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Gym’Backs host Super Six Challenge to open season

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Gym’Backs host Super Six Challenge to open season

FAYETTEVILLE – The 15th-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics meet opens the 2007 season hosting one of the biggest meets in the country, the Super Six Challenge, Friday at 6:00 p.m., in Barnhill Arena. Arkansas welcomes No. 3 Florida, No. 7 Nebraska, No. 9 LSU, No. 14 Penn State and No. 17 Denver for the six-team spectacular. The meet also airs on a tape delayed basis on ESPN2 Jan. 14, at 2:30 p.m. “We’re so excited to get started,” said Arkansas junior Emily Peacock. “We finished on strong note last year and we’re ready to get back in the gym and see what we can do.” Arkansas advanced to the NCAA Championship last year for the first time in the program’s history. The Gym’Backs finished the year ranked 12th in the country and graduated the program’s first-ever senior class. With that class gone, the Gym’Backs will rely on the leadership of seniors Cassie Drew and Rachel Barnett and the skill of one of the most talented recruiting classes. “Our freshmen are ready to go,” said co-head coach Rene Cook. “They are a bit nervous but they can’t wait to get out there and compete.” Arkansas on the bars, moves to beam, has a bye, moves to floor and vault and finishes with a bye. Four freshmen highlight the bars lineup which includes all-arounders Amy DeFilippo and Casey Jo Magee. “Bars will be our most improved event this year,” said co-head coach Mark Cook. “We’ve really improved our difficulty and added some new things that should please both the crowd and the judges.” Junior Emily Peacock returns on three events leading off on the beam and anchoring the floor. She also competes on bars for Arkansas. Junior Samantha Cortez is scheduled to compete vault and is an alternate for both beam and floor for the first meet. Although the first meet is a tough one, Arkansas doesn’t get a break as the schedule continues. The Gym’Backs face No. 14 Penn State for the second consecutive week traveling to University Park, Pa., Jan. 13. Arkansas returns home hosting top-ranked defending national champion Georgia Jan. 19, followed by a trip to No. 9 LSU Jan. 26 rounding out the month. For more information about Arkansas gymnastics and for ticket information, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)