2008 GYMNASTICS FACT SHEET #6 — host No. 35 KentuckyArkansas returns to the “Friendly Confines” The Gym’Backs have been on the road for back-to-back weekends finally returning home this Friday. This week’s meet sees the No. 10 Arkansas Gym’Backs host the 35th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats in a 7:00 p.m. match in Barnhill Arena.
Stout wins all-around title Sophomore Michelle Stout won the first all-around title of her career at No. 4 Alabama scoring a career-best 39.225 for the win. Stout’s numbers include a season-best 9.875 on the vault, a 9.80 on bars, a career-best 9.75 on beam and she tied her season best on floor with a 9.80. Stout’s win is Arkansas’ third all-around title against a higher-ranked opponent and the first against a top five team. Her win was the second all-around title for Arkansas this season and ties the second-best all-around score of the season for the Gym’Backs. It is the seventh all-around title in school history.
Stout earns SEC Gymnast of the Week Sophomore Michelle Stout became the fourth player in Gym’Back history to earn SEC Gymnast of the Week the league office announced Tuesday. Stout’s weekend performances (see note above) allowed her to join former Arkansas gymnasts Dana McQuillin (2004), Katie Hardman (2006) and Cassie Drew (2007) who also earned SEC weekly honors.
Arkansas’ numbers good at No. 4 Alabama The University of Arkansas gymnastics team posted a season-best 195.95 against fourth-ranked Alabama on the road Friday. Sophomore Michelle Stout won her first collegiate all-around title scoring a career-best 39.225. As a team Arkansas recorded season-bests on the vault and beam while the Gym’Backs set or tied eight career-bests and four season-bests. Arkansas’ vault score of 49.225 is the second-best vault total in program history.
Power of Pink was amazing Last week’s meet at Alabama was the Crimson Tide’s “Power of Pink” meet. The contest drew 15,075 fans and raised more than $200,000 for breast cancer. The meet at No. 4 Alabama airs tape delayed on ESPN2. The scheduled air date is Sunday, Feb. 17 at 1:30 p.m. central on The Deuce.
That’s Right — No. 10 The Gym’Backs are holding steady in the national polls thanks to five 195-plus performances. This week, Arkansas is 10th as a team and ranks 11th on the vault, 13th on bars, ninth on beam and seventh on the floor exercise.
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 Georgia holds the top spot for the third consecutive week. Florida remains third, followed by No. 4 Alabama, No. 6 LSU, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 16 Auburn and No. 35 Kentucky.
To RQS or not to RQS? Qualification for regional competition is based on a team’s and an all-around competitor’s six best regular-season-meet scores, of which three must be away. To obtain the regional qualifying score (RQS), the high score is eliminated and the remaining five scores are averaged. Some teams in this week’s poll have enough meets to calculate an RQS but most still do not. This week’s poll is still based on average but all teams will be ranked by RQS beginning next week (Feb. 18).
About Kentucky The Wildcats are coming off a solid performance against Florida last week where they set several season and career-bests. Five upperclassmen (three seniors and two juniors) have paced Kentucky to 1-5 overall record and a 1-3 mark in the SEC this season. The Wildcats’ lone victory was a 193.450-191.950 win over league rival Auburn and Kentucky’s season-best score of 193.525 was set in a loss against Alabama.
About the series Arkansas and Kentucky have met 10 times in the Gym’Backs’ history with Arkansas owning a 9-0-1 mark over the Wildcats. The lone tie came in 2003 when the two teams both posted a 194.875 at the SEC Championship in Birmingham, Ala., in the first year of the Arkansas program.
The South Central Rankings The Gym’Backs remain in second place in the South Central Regional standings. No. 8 Oklahoma leads the SC, followed by Arkansas. Nebraska is third followed by Missouri and Arizona State rounding out the top five in the region. Here’s the complete regional standings:
|10||Texas Woman’s Univ.||192.340||SC||194.150||0.000|
Individuals in the regional rankings Several Arkansas gymnasts are ranked in the top 10 in the regional poll. Senior Samantha Cortez checks in at the number 10 spot on the vault with a 9.80 average. Senior Emily Peacock in ranked third in the region on the bars with a 9.819 average followed by sophomores Casey Jo Magee and Michelle Stout who are tied for fourth with a 9.80 average. Magee is ranked fifth on the beam with a 9.819 averages and Peacock ranks fourth on the floor exercise with a 9.85 mark. Junior Alex LaChance ranks ninth on the floor with a 9.825 average. Magee rounds out the Gym’Backs in the top 10. She ranks fifth as an all-arounder with a 39.169 average. As a team, the Gym’Backs rank second overall in the region. Arkansas ranks second on the vault, bars and floor and fifth on the beam.
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 Power of Pink 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 16 this week. Georgia leads the SEC and is ranked first overall, followed by No. 3, Florida, No. 4 Alabama, No. 6 LSU, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 16 Auburn and No. 35 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. 5 Michigan facing both the Wolverines and then-No. 22 West Virginia. The Gym’Backs hosted back-to-back home meets with then-No. 8 LSU and then-No. 12 Penn State, followed by trips to then-No. 3 Florida and No. 4 Alabama. Arkansas next hosts No. 35 Kentucky and No. 16 Auburn, followed by trips to No. 1 Georgia and No. 7 UCLA where they also meet No. 4 Alabama and No. 45 CS-Fullerton. Arkansas wraps up the regular season hosting No. 8 Oklahoma and No. 22 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.