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No. 20 Arkansas travels to No. 11 Nebraska Sunday

BY ANDRES FOCIL
No. 20 Arkansas travels to No. 11 Nebraska Sunday

FAYETTEVILLE — The 20th-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team breaks from Southeastern Conference action traveling to No. 11 Nebraska Sunday in the final regular season meet of the 2006 season. Arkansas (7-9, 2-4 SEC) heads to Lincoln, Neb., for the first time is school history facing the Huskers (13-5-1, 1-2-1 Big 12) for the second time in four seasons. "This will be both an interesting and exciting meet," said co-head coach Mark Cook. "It will have a different feel and flow." Cook is referring to Arkansas’ first-ever "double-dual" meet. While the Gym’Backs and Huskers face off, Nebraska’s men will host the Air Force Academy at the same time. Despite the distraction of two simultaneous meets, the Gym’Backs are focused in their quest for a higher road score as the season winds down. "Nebraska is one of the top teams in the country," said co-head coach Rene Cook. "They are consistently good, year in and year out. It’ll be good to go in and see how we stack up. This is a big week for us. We could use a good away score. That’s the goal this weekend." A good road total would allow the Gym’Backs to "throw out" a lower road mark in the Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) calculations, a fact that could move Arkansas up in the national rankings. "I think if we could get a 195 or better we could move up a spot or two," said Rene Cook. "We just have to be consistent and hit like we have been lately." Arkansas has, in fact, been hitting lately paced by senior Katie Hardman. The Buda, Texas, native, earned SEC Gymnasts of the Week honors Tuesday becoming the first Gym’Back honored this year and the second-ever in the program’s history. Hardman notched a pair of 9.9s in last week’s win over No. 36 Washington and has been solid in the Arkansas’ run of three victories in a row. "We’re definitely gaining momentum as we go through the season," said Mark Cook. "We’re actually getting better and we’re a lot more focused and consistent." A good showing against Nebraska may also help the Gym’Backs in the regional standings where the Huskers are ranked second and Arkansas sixth. The meet in Lincoln in the final regular season meet prior to the SEC Championship in Birmingham, Ala., April 25. The NCAA Regional selections will be announced Monday, March 27, and Arkansas will host the 2006 South Central Regional Championship in Barnhill Arena April 8. For more information about Arkansas gymnastics or for tickets to the regional championships, please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)