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No. 21 Arkansas hosts No. 15 Penn State in gymnastics match up

BY ANDRES FOCIL
No. 21 Arkansas hosts No. 15 Penn State in gymnastics match up

GYM’BACKS HOST LSU IN HOME OPENERThe University of Arkansas opened the 2006 home season hosting 11th-ranked LSU in Barnhill Arena Friday. The Gym’Backs fell to the Tigers, 194.725-193.100, in a tightly-scored contest. Arkansas struggled a bit in the meet counting a fall on beam.
HARDMAN RETURNS TO LINEUP Senior Katie Hardman returned to the Gym’Back lineup against LSU competing on beam. Hardman had off-season knee surgery, then was involved in a serious car accident that slowed her return. Arguably one of the best beam workers on the team, Hardman answered the call tying for second overall with a 9.750 in her first routine of the year.
WIN/LOSS DOESN’T MATTER, BUT…Although a gymnastics teams win/loss record is not important, most teams will tell you it is important to defend your home gym. Arkansas is 9-15 all-time in Barnhill Arena. The Gym’Backs are 2-9 at home against SEC opponents and 7-6 against non-conference foes. The Gym’Backs’ two SEC wins have come against Kentucky and Auburn.
GOOD VAULTING CONTINUESPrior to this season, the Gym’Back staff would have told you that vaulting was Arkansas’ weakest event. This year, however, the vault has kept Arkansas in meets and the solid performances continued against LSU last weekend. The Gym’Backs’ lowest counted score was a 9.70 and Arkansas peaked with a 9.80 from junior Cassie Drew. Drew’s 9.825 at Missouri was her season-best and she’s been steadily around that mark all year.
AN ALL AROUND KIND OF GIRL Senior Dana McQuillin has competed for the all-around title in three of Arkansas’ four meets this year. One of the most consistent gymnasts on the team, McQuillin’s high for the year is a 38.70 at No. 14 Missouri in Columbia.
ARKANSAS CLIMBS IN THE POLLAlthough Arkansas scored lower against LSU than at Georgia, the Gym’Backs moved up a spot to No. 21 in this week’s poll.
ABOUT PENN STATEThen-seventh-ranked Penn State dropped its first away meet of the season to Big Ten-foe Minnesota, 194.175 to 193.500 last week. Penn State posted scores of 48.400 on the vault, 48.500 on the bars, 48.050 on the beam and 48.550 on the floor. Senior Jen Orlando finished third in the all-around at the meet, posting a 38.600. Penn State opened the year with a 194.875 – their highest point total of the year. Penn State has competed against and lost to both Alabama and West Virginia, both of whom are also on Arkansas’ schedule this year.
A LOT IN COMMONArkansas and Penn State have a lot more in common as well. The Gym’Backs and Nittany Lions both compete against LSU, Florida and Nebraska this year.
DON’T I KNOW YOU?Arkansas co-head coach Rene Cook was a gymnast for the Nittany Lions. Then Rene Lyst was the 1992 Big 10 beam champion and co-captained the team in 1993 winning the Northeast Regional beam title.
ARKANSAS-PENN STATE AVAILABLE ON-LINEThis Friday’s meet is one of several schedule for an on-line broadcast this year. Point your browser to LADYBACKS.COM and watch the meet live. There is no charge for this meet.
ARKANSAS AGAINST PENN STATEThe Gym’Backs have never met Penn State in the three previous seasons.
ARKANSAS SIXTH IN SOUTH CENTRAL REGIONThe Gym’Backs are looking to move up in the South Central Region. Arkansas was sixth for the third consecutive week. See the complete South Central poll on the previous page.
SEC STRONG IN THE POLLThe Southeastern Conference is well represented in the most recent national poll with all seven teams ranked in the top 21. Georgia is the highest-ranked team checking in at No. 1 for the second consecutive week. Alabama is No. 3, followed by No. 5 Florida, No. 14 LSU, No. 17 Auburn and No. 18 Kentucky. Arkansas rounds out the SEC teams in the poll at No. 21.
ARKANSAS IN THE SECArkansas has held its own against the SEC – arguably the toughest conference for women’s gymnastics in the country. Here’s a look at the SEC’s team averages on each event this week.

Team

Region V UB BB FX Team
Alabama C 49.175 48.9812 48.45 48.9812 195.5875
Arkansas SC 48.6187 48.1 47.6 48.0687 192.3875
Auburn C 48.8625 48.525 48.1062 48.5625 194.0562
Florida SE 49.0 48.8 48.5062 48.8687 195.175
Georgia SE 49.2187 49.0312 48.6562 49.2625 196.1687
Kentucky C 48.6 48.2062 48.5562 48.475 193.8375
L.S.U. C 48.9625 48.675 48.1437 48.6437 194.425

UPCOMING SEC SCHEDULEThe Southeastern Conference schedule is just beginning with several big meets right out of the gate. Here’s a quick look at the SEC schedule for the week.

Feb. 3 Feb. 4 Feb. 10
Alabama at Kentucky LSU at Georgia Georgia at Alabama
Penn State at Arkansas Arkansas at Fla. (w/NC & WV)
Florida at Auburn Auburn at NC St. (w/Den & Pitt)
Kentucky at LSU

FINALLY AT HOMEArkansas opened the home season Friday, Jan. 27, hosting No. 11 LSU at 7:00 p.m. Arkansas is 0-8 lifetime against the Tigers but has been steadily closing the gap in recent meets. This was LSU’s second trip to Fayetteville since 2003. The LSU meet was the first of five regular season home meets for Arkansas as the Gym’Backs also host Penn State, Kentucky, Auburn and Washington. In addition to the regular season, the Gym’Backs host the 2006 NCAA South Central Regional Meet April 8, in Barnhill. Tickets for the regular season and the Regional meet are currently on sale in the Lady Razorback Ticket Office. Please call 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM for more information.
LOOKING AHEADThe Penn State meet signals the close of the first of two home stands for the Gym’Backs. Arkansas travels to Florida facing the Gators, West Virginia and North Carolina followed by a trip to Alabama as February continues. Arkansas returns home for three in a row hosting Kentucky, Auburn and Washington before finishing the regular season at Nebraska.
ABOUT THE NCAA REGIONAL MEETArkansas hosts the South Central Regional meet April 8 at 6:00 p.m., in Barnhill Arena. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth and students. Please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK for more information.



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)