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No. 21 Gym’Backs travel to No. 5 Florida for quad meet action

BY ANDRES FOCIL
No. 21 Gym’Backs travel to No. 5 Florida for quad meet action

FAYETTEVILLE — The 21st-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team travels to No. 5 Florida for quad meet action Friday in Gainesville, Fla. Arkansas faces several challenges wrapped up into one meet. In addition to facing Southeastern Conference foe and fifth-ranked Florida, Arkansas takes on No. 22 North Carolina and No. 32 West Virginia. In addition, the meet will be televised by espn2 on a tape-delay basis. The meet airs Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 2:30 p.m., Central. "It’s going to be good to see all of these programs," said co-head coach Rene Cook. "It’s always nice to see teams other than the SEC. Florida is a great team – one of the best in the nation – and the other teams are also very strong. This is a good barometer for us." Although this is Arkansas’ first quad meet of the season, it is not the first multiple-team competition. The Gym’Backs were in a six-team rotation in Hawai’i to open the year. Arkansas finished third in that meet in an energy-charged atmosphere that is much different that dual meet action. "A quad meet totally changes the tempo," said co-head coach Mark Cook. "It moves really fast and it’s a lot of fun from a participant standpoint." Arkansas’ scores have been steadily climbing all season despite tighter numbers all over the country. The Gym’Backs posted a season-high 194.575 against No. 15 Penn State last week and had 12 season-bests from individual gymnasts. "Our warm ups weren’t sharp," said Mark Cook, "but we came out better in the meet." "We were six-for-six on the bars and our floor scores were better. Our energy and focus was as good as it’s been all season." The Gators are statistically the best team in the quad meet ranked fifth in the country overall. In addition, Florida ranks seventh on vault, eighth on bars, seventh on beam and fifth on floor this week. Arkansas is 18th this week on the vault and 21st on floor while No. 22 North Carolina is 15th on vault and 24th on floor. No. 32 West Virginia ranks 25th on the bars this week. "This is going to be a great crowd, a great atmosphere and a great meet," said Rene Cook. "We’re looking forward to getting down there and scoring well." The Florida meet is one of two consecutive road contests for Arkansas. The Gym’Backs continue SEC action traveling to No. 3 Alabama Feb. 17. Arkansas returns home for three in a row hosting Kentucky, Auburn and Washington beginning Feb. 24. The Gym’Backs also host the 2006 South Central Regional Championship April 8. Tickets for all home meets are still available. Please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM for more information.



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)