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No. 8 Arkansas at Washington

BY ANDRES FOCIL
No. 8 Arkansas at Washington

FAYETTEVILLE – Following six straight weeks of Southeastern Conference competition, the eighth-ranked Arkansas gymnastics team faces Pac 10 member Washington this week in Seattle on Friday at 8 p.m.

Seattle Pacific is also participating in the meet.

The Razorbacks, who have been in the top 10 all season, are coming off a 196.200-196.200 tie against No. 11 LSU last week. Arkansas trailed following the second and third rotations, but freshman Kelci Lewis (9.85), senior Casey Jo Magee (9.875) and sophomore Jaime Pisani (9.925) finished strong on floor to rally the Razorbacks into the tie.

"We had a couple of performances that took us out of the meet but then we got a few that put us back in," co-head coach René Cook says. "The team worked hard."

"That was a great performance at the end," co-head coach Mark Cook says. "We were a little short on some of our handstands on bars. It’s the middle of the season so everyone is a little tired. Ties don’t happen that often in our sport, but it was nice to get that one."

Magee won the all-around title against LSU. She has 13 wins this year and 53 for her career. She is ranked second in the nation in the all-around while Pisani, who has 11 individual titles this year, is No. 8.

In the individual events, as a team, Arkansas is No. 4 on beam, tied for No. 7 on bars, No. 9 on vault and No. 11 on floor.

Washington was ranked No. 23 last week, but is not in the rankings this week.

"Washington is traditionally a very strong program," Mark Cook says. "We need to go on the road and have a good score. If we go out and post good scores, we can get back in the top four."

"We’re on the road at Washington this week and Minnesota next week," René Cook says. "But we’re still competing against all the same teams in the rankings."

Arkansas leads the all-time series 3-0, but the teams have not met since 2006.

The Razorbacks were 6-1 against members of the Pac 10 last year and they are already 1-0 this year. Arkansas opened the season with a 195.400-192.650 victory over No. 20 Arizona.

Last year, Arkansas lost to Oregon State and beat California in a season-opening meet at Oregon State. In the post-season, the Razorbacks beat No. 4 Stanford, No. 25 Arizona and No. 31 Arizona State in winning the NCAA South Central Regional title. In Session II of the NCAA Championship, Arkansas finished second and advanced to the Super Six after topping No. 7 UCLA and No. 6 Oregon State, among others.

The last time on the road, Feb. 12 at No. 9 Georgia, Arkansas posted season-best road scores of 49.25 on vault and 49.025 on beam. Other season highs are 49.05 on bars, 49.075 on floor and 195.925 overall, all at Florida.

In addition to the all-around rankings, Pisani is tied for No. 7 and Magee tied for No. 25 on vault. On bars, Magee is tied for No. 12. On beam, Magee is tied for No. 2 and senior Sarah Nagashima is tied for No. 13. On floor, Pisani is tied for No. 9.



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)