The 2012 season marks the 10-year anniversary of the gymnastics program at the University of Arkansas. In nine seasons, the Razorbacks have qualified for an NCAA Regional each of the last eight years, winning championships in 2009 and 2011. Arkansas has advanced to the NCAA Championship five times, including the last four years. The program has finished in the top 10 three times, with a trip to the Super Six and a fifth-place finish in 2009, and finished in the top 15 seven straight years.
Individually, Razorbacks have earned 28 All-America honors and 13 appearances in the NCAA individual event finals. Academically, Arkansas led the SEC in team grade point average in 2010 and has ranked among the top 30 in the nation seven times. Razorbacks have earned 62 National Association for Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches for Women Academic Scholar-Athlete and 69 SEC Academic Honor Roll honors.
Four All-Americans return from the 2011 squad, which 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.
In honor of the anniversary, the inaugural team from 2003 will be in attendance and recognized during the meet against LSU on Jan. 20, in addition to other reunion events throughout the weekend. Season tickets are now on sale. To purchase, click on the link below.
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To highlight the success of the first nine seasons, we’ll take a look back at significant moments in the program’s history, in chronological order.
Highlight No. 4: Quad Win at No. 9 UCLA
Arkansas had upset No. 9 UCLA in the NCAA South Central Regional to advance to its first NCAA Championship in 2006 and had earned four consecutive NCAA Regional appearances through the 2007 season, but the Razorbacks made another statement midway through the 2008 campaign.
Traveling to Los Angeles for a quad meet, No. 12 Arkansas not only upset the ninth-ranked Bruins in their gym with a 196.425-195.800 victory, but also recorded its first-ever win over Alabama. The Razorbacks topped the No. 6 Crimson Tide, 196.425-195.925, in addition to No. 44 California State-Fullerton.
"Those two teams (UCLA and Alabama) were worried about each other and they didn’t pay that much attention to us," co-head coach Mark Cook says. "That was after we had lost to UCLA by a large margin there in our first year (198.175-193.475), so it was fulfilling."
Sophomore Casey Jo Magee had a 9.85 on bars and a 9.925 on beam, and senior Samantha Cortez a 9.90 on floor and on vault.
"We just kept hitting and hitting and hitting," co-head coach Rene Cook says. "To go there and win, and to also beat Alabama for the first time, was huge. It verified that if you do things the right way, you can do things people don’t think you should be able to do."