GYM’BACKS IMPROVE AGAINST PENN STATEAlthough the University of Arkansas gymnastics team did not defeat Penn State last Friday, the meet proved to be a victory for Arkansas. The Gym’Backs improved on every event and scored their highest team total of the season with a 194.575.
FOUR SEASON BESTS ON VAULT LAST WEEKArkansas recorded a season-best on vault scoring a 48.925 behind season-bests from four athletes. Freshman Alexandra LaChance led the way with her personal-best 9.85 en route to her first event win as a collegiate gymnast. Also recording season-bests were Mallory Machnik with a 9.775, Audra Loveless with 9.775 and Allison Schmohl with a 9.675.
BARS SCORES BETTERArkansas also improved its bars scores last week setting a season best with a 48.650. Again, four Gym’Backs recorded personl bests headlined by a 9.80 from senior all-SEC Melissa Leigh. Also posting season highs were Dana McQuillin with a 9.70, junior Rachel Barnett with a 9.675 and sophomore Samantha Cortez with a 9.70.
BEAM ME UPThe Gym’Backs were a bit wobbly on the beam against Penn State and had to count a fall but the team still posted a season-high score of 48.000 on the event. Emily Peacock tied her season-best with a 9.70 and Katie Hardman lead the team with a 9.775.
LAST, BUT NOT LEASTAlthough Arkansas struggled a bit on the beam, the team rallied on the floor exercise again collecting a season-best mark with a 49.000. Four Gym’Backs had season bests paced by Mallory Machnik, Rachel Barnett and Emily Peacock all with 9.825s. The trio tied for the win on the event. Junior Cassie Drew also had a season-best with a 9.80.
BIGGER THAN WE FIRST THOUGHTArkansas’ meet at Florida was orignially scheduled as a dual meet. Shortly after the date was selected, the meet became a quad. The other teams competing are No. 22 North Carolina and No. 32 West Virginia.
WIN/LOSS DOESN’T MATTER, BUT…Although a gymnastics teams win/loss record is not important, most teams will tell you it is important to defend your home gym. Arkansas is 9-16 all-time in Barnhill Arena. The Gym’Backs are 2-9 at home against SEC opponents and 7-7 against non-conference foes. The Gym’Backs’ two SEC wins have come against Kentucky and Auburn.
ARKANSAS CLIMBS IN THE POLLAlthough Arkansas stayed ranked at No. 21 as a team this week, the Gym’Backs moved up on the bars from No. 28 to No. 27 this week. The team also bettered its standing on beam from No. 31 to No. 30, and floor from No. 26 to No. 21.
ABOUT FLORIDA (From Gatorzone.com)The No. 5 University of Florida gymnastics team (5-2, 1-2 SEC) held a narrow .125 lead heading into the final rotation at No. 17 Auburn (2-7, 0-3 SEC) Friday evening . Florida responded with a six-for-six balance beam set to finish with a 196.00-195.575 win in their most recent action. The Gators are just 1-1 at home with a win over Illinois and a loss to Georgia but Florida’s scores have been solid all season. The team’s best of 196.60 came in the loss to the Bulldogs and Florida has been at 196+ twice this season.
ARKANSAS AGAINST THE GATORSArkansas has faced Florida seven times in the previous three seasons, dropping each of those contests. The Gym’Backs have competed just once in Gainesville, that in 2004, and have hosted the Gators twice. Arkansas and Florida have also met at three SEC Championships and once at the NCAA Regional Championship in 2004.
ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA (From tarheelblue.com)The North Carolina gymnastics team swept every event Saturday night to win the 11th annual Governor’s Cup Saturday for the fifth time in six years, triumphing over NC State, Maryland and Towson. The Tar Heels had their best meet of the season, scoring a 195.050 to dominate over runner-up and host team Maryland (192.375).
ARKANSAS AGAINST THE TAR HEELSThe Gym’Backs face the Tar Heels for the first time in the program’s history this week.
ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA (from msnsportsnet.com)The West Virginia gymnastics team won its home four-team meet in impressive fashion on Sunday afternoon at the WVU Coliseum behind a season high team score of 195.1. West Virginia (5-3) collected three wins over second-place Ohio State (194.5), third-place Iowa (192.25) and fourth-place George Washington (190.975). The Mountaineers’ phenomenal outing consisted of season high team scores on all four events, nine gymnasts establishing a total of 17 season bests on events, and two all-around season highs. The Mountaineers have won their last five meets with victories over Cornell, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Iowa and George Washington.
ARKANSAS AGAINST THE MOUNTAINEERSArkansas is 1-1 all-time against West Virginia. The Gym’Backs dropped the first meeting in Morgantown in the inaugural season (2003) and picked up a convincing, 195.575-192.775, win in Fayetteville in 2004.
LAST LaCHANCEArkansas finds itself without the services of freshman Alexandra LaChance. LaChance suffered a left leg injury against Penn State while vaulting. She is not expected to compete this week.
PRIME TIME FOR THE GYM’BACKSThis Friday’s meet is one of the biggest televised events that Arkansas gymnastics has been a part of. The meet is being televised by espn2 and is scheduled to air Tuesday, Feb. 14, from 3:30-5:00 p.m., Eastern.
MORE TV FOR THE GYM’BACKSLast Friday’s meet with Penn State was also televised. The one-hour compressed meet will air Feb. 18 at 3:00 p.m., and show on Fox 46 in Fayetteville.
ARKANSAS SIXTH IN SOUTH CENTRAL REGIONThe Gym’Backs are looking to move up in the South Central Region. Arkansas was sixth for the fourth consecutive week. See the complete South Central poll on the previous page.
SEC STRONG IN THE POLLThe Southeastern Conference is well represented in the most recent national poll with all seven teams ranked in the top 21. Georgia is the highest-ranked team checking in at No. 1 for the third consecutive week. Alabama is No. 3, followed by No. 5 Florida, No. 13 LSU, No. 16 Auburn and No. 18 Kentucky. Arkansas rounds out the SEC teams in the poll at No. 21.
ARKANSAS IN THE SECArkansas has held its own against the SEC – arguably the toughest conference for women’s gymnastics in the country. Here’s a look at the SEC’s team averages on each event this week.
UPCOMING SEC SCHEDULEThe Southeastern Conference schedule is just beginning with several big meets right out of the gate. Here’s a quick look at the SEC schedule for the week.
|Feb. 10||Feb. 12||Feb. 17|
|Georgia at Alabama||Oklahoma at Georgia||Arkansas at Alabama|
|Arkansas at Florida w/NC & WVU||Auburn at LSU|
|Kentucky at LSU||Florida at Kentucky|
|Auburn at NC State w/Denver & Pitt||UCLA at Georgia|
LOOKING AHEADThe Penn State meet signals the close of the first of two home stands for the Gym’Backs. Arkansas travels to Florida facing the Gators, West Virginia and North Carolina followed by a trip to Alabama as February continues. Arkansas returns home for three in a row hosting Kentucky, Auburn and Washington before finishing the regular season at Nebraska.
ABOUT THE NCAA REGIONAL MEETArkansas hosts the South Central Regional meet April 8 at 6:00 p.m., in Barnhill Arena. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth and students. Please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK for more information.