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Gym’Backs improve on almost every event in Athens

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Gym’Backs improve on almost every event in Athens

Jump to scores ATHENS, Ga. – University of Arkansas sophomore Samantha Cortez scored the first 9.90 of the year leading the 24th-ranked Gym’Backs in the Southeastern Conference opener at No. 3 Georgia in Athens, Ga., Friday. Cortez’s 9.90 on vault tied her career best and paced Arkansas (3-4, 0-1 SEC) to a season-best 193.600 for the meet. Georgia (6-0, 1-0 SEC) won the meet with a season-high 196.125. “We’ve been working on trying to be a little more consistent and we were better tonight,” said co-head coach Rene Cook. “We still counted some mistakes and obviously we want to eliminate those. We’re excited about getting home and competing in front of our home crowd next week.” In addition to Cortez’s high score, junior Cassie Drew scored a 9.75 on floor as Arkansas scratched its way to the best team score of the year. Arkansas posted season-bests on vault, bars and floor as 11 Gym’Backs tied or broke previous season bests at the meet. Arkansas began the evening on the bars with Melissa Leigh and Rachel Barnett tying their season bests. Leigh tallied a 9.775 to lead Arkansas on the event. Barnett added a 9.575 while senior Dana McQuillin tied her season best with a 9.625 for the Gym’Backs. Georgia opened on vault and was nearly flawless with a meet-best 9.975 from Katie Heenan. Teammates Ashley Kupets and Courtney Kupets each added 9.925s on their vault giving Georgia a 49.550-48.450 lead after the first rotation. Georgia’s score was a season-best on the event. Cortez paced Arkansas to a season-best 48.775 on vault with her career-best tying 9.90. The solid mark was the first 9.90 of the season on any event for a Gym’Back and she finished fourth overall on the on vault. Freshman Breanne Guy also posted a season/career best as did senior Audra Loveless. Loveless, the Bridge Creek, Okla., native, and freshman Alexandra LaChance both recorded 9.725s on the apparatus as the vault continues to be one of the strongest events for Arkansas. Drew rocked the floor in the next rotation capturing a season best 9.75 as Arkansas made a push in the third rotation. Sophomore Emily Peacock followed up with a season and near career best 9.80 with energetic music that got the crowd of 9,154 into it. Four Gym’Backs posted season bests leading Arkansas to a 48.75, bettering their previous best of 47.650 by more than a point. In addition to Drew and Peacock’s season bests, McQuillin’s 9.650 and Alexandra LaChance’s 9.675 were also the top marks of the year. Arkansas faltered a bit on the beam in the final rotation and had to count a fall but Peacock lifted the team’s spirits with a season-best 9.70 as the Gym’Backs posted a 47.625 on the event. Meanwhile, the Georgia floor scores continued to climb with three 9.9’s or better. The Gym Dogs score a 49.35 on the floor winning the meet. Arkansas continues SEC action opening at home with No. 14 LSU Friday, Jan. 27, in Barnhill Arena at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the event as well as season tickets and tickets for the 2006 NCAA South Central Regional are on sale now. For ticket information please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)