FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas’ gymnastics team advanced to the Super Six for the second time in four years in 2012, and last week the Razorbacks were rewarded with a ceremony to receive their Super Six rings.
The ceremony on campus on Friday commemorated one of the best seasons in school history.
Arkansas earned its first No. 1 national ranking during the season, earned an NCAA Regional bid for the ninth straight year, advanced to the NCAA Championship for the fifth consecutive season and the sixth time in seven years, and moved on to the Super Six for the second time in four years.
The Razorbacks placed second in the NCAA Regional, third in the NCAA Session II semifinal at the NCAA Championship and finished sixth in the country.
Arkansas, under the direction of co-head coaches Mark Cook and Rene Lyst, has three top 10 finishes in the last four years and has ranked among the top 15 eight straight years.
"Making it to the Super Six is like the Final Four for basketball," Cook says. "It’s a really big accomplishment. We wanted to honor the team and help them remember the experience and accomplishment, and to motivate them to reach even higher. It’s a great experience and we know the girls appreciate it."
Jaime Pisani, Katherine Grable, Stephani Canizaro and Bailee Zumwalde combined to earn eight All-America honors last year. Pisani, the Southeastern Conference Gymnast of the Year, was first-team in the all-around, on floor and beam, and second-team on bars. Grable was first-team on floor and second-team on vault. Canizaro and Zumwalde were both second-team on floor.
Pisani won 35 individual event titles, including the SEC beam title, and was ranked No. 1 in the nation in the all-around and on floor for a combined 12 rankings periods. Grable was No. 1 in the all-around twice and departed senior Mariah Howdeshell was No. 1 on bars twice.
"The rings mean so much to us," Pisani, who earned NCAA Winter Sports, and NCAA Ethnic and Minority and Women’s Enhancement post-graduate scholarships, says. "It was a hard season and we had some ups and downs with a lot of injuries. To make it to the Super Six was an amazing accomplishment. I couldn’t be more proud of this team. I’m so happy just to be a part of it."
The Razorbacks are already training for the 2013 season with Grable, Canizaro and Zumwalde joined by other returnees Amy Borsellino, Kelci Lewis, Shelby Salmon, Jordan Salsberg and Scarlett Williams.
The view footage of the ceremony, click on the link below and go to "video features."
Video of Ring Ceremony