FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas and co-head coaches Mark and Rene Cook celebrated the accomplishments of the 2004 gymnastics team at an annual banquet Thursday.
The banquet, held at Ella’s Restaurant at Carnal Hall on campus, recognized several individual and team honors this passed season.
Sophomore Dana McQuillin earned both the Most Outstanding Gymnast and Coaches Awards.
“Dana had a remarkable season,” said Rene Cook. “She competed 48 routines and hit 47 of them which is an amazing feat. The Coaches Award is an award that recognized daily attitudes, work ethic, commitment and excellence. Dana is a complete team player, works tremendously hard and cares for her sport and teammates. We are proud of how she represents the program.”
Three Gym’Backs were honored for their continued improvement over the 2004 season. Sophomores Audra Loveless and Melissa Leigh and freshman Cassie Drew. Sophomore Valerie Conroy earned the team’s Scholastic Award with the top grade point average.
“The entire team improved this season,” said Rene Cook. “However, these individuals stand out this year. Audra learned several new and difficult skills this year that enabled her to be one of our best vaulters and floor workers. Melissa not only improved dramatically in the gym, learning new skills on several events, her improvement in the classroom has been most impressive. Cassie contributed on all levels as well this year and improved her performance every time she entered the gym.”
Also recognized the individual record-holders including freshman Kathy Thompson on vault with a 9.90; sophomore Katie Hardman on beam with a 9.95; freshman Rachel Barnett on floor with a 9.95; and McQuillin for the all-around with a 39.50.
The Lady Razorbacks finished the 2004 season reaching the NCAA Regional in just their second season of existence. Arkansas finished its second consecutive season ranked fourth in the nation in attendance and the Gym’Backs ended 2004 ranked No. 20 in the coaches poll.
For more information about Arkansas gymnastics log on to www.ladybacks.com.