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No. 11 Gym’Backs fifth at SEC Championship

BY ANDRES FOCIL
No. 11 Gym’Backs fifth at SEC Championship

Jump toArkansas Scores NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The 11th-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team finished fifth at the 2007 Southeastern Conference Championships in North Little Rock, Ark., Saturday. Arkansas scored a 194.550 finishing behind the nation’s best teams. Top-ranked Florida won the title with a 197.325, followed by No. 2 Georgia with a 197.175. Third-ranked Alabama finished third with a 197.000 ahead of No. 4 LSU who posted 196.250. Arkansas was fifth with No. 15 Auburn in sixth with a 194.475. No. 25 Kentucky was seventh scoring a 194.000. The fifth place showing ties Arkansas best finish in the five year history of the program. The Gators won their sixth title, their first since 1989. “We started strong tonight on both the vault and the bars,” said co-head coach Mark Cook, “but the balance beam monster bit us. We’ve been so good on the beam lately and that was disappointing but I’m pleased with the way we rebounded on the floor and hung in there to finish ahead of a couple of really good teams. We learned so much tonight and I know this experience will help us going into regionals in a couple of weeks.” Arkansas’ score will likely move the Gym’Backs to 15th in the nation with regional sites announced Monday afternoon. Arkansas opened the meet with a by and moved to the vault in the second rotation. The Gym’Backs came out firing posting a 49.00 and recording the program’s best-ever vault score at the SEC Championship. Freshman Casey Jo Magee vaulted first and tied her season/career-best with a 9.850. Sophomore Alexandra LaChance and freshman Michelle Stout each added a 9.80 followed by 9.750s from senior Cassie Drew, junior Samantha Cortez and freshman Ashly McPherson. “It was a great way to start,” said co-head coach Rene Cook. “We came out and shook off a lot of nerves and got into our rhythm right away. We were very proud of the start.” Florida clung to a slim lead over Georgia after three rotations. Arkansas had a bye in the third rotation. The Gym’Backs moved to the fourth rotation posting a 48.825 on the bars. The score moved Arkansas into fifth place after the event. Magee and junior Emily Peacock paced the Gym’Backs with 9.80s, while freshmen Amy DeFilippo and Stout each scored 9.750. Arkansas moved to the balance beam but the first gymnast fell putting the pressure on the remaining five. DeFilippo stepped up with a pressure-filled 9.825 while Peacock and Magee each added 9.725s but two other Gym’Backs fell and Arkansas plummeted near the bottom of the team standings with one rotation remaining. Arkansas got a 9.80 from lead off floor worker Magee and added a 9.850 from the anchor senior Rachel Barnett. Peacock added a 9.80 with a 9.750 from Drew as the Gym’Backs hung on for fifth place. Arkansas awaits word of the official NCAA Regional draw announced Monday afternoon. For more information about Arkansas gymnastics please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)