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No. 12 Gym’Backs travel to No. 23 Arizona State Friday

BY ANDRES FOCIL
No. 12 Gym’Backs travel to No. 23 Arizona State Friday

FAYETTEVILLE — The 12th-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team faces its final regular season meet of the year traveling to No. 23 Arizona State for dual meet action Friday in Tempe, Az. Arkansas 8-10 overall and 2-4 in the Southeastern Conference, hosts a final regular season quad meet Friday March 23, in Barnhill Arena before the 2007 SEC Championship in ALLTEL Arena in North Little Rock, Ark. Friday’s meet with the Sun Devils should continue to push Arkansas in the same way the previous dates on the schedule have. "This is a great location for a meet," said co-head coach Rene Cook. "It’s fun to take the team to different spots. We know that ASU is strong. It’s senior night for them and we’ll have to go in there and do our job – be on our game. It’s important to stay focused and take care of business. Co-head coach Mark Cook has some added incentive for the Gym’Backs to perform well. He and ASU head coach John Spini are long-time friends. "John Spini is one of my very best friends," said Mark Cook. "I’m looking forward to taking my team in there and giving John a run for his money. I really want to compete well against them." The season is quickly winding down and, as Arkansas looks ahead to the SEC Championship, the team finds itself ranked higher than its ever been at this point of the season. In addition, the Gym’Backs have won their last three consecutive meets, two of which were SEC road wins, and have watched scores climb in recent meets. "You definitely go through ebbs and flows in the season," said Mark Cook, "but our training has been good this week and I think we’ll have a good meet at ASU. "We are performing better," added Rene Cook. "That along with the wins builds on each other and that helps our confidence. We’re just trying to gain some momentum and then keep it going until the end." Arkansas has relied on a balance off upperclassmen experience and youthful talent as this successful season has progressed. Seniors Rachel Barnett and Cassie Drew, along with juniors Samantha Cortez and Emily Peacock have been the anchor of the team while newcomers Michelle Stout and Casey Jo Magee, among others, have had an immediate impact on the team. "Casey Jo is probably going to be on the all-around again this week," said Rene Cook. "She’s doing a good job of figuring out how to get ready for a college meet. Michelle started training floor again this week (after suffering an ankle injury recently) and our upperclassmen have stayed focused and been consistent, in and out of the gym. That’s been the difference this year." For more information about Arkansas gymnastics, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)