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Gymnastics goes West

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Gymnastics goes West

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The fifth-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team faces its first road test of the season traveling to Corvallis, Ore., Friday. Arkansas takes on No. 9 Oregon State and No. 45 California in a tri-meet in Gill Coliseum. “The team is excited to get to Oregon,” said Arkansas co-head coach René Cook. “We have four gymnasts who are from the Northwest and it’s great to get them in front of family and friends. We have a lot of fans coming out to support us and it should be a great atmosphere to compete in.” Junior Casey Jo Magee and sophomore Stacy Bartlett both hail from Oregon. Junior Sarah Nagashima is from nearby Washington as is freshman Alyssa Strodel. Arkansas got out of the gates with a 195.775 in the opening meet win over #21 Ohio State last weekend. The Razorbacks’ score propelled the team to fifth place in this week’s poll (the rankings are based on high scores). Magee and Nagashima opened strong for Arkansas. Magee won the fifth all-around title of her career while capturing individual titles in the bars, beam and floor. Nagashima also competed for the all-around for just the second time in her career and was solid in all four events. The duo will again have to step up to lead Arkansas on the tough West Coast weekend. “Sarah has really battled a lot of injury,” said Cook. “It’s been one thing after another since high school. She’s finally healthy and really coming into her own. She’s a fireball in the gym and has the opening routine on the beam for us Friday. She’ll set the tone. “Casey Jo has really increased her skill level,” Cook continued. “She’s got a lot of ties to the Corvallis area and I know she’s excited to go back and show what she can do.” The first trip of the year is always a challenge for a young team and this is no exception. “This is a tough trip,” said Cook. “It’s a long travel day and a two-hour time change. Add to that Gill Coliseum is a tough venue to compete in. Oregon State will have a good crowd and it’ll be loud. This is a great test for us early in the season to see how tough the team is and what we need to work on.” Arkansas is back in action Friday, Jan. 23, hosting No. 3 Florida as Southeastern Conference competition begins.



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)