FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas gymnastics team held its final preseason intrasquad meet Sunday inside Barnhill Arena in preparation for the 2018 season that begins Jan. 5.
The meet concludes months of training that began with conditioning and open gym sessions in August and the official start to practice in September that included five intrasquad meets in the Bev Lewis Center.
“There weren’t any major errors today,” head coach Mark Cook said. “We were definitely pleased with our performance and we’re on track to have a strong opening.”
Over 500 fans attended the free event as the Razorbacks were able to collect 200 toys for Toys for Tots of Northwest Arkansas. It was the first time that Arkansas had performed in Barnhill this season.
“We had this intrasquad the first year of the program,” Cook said. “It was a really good crowd. I thought it was a great event for Toys for Tots and its a way people can get out and meet the team and enjoy a free exhibition.”
Looking Ahead To 2018
The Razorbacks were pegged as the No. 19-ranked team in the preseason rankings released last week by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women (NACGC/W).
Arkansas returns Senior Amanda Wellick who suffered a season-ending injury in January of last season and missed what would’ve been her senior year. She has since returned to the gym and is expected to be in Arkansas’ lineup this season. The Razorbacks also welcome back NCAA Individual participants Braie Speed and Jessica Yamzon. Yamzon earned a spot at the NCAA Championships last season as a freshman, scoring a 38.925 in the all-around. Speed posted a 9.825 on the vault at NCAA’s, tying her third-best score from last season.
“We have a lot of experience with all three of those guys,” said Cook. “Amanda being back in there after being off a year with an injury, she’s really coming back strong. We’re pleased with our progress and where we’re at.”
There is still time to purchase season tickets for the 2018 season. Reserved seats are $40 while general admission seats are $25 and grant admission to all five home meets. Tickets can be purchased here or by calling 800-982-4647.
The regular season begins Jan. 5, 2018 as Arkansas travels to Baton Rouge, La. to face the defending SEC champion LSU Tigers.