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Gym’Backs Host NCAA Regional in 2006

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Gym’Backs Host NCAA Regional in 2006

Jumpto the 2006schedule FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas has been selected to host a 2006 NCAA Gymnastics Regional meet co-head coaches Mark and René Cook announced today. The Gym’Backs host five regular-season meets, face the NCAA Champion and runner-up as well as seven of the top 12 teams from a year ago. In addition, Arkansas learned Friday that it would be one of six NCAA Regional sites for the upcoming season. "We couldn’t be more excited," said co-head coach Mark Cook. "We are hosting a Regional in just our fourth year and that’s a real testament to the success of our program and the respect that the University of Arkansas is getting." "We are thrilled to host the NCAA Regional," said co-head coach René Cook. "With our community support and our first senior class, we feel we will definitely have an advantage being at home. Our schedule is challenging as always. We are excited to start the season in Hawai’i against some great competition. Our away schedule is very difficult which should give us great preparation for our home meets that will be challenging. Penn State and Washington at home will be exciting and it’s the first time either of these programs have traveled to Fayetteville. We also host our SEC rivals Kentucky, Auburn and LSU so it should be a fun season." Arkansas next hosts the regional meet along with Georgia, Iowa State, LSU, Michigan and Stanford before the top 12 teams and individuals move on to Oregon State for the NCAA Championship meet. Arkansas begins just its fourth season of competition this year and celebrates the accomplishments of the program’s first-ever senior class. The five original Gym’Backs are Melissa Leigh, Audra Loveless, Katie Hardman, Hannah McLeod and Dana McQuillin. That class leads Arkansas, who has made back-to-back regional appearances, into action this year opening with UCLA, Oregon State, California and Sacramento State in Hawai’i, Jan. 3. It’s the first of three consecutive road meets the Gym’Backs face as they travel to Missouri Jan. 13. Arkansas begins Southeastern Conference action at defending national champion Georgia Jan. 20. "Our schedule has never been easy," said René Cook. "We compete in the top conference in the country and there’s no escaping that. That being said, I’m glad we face the best team’s week and week out. It makes us better and more prepared for postseason than a lot of other teams. We’re familiar with that ‘big meet’ atmosphere because we face it every time we compete." Arkansas opens the home slate hosting one of the best teams in the conference from a year ago in LSU. The Tigers were ranked as high as fourth in the country and reached the NCAA Championship last year after winning their regional meet. The home stand continues with an SEC break as the Gym’Backs host René Cook’s alma mater Penn State for the first time in program history. The Nittany Lions also reached the NCAA Championships last year. The Gym’Backs return to SEC action at Florida followed by a trip to NCAA runner-up Alabama as February opens. The Gators also reached the NCAA Championship and just missed advancing to the Super Six while Alabama finished second to the Bulldogs, 197.825-197.400. Arkansas embarks on its longest home stand with three in a row welcoming SEC opponents Kentucky and Auburn as well as Pacific-10 member Washington as the season continues. The Gym’Backs were successful against all three teams last year downing the Wildcats and Tigers twice each and getting the best of the Huskies in their own gym. Auburn hosted the NCAA Championship a year ago, sending several individual gymnasts while Washington just missed advancing to the national meet. The Gym’Backs wrap up the regular season with a trip to Nebraska where the Huskers are coming off an NCAA Championship appearance, before heading to the SEC Championship in Birmingham, Ala., March 25. For more information about Arkansas gymnastics log on to LADYBACKS.COM.
UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS2006 LADY RAZORBACK GYMNASTICS

DATEOPPONENTSITETIME
Jan. 330th Annual Aloha GymfestOahu, HITBA
(Arkansas, California, Oregon State, Sacramento State, UCLA)
Jan. 13at MissouriColumbia, MO7:00 PM
Jan. 20at GEORGIA*Athens, GA6:00 PM
Jan. 27LSU*BARNHILL7:00 PM
Feb. 3Penn StateBARNHILL7:00 PM
Feb. 10at FLORIDA*Gainesville, FL6:00 PM
Feb. 17at ALABAMATuscaloosa, AL7:00 PM
Feb. 24KENTUCKY*BARNHILL7:00 PM
March 3AUBURN*BARNHILL7:00 PM
March 12WashingtonBARNHILL1:30 PM
March 17at NebraskaLincoln, NE7:00 PM
March 25at SEC ChampionshipBirmingham, AL5:00 PM
April 8NCAA RegionalsBARNHILL6:00 PM
April 20-22at NCAA ChampionshipCorvallis, ORTBA

*-Denotes SEC OpponentAll home meets take place at Barnhill Arena (9,000) — All Times CentralFor tickets call 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)