Great Road Score The University of Arkansas posted a 195.575 on the road against No. 15 LSU. That mark is the best road mark of the 2007 season and the fourth-best road score ever. It is also just shy of breaking into the all-time top 10 list for team scores. The number 10 mark is 195.925 set at No. 5 Florida in 2004.
Magee wins again Freshman Casey Jo Magee picked up her third win of the year on the beam with a personal-best 9.90 at No. 15 LSU last weekend. Magee won the individual beam title at No. 14 Penn State and tied for the win against No. 2 Georgia in Barnhill Arena. She leads Arkansas with the most individual titles this year (3).
Freshmen handling all-around duties Arkansas had two freshmen handle the all-around duties again last week. Michelle Stout and Casey Jo Magee went all-around for the third time each.
Magee posts season/career record Freshman Casey Jo Magee scored a 9.90 on the beam setting both a season and career-best for the first-year collegiate gymnast on that event. In addition to being a personal best it is only the second 9.9 or better recorded by a Gym’Back this year. Junior Emily Peacock tallied a 9.90 on the floor exercise against No. 2 Georgia.
Ranked opponents continue for Gym’Backs Arkansas continues to work its way through a demanding schedule this week traveling to Salt Lake City, Utah, taking on third-ranked Utah. The Utes have also invited No. 22 BYU and NO. 39 Southern Utah to this weekend’s meet.
About No. 3 Utah (from utahutes.com) Utah is 2-0 at home this season with wins over UCLA and Washington … Utah has averaged 10,151 fans to its first two home meets … While both Utah and Arkansas qualified for the 2006 NCAA Championships, they did not meet head-to-head, as Arkansas failed to advance out of its opening session. Utah finished second and Arkansas 12th. This week’s lineup could feature some new twists, thanks to the emergence of three freshmen. Daria Bijak made a successful debut in the bar lineup against Minnesota, and Sarah Shire will likely move into a starting role on vault and beam after a good showing on both events last week. Shire scored a 9.875 in exhibition on vault and a 9.80 to count on the beam. Beth Rizzo has earned a spot on floor after scoring well in two of three exhibition attempts. A freshman who has contributed all season is Annie DiLuzio (on vault, beam and floor).
Arkansas versus Utah Arkansas is 0-2 all-time versus the Utes with both meetings coming during the postseason. Arkansas went head-to-head with Utah at the NCAA Regional meet in Arizona in 2004 and was in different sessions against the Utes at the National Championship meet in Corvallis, Ore., last year, finishing behind Utah on both occasions.
About No. 22 BYU Ten Cougar gymnasts recorded career highs to lift the BYU women’s gymnastics team to a season-best 195.475 and season-high scores on all four apparatuses. The Cougars won the meet 195.475 – 193.800 over Utah State. The win improved BYU to 4-2 on the year with victories over TWU, Boise State and Missouri, a team Arkansas faces at home March 23.
Arkansas versus BYU This is the first meeting between Arkansas and BYU.
About No. 39 Southern Utah (from suu.com/athletics) Southern Utah University Gymnastics (190.575) posted wins over UC Davis (189.675) and Hamline (Minn.) University (181.375), but came up short against host Cal State Fullerton (192.225) in a second-place finish on Friday night. Lead Sakhitab would, once again, finish first in the all-around (38.850) to continue a streak of 12 consecutive dual meets in which a Thunderbird has captured the individual all-around title.
Arkansas versus SUU This is the first meeting between Arkansas and SUU.
Arkansas’ score moves up in the poll The Gym’Backs have put together two good road scores and a solid home score of 196.025 and climb in the national poll for the second consecutive week. Arkansas moves up from 14th to a tie for 13th overall matching the LSU Tigers in the rankings. The poll is based on team’s average scores again this week Arkansas faces a very tough Utah team in all categories. The Utes are ranked third as a team and rank four on vault, fourth on bars, seventh on beam and fourth on the floor. BYU enters the meet ranked 22nd overall and they are 18th on bars and 11th on beam. Arkansas is also moving up on the individual event rankings. The Gym’Backs are 16th on the vault, 13 on the bars, 20th on the beam and 10th on the floor this week.
Arkansas Individuals in the poll Arkansas also has a pair of Gym’Backs ranked in the top 20 as individuals this year. Freshman Casey Jo Magee ranks tied for 13th on the beam with a 9.837 average and a high score of 9.90 set against LSU. Teammmate junior Emily Peacock ranks 19th on bars with a 9.850 average and a 9.875 season-best.
Youth dominates lineupArkansas has a young lineup. There are 24 performances in a meet and that number changes if you factor in the all-around competition. Last week at LSU, Arkansas had 26 performances – six on each event and two all-arounders. The Gym’Backs had 17 of those performances filled with freshmen and sophomores. Arkansas competed two freshmen and two sophomores on vault, four freshmen on bars, four freshmen on beam, two freshmen and one sophomore on floor and two freshmen in the all-around.
You always winThe fledgling gymnastics program that is the Gym’Backs has performed well in several meets throughout the first four-plus years of existence – but that hasn’t always translated into wins (individual or for the team). However, the Gym’Backs do have their fair share of individual titles and some gymnasts numbers grew again last week at Penn State. Here’s a quick look at some of the win totals.
More TV pleaseNo problem. Nine of Arkansas 13 regular-season meets are slated for television. In addition to ESPN2 televising the Super Six Challenge, Arkansas will be on FSN at Kentucky and at the SEC Championship. The Gym’Backs get some camera time from COX when they host Georgia and at LSU and KFTA is airing Arkansas’ home meets with Florida and Alabama.
Big Meets Bookend the ScheduleArkansas opens and closes the 2007 season with two of the biggest “home” meets in school history. The Gym’Backs lead off with the Super Six Challenge with six of the nation’s toughest teams in a meet televised by ESPN2. Arkansas closes the regular season at the SEC Championship hosted by ALLTEL Arena in nearby North Little Rock, Ark.
2007 opponents fared well in 2006Fifteen of Arkansas’ 22 regular season opponents advanced to the NCAA Regional Championship a year ago. Six of those reached the NCAA Championship including four SEC opponents.
The first time we meetArkansas makes the program’s first trip to Utah this year facing the Utes, BYU and Southern Utah University. The Gym’Backs also make their first trip to State College, Pa., facing Penn State in mid-January.
You’re new here aren’t you?Arkansas faces Brigham Young and Southern Utah University Feb. 2 at a quad meet hosted by Utah. They are the only teams on this year’s schedule that Arkansas has never faced in the history of the program.
Frequent flyer miles add upArkansas competes in seven different states this year. The Gym’Backs have competed in 17 different states including Arkansas prior to this year. They add Utah and Pennsylvania to the list this season.
ALLTEL Arena hosts SEC ChampionshipNorth Little Rock’s ALLTEL Arena plays host to this year’s Southeastern Conference Gymnastics Championship. The 2007 Championship at ALLTEL marks the 10th venue to host the league’s teams. Arkansas first competed at the SEC Championship in 2003 when Birmingham hosted the event. The championship moved to Duluth, Ga., in 2004 and 2005 when teams competed in a multi-purpose facility that actually had ice from the previous week’s hockey game under the floor.The SEC Championship returned to Birmingham in 2006 with the new civic center hosting the event. For the first time in league history, the championship was competed on a platform with all of the events raised up off the floor in a set-up that more closely mirrored the national championship.This year, the league championship moves to North Little Rock, Ark., and the platform is again going to be used. The North Little Rock venue has seen its share of high profile Southeastern Conference events having hosted the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament twice, first in 2003, and again in 2006. Ironically, the SEC Women’s Basketball Championship moves to Duluth, Ga., and the Gwinnett Center – the site of the 2004 and 2005 gymnastics championships.
Up NextArkansas returns from back-to-back road meets (LSU and Utah) to host consecutive home meets. The Gym’Backs welcome No. 1 Florida Feb. 9, followed by No. 4 Alabama Feb. 16.