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No. 13 Gym’Backs face Kentucky

BY ANDRES FOCIL
No. 13 Gym’Backs face Kentucky

FAYETTEVILLE — The No. 13 University of Arkansas gymnastics team returns to the gym opening Southeastern Conference action at Kentucky Friday, at 7:00 p.m. Arkansas, 1-0, began the season with a dual meet win over Minnesota last weekend with a solid performance. Co-head coaches Mark and Rene Cook were pleased with last week’s performances but are anxious to fine-tune some things as the season progresses. "The first score of the year is critical," said Mark Cook of last week. "We performed outstanding, especially with the increased difficulty level of the skills. I was very pleased. But this weekend presents new challenges. We are again on the road and this is a conference opponent. Kentucky is always competitive and I’m sure this will be a good meet." All three newcomers started well for the Gym’Backs last week with San Antonio, Texas, native Emily Peacock winning the individual beam title. Monroe, La., native Mallory Machnik competed in two events while Verona, N.J. native Samantha Cortez vied for the all-around title. "Emily is a job to watch," said Rene Cook. "Our home crowd will enjoy her. All of the freshmen performed well last week." Sophomore Cassie Drew picked up where she left off winning the bars title last week as well. Kentucky is also coming off a win last week scoring a 194.850 over Bowling Green in Lexington. "I think we did a great job in our first meet," said Rene Cook. "To go on the road and hit well is a great first step but now we have to take the next step and take care of business in the conference." Arkansas returns six juniors on this year’s team including all-SEC member Melissa Leigh on bars. All-around Dana McQuillin is one of two captains and will be looked upon to lead the young team as well. "We’re solid," said Rene Cook. "We have so much room to grow and that makes each week exciting." Arkansas’ 2005 season starts with three in a row on the road. After opening at Minnesota and traveling to Kentucky this weekend, the Gym’Backs travel to Auburn Friday, Jan.21. Arkansas finally struts it’s stuff in front of the home fans hosting NCAA runner-up Georgia Friday, Jan. 28, in Barnhill Arena. For more information and tickets please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)