FAYETTEVILLE – A month into official team practices, the Arkansas gymnastics team held its second intrasquad meet of the fall last week.
The Razorbacks have nine returnees, including 2010 All-American Jaime Pisani and 2009 All-American Michelle Stout. Other returnees are Natalie Bohonsky, Amy Borsellino, Mariah Howdeshell, Kelci Lewis, Genny Salvatore and Amanda Siebert.
The coaches are also working with five first-year Razorbacks. The newcomers are freshmen Katherine Grable, Shelby Salmon, Scarlett Williams and Bailee Zumwalde, and sophomore Jordan Salsberg.
"We’ve been practicing as a team for almost a month and we’ve made a lot of progress," co-head coach René Cook says. "We’ve seen some improvements since the first intrasquad in September, but we still have work to do. Everyone has a good attitude and is excited about continuing to prepare for the season."
The Razorbacks are coming off an 11th-place finish in last year’s NCAA Championship. Arkansas has advanced to an NCAA Regional seven straight years and reached the NCAA Championship in three consecutive seasons.
Pisani was a first-team All-American on floor and vault, and a second-teamer in the all-around. At the NCAA individual event finals, she finished 10th on floor and tied for 12th on vault. Stout missed last season with an injury, but in 2009 was a first-team All-American on vault, bars and in the all-around, and a second-teamer on floor. In the NCAA individual event finals, she was fifth on vault and tied for seventh on bars.
Arkansas opens its season on Jan. 7 at Oklahoma. The first home meet is Jan. 14 against Alabama in Barnhill Arena.