FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas will once again start the season ranked inside the top 15, as the Razorbacks were selected as the No. 13-ranked team in the 2015 Gyminfo Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
Arkansas picked up 348 points in the preseason poll to move up four spots from last year’s final ranking of 17. The No. 13 ranking marks the ninth straight season that the Razorbacks have been placed inside the preseason top 15. Arkansas has now made an appearance in the Gyminfo Preseason Coaches’ Poll 11 times in the program’s 13-year existence, with the only two exclusions coming in the program’s first two seasons.
The Razorbacks return nine gymnast from a team that finish third at last season’s NCAA Regional in Fayetteville. 2012 All-American Stephani Canizaro highlights the list of returnees for Head Coach Mark Cook, as the senior will bring a heap of talent and experience to a young Arkansas roster that features a combined eight sophomores and freshmen. Second-year Razorback Amanda Wellick is one of those eight underclassmen, as she is the reigning SEC Freshman of the Year and is the only gymnast on the Arkansas roster who competed at the 2014 NCAA National Championship last year.
It will be a challenging 2015 slate for the Razorbacks, as they face nine teams who are ranked inside the Preseason Gyminfo Coaches’ Poll, including all top five preseason teams.
The Southeastern Conference had six of its seven schools represented in the Top 25, and featured three teams inside the top five. Co-NCAA Defending Champion, Florida, took the poll’s top spot with 756 points and 19 first-place votes. The Gators will travel to Barnhill Arena on Feb. 6. LSU, who take on the Razorbacks at the MetroPlex Challenge in Dallas, Texas on Jan. 31, claimed the poll’s third slot with 689 points and two first-place votes. Alabama, who Arkansas will host for its home-opener on Jan. 16, checked in at No. 4 in the preseason poll. Auburn and Kentucky came in at No. 12 and No. 22 respectively, while Missouri received votes.
Oklahoma, who opens the season against Arkansas on Jan. 9, finished just 10 votes behind the Gators for No. 2, as the Co-Defending Champion, Sooners, picked up eight first-place votes. UCLA, who travels to Fayetteville on Mar. 13, rounded out the top five with 618 points and one first-place vote.
For more information on Arkansas gymnastics, follow @RazorbackGym on Twitter.
Gyminfo Preseason Coaches’ Poll
|Ranking||Team||Total Points||First-Place Votes|
|No. 11||Oregon State||413||—|
|No. 16||Penn State||297||—|
|No. 18||Ohio State||197||—|
|No. 19||Boise State||195||—|
|No. 23||Central Michigan||117||—|
|No. 25||Iowa State||60||—|