2008 GYMNASTICS FACT SHEET #2 – No. 7 LSUArkansas opens 2008 Home Schedule The Gym’Backs’ second meet of the year is the home opener as Arkansas hosts No. 7 LSU. It is also the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Last Week Arkansas was in mid-season form for the opener in Michigan and vaulted up the rankings (which are based on raw numbers) to a program-best eighth. Arkansas finished second behind 2007 NCAA participant and ninth-ranked Michigan by a narrow margin (196.075-195.250) and defeated No. 22 West Virginia in the tri-meet.
About this week The schedule only gets tougher for the Gym’Backs. They faced No. 9 Michigan last week only to meet No. 7 LSU Friday.
COX to broadcast the meet The meet with LSU will air on a tape-delay basis on COX Cable. Stay turned for more information on the air date for this meet.
Arkansas moves up in the poll The Gym’Backs moved up to No. 8 in this week’s national poll. That is the highest ranking in program history. Arkansas was ranked ninth in the first poll of the 2004 season. The Gym’Backs were ranked as high as 11th in 2005 and 2006, finishing the 2006 season ranked 12th in the country. Arkansas finds itself ranked 14th on the vault this week. The Gym’Backs are No. 8 on both the bars and beam and ranked 12th on the floor exercise heading into the weekend.
Bartlett opens collegiate career strong Freshman Stacy Bartlett was second on the beam leading Arkansas with a 9.85 at Michigan in her first collegiate meet. The freshman ranks tied for ninth in the country on the beam this week.
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.
About LSU This is the second meet of the season for the Tigers of LSU who opened with a record-setting performance two weekends ago in Cancun. LSU posted a first-meet 195.725 setting a school record for the best score in the season opener. The Tigers added a 195.550 in a dominating performance against Iowa in Baton Rouge, La., last weekend.
The Tigers in the poll LSU enters the week ranked seventh as a team in the national poll. In addition, senior all-arounder Ashleigh Clare-Kearney is ranked third after two meets. Clare-Kearney is ranked tied for first on vault (9.925), eighth on beam (9.862) and tied for fourth (9.90) on the floor exercise.
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 Pink Out and will air on ESPPN 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.
The 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. Five of the seven SEC teams are ranked in the top 10 this week and six are in the top 18 (Auburn did not report or they too would be tied for 18th overall. Florida leads the SEC and is ranked first overall, followed by No. 2 Georgia, No. 3 Alabama, No. 7 LSU, No. 8 Arkansas and No. 18 Kentucky.
|Auburn||Did not report|
In other SEC action… LEXINGTON, Ky. — The No. 24 University of Kentucky gymnastics team kicked off its 2008 campaign with a 193.450-191.950, win over Southeastern Conference foe No. 19 Auburn on Excite Night in front of 5,448 fans at Memorial Coliseum. It was the first win over an SEC opponent since Kentucky defeated Auburn in the 2006 SEC season-opener. PALO ALTO, Calif. – The top-ranked Gym Dogs rebounded from a season-opening loss at Utah on Friday to defeat the fifth-ranked Stanford Cardinal on Sunday, 196.875-196.150, on Sunday at the Burnham Pavillion. GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 2 University of Florida gymnastics team (1-0) used its highest season-opening team total to win the dual meet versus Illinois Chicago (0-1) Friday evening in front of a Stephen C. O’Connell Center crowd of 5,129. Florida turned in a total of 197.125, while Illinois-Chicago was second at 187.825. The previous season-opening best of 196.575 was turned in at the 2003 Super Six Challenge in Tuscaloosa, Ala. v BATON ROUGE, La. – The 10th-ranked LSU gymnastics squad used a combination of veteran leadership and youthful energy to defeat the Iowa GymHawks by a score of 195.550-191.525 Friday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Ashleigh Clare-Kearney, a junior from Manchester, Conn., continued her dominant season, winning three event titles and capturing the top spot in the all-around. The three event titles gives Kearney six individual event titles this season to go along with her two all-around titles. TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Alabama Gymnastics team got the 2008 season, Sarah and David Patterson’s 30th coaching the Crimson Tide, off to a very good start here in Coleman Coliseum tonight. The Pattersons, now 29-1 in home openers, saw their squad post the second highest opening score in school history, beating Big 10 foe Illinois 196.300-192.775. The Crimson Tide drew 11,135 fans on the night, its fourth highest opening tally ever.
Don’t overlook the Non-Conference Schedule In addition to the tough SEC slate, Arkansas faces a challenging non-conference schedule as well. Arkansas opens the year at No. 9 Michigan facing both the Wolverines and No. 22 West Virginia. The Gym’Backs host back-to-back home meets with No. 10 LSU and No. 13 Penn State, followed by trips to No. 2 Florida and No. 6 Alabama. Arkansas next hosts No. 24 Kentucky and No. 19 Auburn, followed by trips to No. 1 Georgia and No. 4 UCLA where they also meet No. 6 Alabama and CS-Fullerton who is receiving votes. Arkansas wraps up the regular season hosting No. 8 Oklahoma and No. 21 Michigan State.
The 2008 SEC Championship returns to Georgia The 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.
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.