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Gymnastics preview, Part II (Vault)

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Gymnastics preview, Part II (Vault)

Arkansas’ gymnastics program is in its 10th season. In nine years, the Razorbacks have earned eight NCAA regional bids, won two NCAA regionals, advanced to the NCAA Championship five times, reached the NCAA Super Six, finished in the top 10 in the nation three times, finished ranked in the top 15 seven consecutive seasons, and produced 28 All-America selections and 13 NCAA individual event finals appearances.

In 2011, the Razorbacks tied for the Southeastern Conference regular-season championship, won the NCAA North Central Regional, tied for ninth in the nation, recorded two wins over No. 1-ranked Florida, beat No. 4 Georgia, and set school records with seven dual-meet wins and four road wins.

The season begins in January with the Cancun Classic on Jan. 6. The home-opener is Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. in Barnhill Arena against Kentucky. Barnhill is also the site of the 2012 NCAA South Central Regional on April 7 at 4 p.m.

Tickets are now on sale by calling the Ticket Office at 800-982-HOGS (4647) or 479-575-5151, or by visiting the link below.

We’ll preview the 2012 season with a five-part series. The first was an overall outlook, followed by specific stories on vault, bars, beam and floor. This is the second story, which focuses on vault. Be sure to check back for the following stories.

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TOP VAULTERS:

Amy Borsellino Stephani Canizaro Katherine Grable Mariah Howdeshell Kelci Lewis Jaime Pisani Jordan Salsberg Scarlett Williams

Amy Borsellino and Katherine Grable were first and second-team All-Americans a year ago, respectively, with Borsellino advancing to the NCAA individual event finals and Grable winning an NCAA Regional championship. Jaime Pisani was a first-team All-American in 2010 and a second-teamer in 2009.

Pisani won individual titles against BYU, Florida, UIC and West Virginia, and Grable won in the regional and against Denver.

As a team, the Razorbacks recorded a 49.325 at the SEC Championship, a 49.175 at the NCAA North Central Regional, a 49.25 in the regular-season win over No. 1 Florida and a 49.00 in the win over No. 4 Georgia.

"So many of our vaults are exciting," co-head coach Mark Cook says. "We have more height and distance than a year ago."

"Our returnees are all better," co-head coach René Cook says. "They are more comfortable with their landings."

Borsellino had highs of 9.90 at the NCAA Championship and 9.85 at the NCAA Regional. Grable had a 9.90 at the NCAA Regional and at Denver, and a 9.875 at the NCAA Championship, at the SEC Championship and against Florida.

Pisani had 9.90s at the SEC meet, at Illinois-Chicago and against Alabama; Kelci Lewis had a 9.85 at UIC and a 9.80 at Auburn; Jordan Salsberg had a best of 9.875 at the SEC meet and at UIC; and Scarlett Williams posted 9.80s against West Virginia and BYU.

Mariah Howdeshell competed on vault as a freshman and sophomore. In 2010, she had highs of 9.85 against Kentucky, and 9.825 against Auburn, Minnesota and in the NCAA Championship.

"Our two seniors, Mariah and Jaime, are better, and Katherine has a more difficult vault," Mark says. "We have some aggressive, pretty vaults."

Season Preview Part I



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)