FAYETTEVILLE – No. 12 Arkansas is heading to Denver for the NCAA North Central Gymnastics Regional this week, and the Razorbacks already know their rotation.
The teams in the region, in order of seeding, are No. 1 Florida, No. 12 Arkansas, No. 13 Boise State, No. 19 Denver, No. 20 Arizona and No. 27 Brigham Young.
The top two teams from each of the six regions advance to the NCAA Championship in Cleveland April 15-17.
Arkansas is in a regional for the eighth straight season and has earned a spot in the NCAA Championship four times in the last five years, including each of the last three seasons.
For the North Central Regional, which is Saturday at 5 p.m., Arkansas opens on beam and will have a bye. The Razorbacks then move to floor and then vault. Following a second bye, the Razorbacks close on bars.
"I had a feeling for about a week that we would be starting on beam, so I had already prepared in my mind how I would train them," co-head coach René Cook said. "It is a very different order. We don’t normally do that, but I think for this team, this year, it’s a great rotation for us. The girls are excited about it. Sometimes, that’s all that matters. I think our preparation has been solid. They’ve responded extremely well."
This is the first time Arkansas will open a regional on beam.
"Beam is a great opportunity to start off," co-head coach Mark Cook says. "If you come out and assert yourself and dominate the event, you put pressure on every other team."
At the Southeastern Conference Championship in Birmingham, Ala., on April 19, Arkansas opened with a bye, followed by floor, another bye, vault, a third bye, bars and beam.
The Razorbacks set school SEC meet records by scoring a 195.800 and finishing fourth.
Arkansas tied for the SEC regular-season title at 5-1 and is 10-7 heading into the regional.
The Razorbacks are ranked No. 12 overall, No. 9 on vault, No. 22 on bars, No. 13 on beam and No. 11 on floor.
Arkansas is led by junior All-American Jaime Pisani and freshman Katherine Grable, who each earned second-team All-SEC honors.
Pisani is ranked No. 3 in the nation on floor, No. 5 in the all-around and tied for No. 16 on vault. Grable is ranked No. 16 in the all-around, tied for No. 22 on floor and tied for No. 32 on beam.
Pisani leads the team with 26 individual event titles this year while Grable is second with eight.