2008 GYMNASTICS FACT SHEET #3 – No. 12 PENN STATEArkansas hosts No. 12 Penn State Friday The Gym’Backs continue their two-meet home stand hosting No. 12 Penn State. It is the third time in program history the Nittany Lions have competed in Barnhill and the visitors have a 1-2 series advantage over the Gym’Backs. Arkansas’ lone win came at State College last year.
Last Week Arkansas showed some nerves in front of the home crowd and got out to a slow start. But the Gym’Backs rebounded with mid-season beam and floor performances and out-scored the visiting Tigers 98.15-97.925 on the final two events. Senior Emily Peacock tied for the bars win while junior Alexandra LaChance and sophomore Casey Jo Magee tied for the win on the balance beam.
Arkansas ranked 10th this week The Gym’Backs’ back-to-back 195-plus meet scores keep the team in the top 10 again this week at No. 10 in the country. This week’s rankings are based on an average score. The Gym’Backs’ 195.275 average is good enough for 10th in the country and fifth in the Southeastern Conference.
Fifth in the SEC? That’s right. Arkansas is 10th in the nation and fifth in the SEC facing what is again the best teams in the country in their own conference. This week Florida holds the top spot and the Gators are ranked first on vault, fifth on bars and first on both the beam and floor. Georgia is No. 2 in the nation followed by No. 3 Alabama, No. 5 LSU, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 17 Auburn and No. 26 Kentucky this week.
More about Arkansas in the poll Arkansas is again ranked 10th in the country. The Gym’Backs are tied for 14th in the nation on the vault and the bars but jump up to No. 6 on the beam and are No. 7 on the floor exercise this week.
Individuals in the poll Sophomore Casey Jo Magee is ranked 21st this week as an all-arounder. Magee is averaging 39.10 as an all-arounder with a season-best 39.225 set last week against No. 7 LSU. Freshman Stacy Bartlett and junior Alexandra LaChance are both tied for 25th on beam this week with a 9.80 average while senior Emily Peacock and Magee are tied for 24th on the uneven bars with a 9.825 average.
The South Central Rankings The Gym’Backs were first in the South Central Regional standings last week but fell to No. 2 this week after No. 7 Oklahoma tallied a 196.450 this weekend. Nebraska is third followed by Arizona and Missouri rounding out the top five in the region. Here’s the complete regional standings:
That’s New Not really. Arkansas competed the same lineup for both meets this year. Three Gym’Backs have yet to compete – sophomore Sarah Nagashima and freshmen Molly Lewis and Kathryn Maschino.
COX to broadcast the meet The meet with LSU will air on a tape-delay basis on COX Cable. Lyn Rollins and Elizabeth Jillson provide the play-by-play and color and the meet is scheduled to air Sunday, Jan. 27, at 7:00 p.m. and Monday at 12:00 p.m. on local cable channel 119.
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 Pink Out 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.
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 26 this week. Florida leads the SEC and is ranked first overall, followed by No. 2 Georgia, No. 3 Alabama, No. 5 LSU, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 17 Auburn and No. 26 Kentucky.
Don’t overlook the Non-Conference Schedule In addition to the tough SEC slate, Arkansas faces a challenging non-conference schedule as well. Arkansas opened 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. 8 LSU and No. 12 Penn State, followed by trips to No. 1 Florida and No. 3 Alabama. Arkansas next hosts No. 26 Kentucky and No. 17 Auburn, followed by trips to No. 2 Georgia and No. 8 UCLA where they also meet No. 3 Alabama and CS-Fullerton ranked No. 43. Arkansas wraps up the regular season hosting No. 7 Oklahoma and No. 24 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.