FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas’ gymnastics team, ranked No. 11 in the pre-season after finishing 11th at last year’s NCAA Championship, opens its season on Jan. 7 at No. 4 Oklahoma.
On Wednesday, co-head coaches Mark and René Cook will meet with fans for a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at The Clarion in Fayetteville.
Additional luncheons are scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 1, and Tuesday, March 1. All three begin at 11:30 a.m. The cost is $11 per person, which includes the buffet and a drink.
Student-athletes may be available at the luncheons as well.
Arkansas is led by two returning All-Americans in junior Jaime Pisani and senior Michelle Stout, who missed all of 2010 with an injury. Other returnees are senior Stacy Bartlett, juniors Mariah Howdeshell and Genny Salvatore, and sophomores Natalie Bohonsky, Amy Borsellino, Kelci Lewis and Amanda Siebert.
Five newcomers are on the roster, including sophomore transfer Jordan Salsberg from Southeast Missouri State, and freshmen Katherine Grable, Shelby Salmon, Scarlett Williams and Bailee Zumwalde.
In eight seasons, Arkansas’ program has finished ranked among the nation’s top 15 six straight years, earned an NCAA Tournament spot the last seven years, and advanced to the NCAA Championship four times, all in the last five years. Individually, Arkansas has produced 21 All-America selections and 10 NCAA individual event finalists, all in the last three years.
Following the Oklahoma meet, Arkansas opens its home schedule on Jan. 14 against No. 2 Alabama.