Gym’Backs THIRD IN GAINESVILLEThe University of Arkansas gymnastics team maintained its No. 21 national ranking with a solid showing in Gainesville last week. Arkansas finished third in the quad meet scoring a 194.025 to finish behind No. 5 Florida and No. 32 West Virginia. Arkansas defeated No. 22 North Carolina in the meet.
CORTEZ TIES RECORDSamantha Cortez tied the University of Arkansas vault record for the second time this year in Gainesville. The Verona, N.J., native scored a 9.90 for the third time in her career and holds three of the top spots in school history.
|Kathy Thompson||9.900||at #10 Mo.||2/13/04|
|Kathy Thompson||9.900||at NCAA Reg.||4/3/04|
|Mallory Machnik||9.900||vs. #4 Fla.||2/18/05|
|Samantha Cortez||9.900||vs. #4 Fla.||2/18/05|
|Samantha Cortez||9.000||at #3 Ga.||1/20/06|
|Samantha Cortez||9.900||at No. 5 Fla.||2/10/06|
VAULT TO CONTINUES TO IMPROVEArkansas continues to improve on their vault scores tallying a season-best 49.025 on the event in Gainesville. That mark is just shy of the school record of 49.075, a mark Arkansas has reached twice. Arkansas’ vault numbers have climbed in all but one meet. Here’s a look.
|at Hawai’i Invite||48.250|
|at No. 14 Missouri||48.750|
|at No. 3 Georgia||48.775|
|No. 11 LSU||48.700|
|No. 15 Penn State||48.925|
|at No. 5 Florida (WV/NC)||49.025|
BETTER IN THE POLL TOOAs Arkansas’ vaulting numbers continue to improve, so to does the team’s national standings. The Gym’Backs are at 17th in the country for the second consecutive week. Arkansas ranked 16th in week two on the vault and that is the highest mark in the history of the program. The Gym’Backs were in the teens only once last year ranking 18th on the apparatus.
ESPN2 TODAYThe Gym’Backs make their national cable debut Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. with last week’s meet at Florida airing on ESPN2. The quad meet features the No. 21 Gym’Backs facing off against Southeastern Conference rival and fifth-ranked Florida. Also competing is No. 22 North Carolina and No. 32 West Virginia. Although the meet is the first national broadcast for the Gym’Backs, it is by far not the first time the program has been on television. The Arkansas-Kentucky meet has been the SEC meet of the week twice and will again be featured on FSN this year. That meet is in Barnhill Arena Feb. 24, but airs Saturday, March 4 at 3:00 p.m. on FSN. The Gym’Backs’ home meet with Penn State was recorded by local Fox affiliate KPBI and a one-hour condensed version airs February 18, at 3:00 p.m.
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.
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.
ABOUT ALABAMA (From ROLLTIDE.com) Alabama gymnastics senior Ashley Miles remains the nation’s No. 1 ranked vaulter this week, extending her lead over the rest of the field. Miles, who won her sixth consecutive vault titles last Friday night against Georgia with a 9.925, has propelled Alabama’s No. 2 ranked vault lineup. All her vaults have gone for 9.9 or better including three 9.95s and a 9.975, the nation’s top vault score this season. The San Antonio, Texas native is also ranked second on the floor exercise, where she has scored 9.95 on her last three routines this season. Alabama, ranked No. 3 nationally again this week, is gaining ground on No. 2 Utah, standing less than a tenth of a point in total season average behind the Utes. Georgia retains the No. 1 spot while No. 4 Michigan and No. 5 Florida also holding on to their spots from a week ago. No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 7 Iowa State, No. 8 Nebraska, No. 9 UCLA and No. 10 Stanford round out the top-10.
ARKANSAS AGAINST THE CRIMSON TIDEArkansas has faced Alabama six times in the previous three seasons, dropping each of those contests. The Gym’Backs have competed just once in Tuscaloosa, that in 2004, and have hosted the Tide twice. Arkansas and Alabama have also met at three SEC Championships.
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.
ARKANSAS SIXTH IN SOUTH CENTRAL REGIONThe Gym’Backs are looking to move up in the South Central Region. Arkansas was sixth for the fifth 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 fourth consecutive week. Alabama is No. 3, followed by No. 5 Florida, No. 13 LSU, No. 17 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. 12||Feb. 17||Feb. 19|
|Oklahoma at Georgia||Arkansas at Alabama||Auburn at Centenary|
|Auburn at LSU||Florida at NC State|
|Florida at Kentucky|
|UCLA at Georgia|
LOOKING AHEADThe Penn State meet signaled the close of the first of two home stands for the Gym’Backs. Arkansas traveled 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.