2008 GYMNASTICS FACT SHEET #4 – No. 3 FLORIDAArkansas hits the road for two SEC meetsThe Gym’Backs depart the friendly confines of Barnhill Arena traveling to No. 3 Florida and No. 4 Alabama in back-to-back Southeastern Conference road meets.
Last WeekArkansas was not flawless in the home win against No. 12 Penn State last week but the Gym’Backs were still skilled enough to score a 195.25 – the third consecutive 195-plus helping Arkansas move up in the rankings to No. 9 this week.
That’s Right — No. 9The Gym’Backs continue to climb in the national polls thanks to three 195-plus performances. This week, Arkansas is ninth as a team and ranks 12th on the vault, 14th on bars, ninth on beam and seven on the floor exercise.
Fifth in the SEC? That’s right. Arkansas is 9th in the nation and fifth in the SEC facing what is again the best teams in the country in their own conference. This week Georgia holds the top spot moving up a spot from last week. Florida fell to No. 3, followed by No. 4 Alabama, No. 7 LSU, No. 9 Arkansas, No. 16 Auburn and No. 28 Kentucky.
Individuals in the pollSophomore Casey Jo Magee is ranked 22nd this week as an all-arounder. Magee is averaging 39.133 as an all-arounder with a season-best 39.225 set last week against No. 7 LSU. Magee won her first all-around title of the season last week against Penn State. Magee is also tied for 25th on the beam. Teammate senior Emily Peacock is ranked 24th on the floor this week thanks, in part, to a 9.90 on the floor against Penn State.
McPherson makes floor debutSpringdale, Ark., native Ashly McPherson made her floor exercise debut last week counting a 9.725 for the Gym’Backs. McPherson competed only on vault as a freshman and in the first two meets of this season but did both vault and floor against Penn State.
Arkansas gets first wins of 2008In addition to the Gym’Backs winning their first dual meet of 2008, Arkansas saw sophomore Casey Jo Magee win her first all-around title of the year with a 39.20. Magee also won the beam title with a 9.875. Senior Emily Peacock also notched a win tying for the victory on the floor with a season-best 9.90 against Penn State.
About Florida (from Gatorzone.com) The No. 1 Florida (2-1, 1-1 SEC) gymnastics team claimed a come-from-behind win over No. 17 Auburn (0-3, 0-3 SEC) Friday evening in front of a Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum crowd of 1,653. The Gators turned in a 195.25, while the Tigers posted a 194.75. The difference was the fourth consecutive time the Florida at Auburn dual meet margin of victory was 0.50 or less. The Gators trailed the Tigers by more than six-tenths after the opening rotation and chipped away at the lead, taking a narrow 0.05 lead into the final rotation. A six-for-six balance beam set gave the Gators the meet’s top six spots on the event and sealed the narrow win for Florida.
About the seriesArkansas has faced the Gators more than any other team in program history — 15 times. Although some meetings have been close, Arkansas has yet to post a victory over Florida. The Gators have been ranked No. 1 in the nation in the last three meetings between these teams. The Gators have never been lower than No. 9. Arkansas has been as high as No. 11 (2005 and 2007) and as low as unranked (the first meeting of the first season of gymnastics in 2003).
More about Penn StateArkansas picked up 14 individual and one season-best in the win. The Gym’Backs set a team-best on the vault with a 49.025, a mark that ranks tied for eighth overall. Casey Jo Magee posted season-highs on three of her four events while sophomores Amy DeFilippo and Michelle Stout had season-highs on three events.
The South Central RankingsThe 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 Missouri and Arizona rounding out the top five in the region. Here’s the complete regional standings:
Sun Sports to broadcast the meetJust a reminder that this meet will be shown tape-delayed on Sun Sports. the first air date is 10:30 a.m. (ET) on Feb. 10. Larry Vettel and Melissa Miller-Schubeck will provide play-by-play and color.
Gym’Backs live on the webAll 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-backArkansas’ 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’BacksArkansas 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 — AgainThe 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. Georgia leads the SEC and is ranked first overall, followed by No. 3, Florida, No. 4 Alabama, No. 7 LSU, No. 9 Arkansas, No. 16 Auburn and No. 28 Kentucky.
Don’t overlook the Non-Conference ScheduleIn addition to the tough SEC slate, Arkansas faces a challenging non-conference schedule as well. Arkansas opened the year at No. 5 Michigan facing both the Wolverines and then-No. 22 West Virginia. The Gym’Backs host back-to-back home meets with then-No. 8 LSU and then-No. 12 Penn State, followed by trips to No. 3 Florida and No. 4 Alabama. Arkansas next hosts No. 28 Kentucky and No. 16 Auburn, followed by trips to No. 1 Georgia and No. 8 UCLA where they also meet No. 4 Alabama and No. 45 CS-Fullerton. Arkansas wraps up the regular season hosting No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 24 Michigan State.
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.
2009 is approachingYes, 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.