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Gym’Backs picked 24th in preseason poll

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Gym’Backs picked 24th in preseason poll

Jump to poll FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas gymnastics team opens the 2005 season ranked 24th in the preseason poll this week. Arkansas, in just its third season of competition, finds itself ranked in the GymInfo Preseason Top 25 for the first time in the program’s history. The Gym’Backs finished the inaugural season ranked 30th and the team was 20th last year after its first NCAA Regional appearance. "We’re pleased that our peers recognize the progress of our program and consider us one of the top 25 teams this year," said co-head coach Mark Cook. "We hope to continue progressing and move up in the poll throughout the season." "It’s a vote of confidence," added co-head coach Rene Cook. "We want to use it as the first step on the road to returning to Regionals this year." Arkansas returns a solid corps of juniors to the mat this year. All-arounder Dana McQuillin and the team’s first all-Southeastern Conference selection Melissa Leigh return to lead the talented squad. Also returning is record-holder Katie Hardman on the beam while Hannah McLeod, Kim Harris and Audra Loveless round out the junior class. The sophomore class is also battle-tested paced by all-arounder Cassie Drew. Rachel Barnett returns as well with Jamie Burnette, who missed the 2004 season with injury, looks to make her debut. The Gym’Backs will be without Kathy Thompson who suffered a season-ending injury earlier this fall. The Gym’Backs open the 2004-05 season hosting the Gym’Back Gala Jan. 2, at 3:00 p.m., in Barnhill Arena. For more information and tickets please log on to www.ladybacks.com.

2005 GymInfo Preseason Top 25

1st Place

Rank Team Points Votes

1

UCLA

608

15

2

Georgia

565

3

3

Stanford

554

4

4

Alabama

531

1

5

Utah

530

2

6

Florida

510

1

7

Michigan

479

8

LSU

444

9

Arizona State

387

10

Nebraska

386

11

Oklahoma

352

12

Oregon State

280

13

Arizona

264

14

Iowa State

256

15

North Carolina

240

16

Auburn

221

17

Iowa

196

18

Brigham Young

178

19

Penn State

173

20

Denver

160

21

Washington

117

22

Missouri

105

23

West Virginia

92

24

ARKANSAS

90

25

California

86

Other team receiving votes: Minnesota, Michigan State, Illinois, Boise State, Utah State, Southern Utah , NC State, Ohio State, New Hampshire, Kent State, Maryland, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Illinois-Chicago, Kentucky, San Jose State, Fullerton



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)