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No. 3 Gymnastics team travels to Kentucky

BY ANDRES FOCIL
No. 3 Gymnastics team travels to Kentucky

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The third-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team hits the road for back-to-back Southeastern Conference meets traveling to No. 31 Kentucky Friday. The Razorbacks (5-1, 2-0 SEC) are nearly perfect against the Wildcats (1-3, 0-2 SEC) with an 11-0-1 record but know Kentucky will be ready to defend its home gym. “We’re in a really good place right now but we have to keep moving forward,” said Arkansas co-head coach René Cook. “We’re looking forward to Kentucky and want to approach the meet the same way we have our previous meets – one routine at a time, one performance at a time.” To say that Arkansas is in a good place might be an understatement. The Razorbacks are ranked a program-best tie for third in the nation this week. Arkansas has won four dual meets and finished second in a tri-meet. Junior Casey Jo Magee has won five consecutive all-around titles and is the reigning SEC Gymnast of the Week. “We’ve had some great success over the last couple of weeks,” acknowledged co-head coach Mark Cook. “Although our win-loss doesn’t count, it is nice to win meets. This is a process and while the success is great, we are keeping our eyes on the endgame. This team knows that there is still so much more to do.” Magee is often the face of the program. An All-American on vault and bars, she has won five all-around titles and has more wins that anyone else in program history. But Arkansas’ success this season is due to a balanced effort from the entire team. Junior All-American Michelle Stout has been runner-up in the all-around in four meets and has won a share of five vault titles. Junior Sarah Nagashima has competed in all five all-around competitions this year and set season and/or career-bests in each meet. Senior Alex LaChance broke the 9.90 barrier last week with her career-best floor score. Freshman Jaime Pisani, last week’s SEC Freshman Gymnast of the Week, also has several individual titles under her belt in her first year of collegiate gymnastics. “Everyone on the team has had a breakout moment,” said Mark Cook. “Everyone has contributed and stepped up at critical times for us.” “Our role players have been solid too,” added René Cook. “You look at athletes like Molly (Lewis), Stacy (Bartlett), Mariah (Howdeshell) and Amy (DeFilippo) who have one or two jobs to do. They score well for us and that sets the tone for the rest of the team.” The Razorbacks remain on the road the following week traveling to No. 4 Auburn Feb. 13. Arkansas returns home to Barnhill Arena hosting No. 3 Georgia Friday, Feb. 20. For more information and tickets please log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)