Super Six. Those teams include third-ranked Florida, No. 4 Alabama, No. 7 LSU, No. 8 Oregon State, and No. 10 Oklahoma.
How do the teams stack up? Evenly. The top 11 teams in the nation advanced to the 12-team National Championship. Auburn, at No. 12, did not qualify making room for No. 13 Denver at the meet. Here’s a look at event rankings.
SEC sends five members to the postseason The Southeastern Conference again shows the nation how good it is with five of the seven member schools advancing to the 2008 NCAA Championships. Georgia, Florida, Alabama, LSU and Arkansas all advanced while Auburn and Kentucky did not. Auburn, however, is sending an individual in Julie Dwyer, to compete.
Arkansas remains No. 11 The Gym’Backs are ranked 11th in the poll and there is no change from last week’s poll. The GymInfo poll is idle this week and a final poll will be issued following the national championship.
Arkansas is in the top 16 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 11th on vault, 14th on bars, 16th on beam and 10th this week on the floor.
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. Arizona moved into third while Nebraska is fourth followed by Missouri rounding out the top five in the region. Here’s the complete regional standings:
|11||Texas Woman’s Univ.||193.370||SC||192.150||194.200|
Media Coverage for the NCAA Championship The University of Georgia will be covering the NCAA Championships on its website at GEORGIADOGS.COM. There, fans and media will find livestats, video and interviews throughout the meet. The broadcast is set to air Saturday, May 10 from 3-5:00 p.m. (ET). The CBS talent will be Tim Brando and Amanda Borden.
Only Four Teams!! That’s right Only four different programs have won a gymnastics national title since the first one in 1982. They are Utah (9), Georgia (8), UCLA (5) and Alabama (4). Utah won the first five (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986) while Georgia has won the last three (2005, 2006, 2007).
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).