FAYETTEVILLE – The 10th-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team hosts No. 14 Auburn Friday in Barnhill Arena at 7 p.m.
Arkansas is teaming up with the American Heart Association for “Gym’Backs Have Heart,” an effort to raise funds and awareness for heart disease. The meet will feature Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants and giveaways from General Mills while supplies last.
The meet should be one of the more closely contested of the season with both teams relatively even in the numbers. The Auburn-Arkansas series has developed into one of the Gym’Backs’ better rivalries in recent years.
“This rivalry will be hotly contested,” said co-head coach René Cook. “Auburn is a team that is very similar to us. They have a lot of potential. Everyone seems to have their best meet against us and we’re going to have to stay on the equipment and do our job Friday.”
Arkansas is coming off the team’s sixth consecutive 195-plus meet posting scores that have kept the Gym’Backs in the top 10 this season. Their most recent meet, a Southeastern Conference win over Kentucky, saw sophomore Casey Jo Magee win her second all-around title of the season. The Eugene, Ore., native continues to be one of the leaders for Arkansas.
“Casey Jo is one of the most talented gymnasts on the team and coupled with her work ethic and competitiveness, she just tough to beat,” said Cook. “Casey is able to stay calm under pressure and is much better at taking the meet one event at a time. That’s really helped her succeed this year.”
The Gym’Backs hit the road following the Auburn meet traveling to top-ranked Georgia and No. 6 UCLA where they also face Alabama and CS-Fullerton. The Gym’Backs return home hosting a pair of non-conference foes before beginning the postseason at the SEC Championship in Duluth, Ga.
Tickets for the remaining home meets are still available. Please call the Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.